The big screen experience is set to return with Bollywood star likes Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and Ranveer Singh announcing release dates for their upcoming films. It was a packed, starry Friday for Bollywood with many filmmakers and studio houses unveiling the new release dates for their films, finally moving on from a period of no theatrical activity due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Leading the pack is Kumar, who will feature in three movies that will be debuting in theatres this year. First up for the actor is "Bellbottom", an espionage thriller, which is scheduled to release on May 28. Produced by Vashu Bhagnani's Pooja Entertainment, the film is set in the 1980s and about one of India's forgotten heroes.
Co-starring Vaani Kapoor, Huma Qureshi and Lara Dutta, "Bellbottom" was one of the first Bollywood films to resume production amid the pandemic. The film is co-produced by Emmay Entertainment. Kumar, 53, will also appear in a special role in filmmaker Aanand L Rai's "AtrangiRe", co-starring Sara Ali Khan and Dhanush. The movie will release on August 6.
The superstar's third project is "Prithviraj", backed by Yash Raj Films. The movie has locked the November 5 release date. It is expected that Kumar's much-awaited cop drama "Sooryavanshi", which was delayed last year due to the pandemic, will be hitting the screens in 2021. However, the film's makers are yet to announce an official date. Bachchan, 78, announced that his sports film "Jhund" will open on June 18.
The film marks the Hindi directorial debut of filmmaker Nagraj Manjule, best known for Marathi blockbuster "Sairat" and the critically-acclaimed 2013 drama "Fandry". "COVID gave us setbacks but it's comeback time now! We're back in theatres. 'Jhund' releasing 18th June," Bachchan tweeted.
Backed by T-Series, "Jhund" features Bachchan as Vijay Barse, a Nagpur-based retired sports teacher who started a slum soccer movement. The film was earlier scheduled to release in September last year but was pushed due to the pandemic that forced shut down of theatres across the country.
Ranveer Singh's "83", about the Indian cricket team's 1983 World Cup win, will also see the light of the day as the film will now release on June 4. Directed by filmmaker Kabir Khan, "83" was yet another major movie that was delayed because of the pandemic in 2020.
Bachchan's "Gulabo Sitabo" co-star Ayushmann Khurrana has booked July 9 as the release date of his romantic-drama "Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui", co-starring Vaani Kapoor. The Abhishek Kapoor-directed film, billed as a "progressive love story", will see the "Article 15" actor essay the role of a cross functional athlete.
The film's production commenced in October 2020 and the team wrapped the film in about 48 days in Chandigarh. "Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui" marks Abhishek Kapoor's return to direction three years after the romantic-drama "Kedarnath". This is the filmmaker's first collaboration with Khurrana.
During the day, industry also saw the release date announcement of filmmaker Luv Ranjan's upcoming untitled movie with Ranbir Kapoor, set to screen theatrically on March 18, 2022. The film also features Shraddha Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia and producer Boney Kapoor, who makes his acting debut.
The yet-untitled film is produced by Ranjan and Ankur Garg's Luv Films and presented by T-Series' Bhushan Kumar. On Wednesday, YRF had unveiled its slate of five films that will be releasing in 2021.
The movies are — Parineeti Chopra and Arjun Kapoor-starrer "Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar" (March 19); "Bunty Aur Babli 2" (April 23), Ranbir Kapoor's "Shamshera" (June 25); "Jayeshbhai Jordaar", starring Ranveer Singh, (August 27); and Kumar's "Prithiviraj" (November 5).