Kollywood buzz: Vijay’s ‘Leo’ sets pre-release record, Ajit scouts for director

Kollywood buzz: Vijay’s ‘Leo’ sets pre-release record, Ajit scouts for director

Kamal’s cameo in Leo, the Kaithi 2 vs Vikram 2 debate, Rajinikanth's Jailer release plans, and Suriya's 43rd film are among the latest happenings

The Federal brings you a Kollywood round-up, with exciting updates on various big-budget films. There’s Vijay’s record-breaking pre-release business for Leo, Kamal Haasan’s cameo in the same biggie, plus Kamal’s own career-highest opening with Indian 2, new twists in the AK62 (the functional title of Ajith Kumar’s next) saga, the Kaithi 2 vs Vikram 2 debate, Rajinikanth’s Jailer release plans, Suriya’s director for his 43rd film, and the decision of Sun Pictures to go slow on production. 

‘Leo’ sets new record in pre-release business

Actor Vijay’s gangster action thriller Leo, directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj, has generated a massive buzz in the Indian film industry. The satellite, digital, and audio rights have been together sold for more than ₹255 crore. Offers are apparently pouring in from Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, and Hindi distributors for the film, where Trisha Krishnan co-stars Vijay after around 15 years. 

Also read | Thalapathy 67: Is Vijay-Lokesh combo plotting a pan-India flick?

However, the producers are not in a hurry to sell the film,  as they have earned the production cost already through digital rights. Recently, the promotional announcement video of the film was unveiled on the internet and registered more than 33 million views.

Kamal Haasan’s cameo in Leo?

There is a strong buzz in Kollywood that veteran actor Kamal Haasan is likely to play a cameo in Leo. The makers of Leo are tight-lipped about Kamal’s involvement for now, supposedly since they want to spring a surprise on fans during the release. 

The cast of Leo is already star-studded, with  Sanjay Dutt, Mathew Thomas, Mysskin, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Priya Anand and choreographer Sandy in prominent roles. 

With Vignesh Shivan’s exit, who will direct AK62?

Director Vignesh Shivan was supposed to direct Ajith Kumar’s 62nd film. But both the actor and Lyca Productions did not like the script narrated by Vignesh. Now, the Naanum Rowdy Dhaan director is out of the biggie.

Actor Ajith
Ajith Kumar

Sources say  the producers are now in talks with director Magizh Thirumeni of Thadam fame to direct the film. A few more directors are also in talks with Ajith and Lyca. Insiders told The Federal that an official announcement on AK 62 will be out in a few days.

Why was Rajinikanth’s ‘Jailer’ pushed to August?

Superstar Rajinikanth’s Jailer was initially scheduled to release for the summer holidays, but the team needed more time to complete the shoot. Also, Red Giant Movies, the Tamil Nadu distributor  of the film, already has Ponniyin Selvan 2 in the pipeline for the summer holidays.

For now, Jailer is slated for release during the Independence Day weekend. Produced by Sun Pictures and directed by Nelson, Mohanlal  and Shiva Rajkumar are also playing special roles in the biggie.

Indian 2 aiming for big Diwali release

Kamal Haasan’s recent films were only released on normal weekends. But after the recent blockbuster Vikram, Lyca Productions and Red Giant Movies are planning to release the actor’s next biggie Indian 2 for Diwali weekend in Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi.

Also read | Vikram effect: Kamal Haasan open to work with new-age directors

Recently, the film’s director Shankar shot a long schedule in Andhra Pradesh. Now, the team is flying to Rajasthan for the next schedule.

Who is going to direct Suriya’s next?

Suriya is currently busy shooting for his 42nd film — a fantasy action thriller directed by Siva. The actor’s fans are also keenly waiting to know about his next project. Suriya is apparently in talks with Vetrimaaran, Sudha Kongara, and TJ Gnanavel. Among these three filmmakers, Vetrimaaran is likely to direct Suriya’s immediate next after Siva’s film, quickly followed by TJ Gnanavel and Sudha Kongara.

Kaithi 2 to go on floors first? 

While Lokesh Kanagaraj is busy shooting for Vijay’s Leo, fans are curious about the director’s next movie. The doors are open for both Vikram 2 and actor Karthi’s Kaithi 2 but it looks like Lokesh will helm the latter as he has signed a prior agreement with Dream Warrior Pictures.

Vikram title track
Kamal Haasan in the film ‘Vikram’

Only after wrapping up Kaithi 2, Lokesh will start working on Vikram 2, say the sources. It may be recalled that Kaithi and Vikram belong to the same ‘cinematic universe’.

Meanwhile, Kamal will begin shooting for Mani Ratnam’s film by the end of this year.

Sun Pictures to go slow on production 

Last year, Sun Pictures produced multiple films, but this year, it has slowed down on production. As of now, it has Rajinikanth’s Jailer and Dhanush’s 50th film. We also hear that it will be bankrolling Vijay’s next with Atlee, in 2024.

But unlike last year, it doesn’t want to produce too many films due to the poor success rate.

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