The long shadow of the all-pervasive pandemic is slowly disappearing and the entertainment industry is looking for sunny days. Some of the biggest films are being lined up for release in the next few months, perhaps taking the showbiz to days of pre-COVID revelry. The thunderous opening of SS Rajamouli-directed RRR could be the perfect harbinger for the next biggies that are set to come up in multiple languages.
As the industry is springing back to its feet, The Federal tracks the new and upcoming films of the big stars in Tamil cinema. [We will soon cover other industries as well. Watch this space]
Here we begin with none other than Rajinikanth:
The recent few films of Rajinikanth, including Darbar and Annaatthe, have not exactly set the box office on fire, well, the way his films are supposed to. Having occupied the #1 throne for a long time, this is a testing time for the legendary and most popular superstar, who has also been battling with ill-health. He is now planning to bounce back with the dependable Nelson Dilipkumar (who also directed female superstar Nayanthara’s Kolamaavu Kokila).
Of late, Rajinikanth has been teaming up with the directors of the current crop of superstars — Vijay and Ajith. Unfortunately, both Darbar (Murugadoss, the director of Vijay’s Sarkar) and Annaatthe (Siva, the director of Ajith’s Viswasam) couldn’t mint big money. Nelson is also the director of Vijay’s upcoming biggie Beast.
To be produced by Sun Pictures, Rajnikanth’s yet-untitled film will have music composed by Anirudh Ravichander and actor Priyanka Arul Mohan (who was seen in Doctor and Etharkkum Thunindhavan) is said to be playing an important role (not to be paired romantically with Rajinikanth of course) in the film. Industry sources also said Rajinikanth is aiming to do at least two films before his retirement— one each for his daughters. Rajnikanth is also planning to do a Karthik Subbaraj film.
The multi-faceted Kamal Haasan is not in his best form as far as box-office numbers are concerned. But his upcoming action thriller Vikram, scheduled to hit the screens on June 3, with Lokesh Kanagaraj is creating the right buzz. The film also features two powerful performers— Fahadh Faasil and Vijay Sethupathi. Kamal Haasan has films also lined up with talented directors like Mahesh Narayanan, Vetrimaaran, and Pa Ranjith. Industry sources told The Federal that director M Muthaiah is also in talks with Kamal for a Madurai-based action drama.
The actor is also planning to resume shooting for Indian 2 by the end of this year.
Vijay’s film releases stir up a lot of excitement these days. Be it the trailer or the songs, he is always on the top of his game. Everyone in the trade keeps a keen eye on the impact of a Vijay-starrer at the box office. While his films easily amass ₹200-250 crores at the box office, he is trying to break the ₹300-crore barrier with his upcoming biggie Beast.
From April first week, Vijay will begin shooting for his new film with Vamsi Paidipally of Maharshi fame. To be produced by Telugu cinema’s kingmaker Dil Raju, Vijay is said to be getting a record remuneration of ₹100 crores.
Also read: After long COVID lull, clutch of films sets box office on fire
The team hasn’t revealed the cast and crew of the film but we hear that Rashmika Mandanna is the frontrunner to play the female lead. The yet-untitled film will have a simultaneous release in Tamil and Telugu. Vijay’s next after Vamsi’s film will be directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj. The actor will also team up with his favourite Atlee in 2023. There is a possibility that Vijay will work with the Beast filmmaker Nelson again but everything depends on the film’s box-office run.
Despite mixed reviews, Ajith’s Valimai managed to mop up more than ₹170 (gross) crore at the box office. It’s an open secret that Ajith’s next is with Vinoth and Boney Kapoor. The producer tweeted in February:
Prep mode on #AK61 pic.twitter.com/UOqGUrZwgK
— Boney Kapoor (@BoneyKapoor) February 15, 2022
The actor is hitting the gym to get his physique right for the action thriller, which also has a senior superstar either from Malayalam or Telugu cinema.
Ajith has also signed a big-budget film with director Vignesh Shivan and Lyca Productions. Surpassing Vijay’s record remuneration, Ajith is likely to get ₹100 crore + for the new film. Vignesh’s regular Anirudh will compose the music and Nayanthara is likely to play the heroine in the film.
Suriya’s Etharkkum Thunindhavan hasn’t done the expected business at the box office despite good reviews. But known for his hard work and giving his best for all his roles, the actor has already started the test shoot of his most anticipated big-budget film, Vaadi Vaasal, with the award-winning filmmaker Vetrimaaran. To be produced by the veteran producer Thanu, filmmaker Ameer (Paruthiveeran) is in talks to play an important role in the film and GV Prakash is scoring the music.
Suriya will also soon begin shooting for the National Award-winning director Bala with whom he had worked in Nandha and Pithamagan. Though Bala is going through a rough patch, Suriya is trying to help out the filmmaker.
Suriya’s own production house 2D Entertainment will be bankrolling the film and Krithi Shetty of Uppena fame is likely to play a pivotal role. Suriya will also team up with Viswasam filmmaker Siva and Sudha Kongara of Soorarai Pottru fame but these two films will start rolling only in 2023.
Sivakarthikeyan has tasted success with the much-needed box-office blockbuster with his last year’s release Doctor. His next immediate release is a campus romantic comedy Don (May 13) with newcomer Cibi. The actor has recently commenced shooting for a Tamil-Telugu comedy entertainer with director Anudeep KV of Jathi Ratnalu fame. Veteran Sathyaraj plays an important role in the film, while Ukrainian actress Maria Riaboshapka plays Siva’s romantic interest.
His long-delayed Ayalaan is also gearing up for a big release later this year.
Siva has also signed a film to be produced by Kamal Haasan’s Raj Kamal Film International and Sony Pictures India. Rajkumar Periyasamy of Rangoon fame will be directing the big film. After completing these films, Siva will team up with Desingh Periyasamy of Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal fame in 2023.
After three direct digital releases, Dhanush is finally getting ready for his next theatrical release Thiruchitrambalam. The film’s production house Sun Pictures is planning for a grand theatrical release this July. Nithya Menen, Raashi Khanna, and Priya Bhavani Shankar are playing the female leads in this colourful romantic drama. Mithran Jawahar of Yaradi Nee Mohini fame is helming the film. Thiruchitrambalam also marks the reunion of Dhanush and Anirudh.
Dhanush is also wrapping up his elder brother Selvaraghavan’s Naane Varuven and the actor will soon begin shooting for director Arun Matheshwaran’s (Rocky fame) next. Besides these films, Dhanush has a Tamil-Telugu bilingual Vaathi/Sir with Venky Atluri in addition to a film with National Award-winning filmmaker Sekhar Kammula.
Superstars don’t work without the mention of Nayanthara. This actor has carved out a name for herself in the Tamil industry and rakes in the moolah as much as her male peers. Her last OTT release Netrikann was bought by Disney+Hotstar for a record price. Nayanthara’s next release O2 produced by Dream Warrior Pictures will also have a direct digital release on Disney+Hotstar.
She also plays one of the female leads in Vignesh Shivan’s Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal. Besides Nayanthara, the film also has Samantha and Vijay Sethupathi. The romantic comedy is scheduled to release on April 28.
Nayanthara’s upcoming films are Gold with Malayalam filmmaker Alphonse Puthren and Prithviraj, a yet-untitled Shah Rukh Khan’s film with Atlee, Chiranjeevi’s Godfather with Mohan Raja, and Ashwin Saravanan’s Connect. She is also producing a slew of films under her banner Rowdy Pictures.
After a brief hiatus and controversies, Silambarasan TR had made a comeback last year with the sci-fi thriller Maanaadu. The actor’s next immediate release is with his favourite filmmaker Gautham Vasudev Menon. Produced by Vels Film International, Rahman is scoring the music for the film.
The actor also has Pathu Thala, the Tamil remake of Kannada hit Mufti. Produced by Gnanavel Raja’s Studio Green, Krishna of Sillunu Oru Kaadhal fame is helming the remake. After completing these two films, Silambarasan TR will begin shooting for Gokul’s Corona Kumar, a spin-off of Idharkku Thaane Aasai Pattai Balakaumara.
Karthi’s next big release is his rural action entertainer Viruman with director Muthaiah. They had earlier delivered the blockbuster Komban and so expectations are high. The actor is also gearing up for the release of Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan, scheduled to hit the screens on September 30. Though Jayam Ravi plays the titular role, Karthi plays the celebrated Vandhiyathevan, who takes the story forward.
Karthi is also busy shooting for Mithran’s Sardar, in which he plays a dual role. Besides these films, Karthi has a biggie with Joker director Raju Murugan. The actor is also likely to team up with Lokesh Kanagaraj again.
Vikram’s recent release Mahaan earned mixed reviews but the actor was praised for holding his fort. His next immediate release is Cobra with director Ajay Gnanamuthu. He also plays the ferocious Chola King in Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan. There is also a buzz that the actor’s most delayed Dhruva Natchathiram might get a theatrical release this year.