At a time when most A-list actors prefer to do one film a year, Akshay Kumar has constantly been belting out three to four movies a year. Admired for his savvy career choices and status as a box-office magnet, he is the most in-demand Bollywood actor working right now.
And just like the previous year, Akshay was set to entertain the audience with his diverse movie slate in 2020. However, the sudden and large outbreak of the novel coronavirus has affected as many as six productions of the actor.
When Akshay's Sooryavanshi release was postponed indefinitely because of the Covid-19 crisis, it came as a shock. But that was just the first in a cascade of the actor's films being cancelled or delayed, making him the most affected Bollywood star by the coronavirus lockdown.
The latest installment of director Rohit Shetty's super-cop universe was set to hit the screens on March 24. The makers of Sooryavanshi were expecting massive box office numbers because the release had been strategically planned to coincide with Gudi Padwa holiday (new year for Marathi and Konkani community). But the country went into full coronavirus lockdown on March 24. Made on a reported budget of Rs 135 crore, Sooryavanshi also features Katrina Kaif and Ranveer Singh and Ajay Devgn in an extended cameo.
Directed by Raghava Lawrence, Laxmmi Bomb was scheduled to hit the big screens on May 22. However, its release was also delayed indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak. Meanwhile, multiple reports of Laxmmi Bomb's digital release has been doing rounds on the Internet since last month. In Laxmmi Bomb, Akshay plays a man possessed by the ghost of a transgender. The film also features Kiara Advani.
Farhad Samji's Bachchan Pandey was scheduled to go on the floors from May, but the ongoing coronavirus scare led to the cancellation of its shoot. The masala action entertainer features Kriti Sanon opposite Akshay Kumar. Although the film was announced for a Christmas 2020 release, it was later shifted to January 22, 2021, to avoid clash with Aamir Khan's Laal Singh Chaddha.
The historical period drama, which went on the floors in November last year, was set to release on Diwali 2020, but reportedly 50 per cent of the film still remains to be shot. Starring Akshay Kumar, in the titular role, Prithviraj is based on the life and heroism of the fearless Rajput warrior and king, Prithviraj Chauhan. Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar will essay the role of Sanyogita, Prithviraj's love interest in the film. Directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi, the movie will be produced by YRF Films.
The pandemic also hit the production on Atrangi Re that began in March. The film, starring Dhanush, Sara Ali Khan and Akshay Kumar, is a cross-cultural love story, moving from Bihar to Madurai, and is set in two different eras. The film will mark Akshay's first collaboration with Aanand L Rai.
Akshay Kumar's Bell-Bottom is an espionage thriller, to be directed by Ranjit M Tewari. The film was scheduled to go on floors by mid this year in India, and subsequently move to multiple locations abroad with a release date in January 2021. But, outdoor shoots might not be feasible over the next year.