From Rajinikanth’s Darbar, Vijay’s Master, Ajith’s Valimai to Kamal Haasan’s Indian 2, Vikram’s Cobra and Suriya’s Soorarai Pottru—there is a lot to look forward to in 2020. Below is the list of films (in no specific order) you can’t afford to miss.
Last year in January, Petta got released, and Rajinikanth is all set to dominate silver screens once again this January, with Darbar. Directed by AR Murugadoss, the film will see Rajinikanth playing the role of a cop after 27 years. He donned the khaki last in Pandian (1992). The Darbar poster carried a catchy punchline “You decide whether you want me to be good, bad or worse.” Superstar films are a festival by itself. So, will it be yet another Thalaivar Pongal for movie buffs? Let’s wait and watch. Also featuring Nayanthara, Prateik Babbar, Suniel Shetty, Nivetha Thomas, Dalip Tahil and Yogi Babu in important roles, Darbar has music by Anirudh Ravichander and is bankrolled by Lyca Productions.
Vijay doesn’t tweet “announcements”, but ‘Thalapathy’ himself shared the first look poster and title of Master on December 31, 2019—that set social media on fire. Vijay’s tweet has received over 82,000 retweets and 1,84,000 ‘likes’ so far. Though we hear it’s an “original film”, reports, on the other hand, suggest Master is inspired by Silenced. Touted to be an action-drama, set against a college backdrop, the film also has Shanthnu Bhagyaraj, Malavika Mohanan, Andrea Jeremiah, Gouri G Kishan of 96 fame, Sriman, Ramesh Thilak and Arjun Das in pivotal roles. Master, which will release in April 2020, marks the first collaboration of Vijay and Lokesh Kanagaraj, who impressed critics with Maanagaram and Kaithi. The makers began the shooting in October 2019, following a traditional puja. Bankrolled by XB Film Creators, Master has music by Anirudh Ravichander and cinematography by Sathyan Sooryan. The film will see Vijay Sethupathi locking horns with Vijay for the first time, and this has piqued curiosity, overall.
Ajith had a Diwali release Vedhalam in 2015, and if everything goes well, Valimai (power/strength) will hit screens for this year’s Diwali. Directed by H Vinoth of Nerkonda Paarvai fame, Valimai, bankrolled by Boney Kapoor, is Ajith’s 60th film. Featuring the actor as a cop, once again, after Gautham Vasudev Menon’s Yennai Arindhaal (2015), Valimai is expected to have high octane action sequences. Though rumour mills are abuzz that the film may feature Nazriya or Nayanthara opposite Thala, there’s no official confirmation made yet. With music by Yuvan Shankar Raja and cinematography by Nirav Shah, Valimai will also capitalise on Ajith’s racing interests.
Happy New Year !
@Actor_Siddharth @MsKajalAggarwal @Rakulpreet #BobbySimhaa
@priya_Bshankar @Actor_Vivek @thondankani #Jagan @manobalam #NedumudiVenu pic.twitter.com/Sfs2qkYmcE
— Shankar Shanmugham (@shankarshanmugh) December 31, 2019
Directed by Shankar, Indian 2, a sequel to the 1996 blockbuster Indian, will see the return of Senapathi (Kamal Haasan), a 90-year-old vigilante. The film also has Siddharth, Kajal Aggarwal, Rakul Preet, Anil Kapoor, Priya Bhavani Shankar, Vidyut Jammwal, Vivekh, Bobby Simhaa and Delhi Ganesh in key roles. Speculations are rife that Siddharth will be playing the grandson of Senapathi. However, an official word is awaited. In the original, Kamal Haasan played a dual role—a 70-year-old freedom fighter (the father) and son. The film that bagged three National Awards was released in Telugu as Bharatheeyudu and in Hindi as Hindustani. While Indian had music by AR Rahman, the sequel has Anirudh Ravichander scoring music. One may recall in 2011, producer AM Rathnam had discussed the idea of a sequel to Indian, which is finally being bankrolled by Lyca Productions. Kamal Haasan is expected to finish Indian 2’s shooting by this month—after which he will start work on Thalaivan Irukkindraan, a sequel to Thevar Magan.
Featuring Vikram, who is currently busy with Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan adaptation, Cobra is directed by Imaikkaa Nodigal fame Ajay Gnanamuthu. Also starring cricketer Irfan Pathan, KS Ravikumar and KGF actor Srinidhi Shetty, the film will feature Vikram in 25 different looks. Cobra will release in April 2020, in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. Bankrolled by Seven Screen Studio, the film has music by AR Rahman. Meanwhile, Vikram has Mahavir Karna, and Gautham Vasudev Menon’s long-delayed Dhruva Natchathiram in the pipeline. In an interview with the Times of India, Ajay Gnanamuthu had said, “The protagonist’s character and cobra has a link. Provided, we were looking for a title that works in all languages.”
Wishing you all a year full of great moments! Here’s #SooraraiPottruSecondLook#AakaasamNeeHaddhuRa#SudhaKongara @gvprakash @nikethbommi @Aparnabala2 @gopiprasannaa @2D_ENTPVTLTD @rajsekarpandian @SakthiFilmFctry @guneetm @sikhyaent pic.twitter.com/JXbW2oUSPz
— Suriya Sivakumar (@Suriya_offl) January 1, 2020
Suriya desperately needs a hit after a string of failures—Thaana Serndha Koottam, NGK and Kaappaan. So, we believe Soorarai Pottru will be that film which will set cash registers ringing. Said to be based on Air Deccan founder GR Gopinath, the film is directed by Sudha Kongara of Irudhi Suttru fame. Soorarai Pottru features Jackie Shroff, Karunas, Paresh Rawal and Aparna Balamurali in important roles. The film also marks the comeback of senior Telugu actor Mohan Babu, who was last seen in Tamil in Rajinikanth’s Guru (1980). The second look of Soorarai Pottru was released on New Year’s Day. Slated for an April release, the film has music by GV Prakash Kumar, fresh from the success of the Dhanush-starrer Asuran. The teaser of Soorarai Pottru will be released on January 7. Further, the industry is abuzz with speculation that Soorarai Pottru may have a Hindi remake with John Abraham reprising the role of Suriya. However, there’s no official word yet. Soorarai Pottru is produced by Suriya’s 2D Entertainment and Guneet Monga.
Directed by Karthik Subbaraj, this yet-to-be-titled gangster drama is Dhanush’s 40th film. Also starring Hollywood actor James Cosmo, this project shot in London is produced by Sashikanth of Y Not Studios. Sources say the Petta director had approached Al Pacino and Robert De Niro for the role that finally went to the Games of Thrones actor. In an interview with Film Companion, Karthik Subbaraj had revealed, “D40 will be an action thriller with gangster elements.” He added, “Since the story takes place in New York, we wanted a proper name from Hollywood. I tried approaching Robert De Niro and Al Pacino but my efforts were not fruitful. Of course, it was a tedious process to reach out to them. Here, I narrate a role to multiple actors and keep my options open, which was not possible there. I had to try through casting agents, and the process took me nearly six months.” D40 features Aishwarya Lekshmi, Joju George, Sanchana Natarajan and Kalaiyarasan in important roles. The film also has Dhanush in another look—sporting a handlebar moustache, and those portions are set in Madurai. Earlier, it was rumoured that the film was titled Ulagam Suttrum Vaaliban. However, the makers quickly issued a statement saying the title will be announced in February 2020.
Directed by Manikandan of Aandavan Kattalai fame, Kadaisi Vivasayi (The Last Farmer) has a 75-year-old Nallandi playing the protagonist. Manikandan revealed that he had earlier approached Rajinikanth to play the lead role. Also, featuring Vijay Sethupathi as a person suffering from intellectual disabilities, besides Yogi Babu, in the role of a mahout—the film chronicles the life of a hearing-impaired aged farmer and how people take away his land. The two-minute trailer of Kadaisi Vivasayi that was released in December 2019 received an overwhelming response from both critics and fans alike. In an interview, Manikandan had said he got the idea for Kadaisi Vivasayi after finishing Kaaka Muttai. “This film has three main characters and I am sure people will like them a lot,” he added.
This falls under a mixed-genre category like Arun Prabhu Purushothaman’s previous directorial venture—Aruvi. Touted to be a socio-political drama and a musical, centred around human emotions, Vaazhl is produced by Sivakarthikeyan. What happens when a bunch of youngsters accidentally enters the house of a 90-year-old man, forms the crux of the story. In an interview with the Times of India, Arun Prabhu revealed how different cameras were used during various stages of shooting. “For a small portion, which is set in the 1930s, we used a film camera,” he added. Vaazhl has nonagenarian actor SN Bhatt playing the protagonist. With music by Pradeep Kumar, the film stars Pradeep Antony of Aruvi fame, besides a bunch of newbies playing pivotal characters.
Directed by Siva, best known for his association with Ajith, Thalaivar 168 (tentatively titled) has an ensemble star cast featuring Rajinikanth, Prakash Raj, Soori, Keerthy Suresh, George Maryan and Sathish. Touted to be a commercial rural entertainer, Thalaivar 168 marks Superstar’s third collaboration with Sun Pictures after Enthiran and Petta. The film that has music by D Imman will see Meena and Khushbu reunite with Superstar after two decades. Thalaivar 168 went on floors in December 2019 at Hyderabad’s Ramoji Film City.
Starring Arun Vijay, Prasanna and Priya Bhavani Shankar in lead roles, Mafia is directed by Karthick Naren, who made the critically-acclaimed Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru (2016). Touted to be a high octane gangster drama, the film was wrapped up in a single schedule of 35 days. Bankrolled by Lyca Productions, Karthick Naren simultaneously awaits the release of Naragasooran. The project, starring Shriya Saran, Arvind Swami and Indrajith Sukumaran, was initially in the spotlight as Gautham Vasudev Menon decided to co-produce it, though he eventually backed out.
Directed by RJ Balaji and NJ Saravanan, Mookuthi Amman, headlined by Nayanthara, went on floors in Kanyakumari in November 2019. Touted to be a satire, this film is produced by Ishari K Ganesh. With music by Aval fame Girishh Gopalakrishnan, Mookuthi Amman will release worldwide in summer 2020. Speaking at an event, Balaji had revealed how Nayanthara turned vegetarian till the shooting was complete just like how she did during the shoot of Telugu film Rama Rajyam where she played Goddess Sita.
Additionally, in 2020, we hope to see promising Tamil films that failed to release in the past—including Selvaraghavan’s ambitious projects Nenjam Marappathillai and Mannavan Vanthanadi, besides Server Sundaram, Idam Porul Yaeval, Idhu Vedhalam Sollum Kadhai, Iravaakaalam, Paris Paris, Psycho, Gypsy and RK Nagar among more.