Tamil cinema, unlike its neighbouring Telugu film industry, has not gone ‘pan-Indian’ in a big way as yet with its films. Ironically, though, it was Mani Ratnam’s films that had set off this trend from the South back in the 90s. Now, all eyes in the Tamil film industry are on Ratnam’s historical epic drama, Ponniyin Selvan, and how its performance is going to affect the fortunes of the industry. Perhaps, taking a leaf from S S Rajamouli’s marketing book, the team has already set off on a promotional tour across the state and to other cities.
That aside, movie buffs who follow the Tamil film industry eagerly wait to know the latest on their superstar actors, what popular directors like Pa Ranjith, Vetrimaaran, Sudha Kongara are busy with, and the ventures producers are betting on.
Here, The Federal checks out the buzz in the industry, the films that are being made, the chatter around the cash crunch and Kamal Hasaan’s next. Or, which actor has hiked his fees, and which Bollywood star was shooting in Chennai and invited for a meal at Thailavar’s house!
Cash crunch in Kollywood
Industry insiders say that after the recent Income Tax raid on financiers and producers, filmmakers are facing a severe cash crunch. There’s no cash reaching the shooting spots, making it difficult for producers to meet the daily expenditure for shooting or even for marketing or releasing films. Sources say that it will take a few more weeks to sort out this ongoing cash crunch. This situation has also delayed the shoot of many big films, which will result in a reshuffle of release dates.
OTT players not taking the bait!
Reportedly, Amazon Prime Video is not buying many films after they have invested a huge chunk of money in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Industry sources say that the platform has become very selective these days.
Zee and Sony’s merger has also become one of the key reasons these two platforms are not buying any new films. Netflix is also ostensibly going through a rough phase and ends up concentrating only on the big guns in the cinema business. On the other hand, Disney+Hotstar’s acquisition budget for this year is already over.
Also read: SS Rajamouli’s next film with Mahesh Babu, a ‘globetrotting adventure, Indiana Jones’ style!
Vijay’s cameo in SRK’s Jawan?
Shah Rukh Khan has been doing a lot of cameos of late (Rocketry; Brahmastra). Now it seems Tamil superstar Vijay is all set to play a cameo in Shah Rukh Khan’s Jawan. According to sources close to the actor, Vijay met the badshah of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, recently at the shoot of Jawan, while he was shooting for Varisu in Chennai at the same time. But, Atlee is yet to narrate Vijay’s cameo idea in Jawan to the south superstar. This will have Vijay’s fans in a twist, we are sure!
More than ₹150 crore non-theatrical business for Varisu
What’s interesting is that the satellite rights, digital rights, and Hindi dubbing rights of Vijay’s upcoming film Varisu, co-starring Rashmika Mandanna were reportedly sold for ₹150 crore. The biggie’s producer Dil Raju is extremely happy since he has almost recovered 50 per cent of the budget with these rights.
Ajith and Vishnuvardhan to team up again?
Tamil superstar Ajith is currently on a break from the shoot of his yet-untitled film with H Vinoth. Sources say that the actor is expected to complete the shoot by the end of this year. After completing Vinoth’s film, Ajith will team up with Vignesh Shivan for a biggie to be produced by Lyca Productions.
Meanwhile, Ajith’s lucky filmmaker Vishnuvardhan (Shershaah), with whom the actor delivered blockbusters Billa and Arrambam, has come up with an interesting one-liner and shared it with the actor. Ajith is said to have liked Vishnuvardhan’s idea, but things are yet to be finalised. Watch this space for the updates.
Silambarasan TR to team up with Sudha Kongara and KGF makers!
National award-winning director Sudha Kongara is currently busy helming the Hindi remake of Soorarai Pottru with Akshay Kumar. Post the Hindi remake, Sudha will be teaming up with Suriya for a film to be produced by the actor’s own production house 2D Entertainment. Here’s an interesting update on Sudha Kongara’s film with Hombale Films – Silambarasan TR is the frontrunner to bag the lead role.
Kamal’s next is with Mahesh Narayanan
Veteran Superstar Kamal Haasan is back with Vikram, the all-time highest Tamil grosser in Tamil Nadu. Though Haasan is in talks with Vetrimaaran, Pa. Ranjith, and Gautham Vasudev Menon, the actor’s immediate next will be directed by popular Malayalam filmmaker Mahesh Narayanan.
The story is said to be penned by Haasan himself and it’s likely to be a sequel to Thevar Magan. The actor has also resumed the shoot of Indian 2 with showman filmmaker Shankar.
Vikram to slow down a bit
Though Cobra hasn’t tasted the desired success, Vikram is quite confident about two of his upcoming biggies — Ponniyin Selvan and Dhruva Natchathiram, and both films will be hitting the screens this year. Vikram was supposed to recommend Cobra filmmaker Ajay Gnanamuthu for his film with AGS Entertainment but he is likely to take a rain-check on that now after the film fizzling out at the box office.
Besides Ponniyin Selvan and Dhruva Natchathiram, Vikram also has Pa. Ranjith’s period film, based on the Kolar Gold Fields.
Dhanush to hike his remuneration
Dhanush’s recent film Thiruchitrambalam has become one of the biggest money spinners in Tamil cinema. The film has grossed more than Rs 100 crore worldwide and the actor has reportedly hiked his remuneration. Starting with Arun Matheshwaran’s action-adventure film Captain Miller, this new hike will be implemented, says an industry source.
Rajinikanth’s Jailer progresses in Chennai
Superstar Rajinikanth’s Jailer (directed by Nelson) is progressing at a brisk pace in Chennai. Sources told The Federal that the actor met Shah Rukh Khan at the Jawan shoot, which was also happening at the same location.
Rajinikanth is said to have reportedly invited Shah Rukh Khan to visit his Poes Garden residence for a leisurely lunch or dinner, which the Bollywood star is sure to accept. Both the badshahs will surely have many rich experiences to share.