There are several movies like 'KGF2' in the pipeline for which a theatrical experience cannot be easily substituted.

Actor Vijay in new Master poster released for 2020 birthday
Flix Cinema Monday, June 22, 2020 - 15:56

Though shooting has resumed in some states, the world of cinema is still forlorn with theatres indefinitely closed. Single screens are in danger of shutting their doors permanently while multiplex chains, mostly located in malls, are also bleeding.

Film industries across the country are looking to release movies directly on OTT platforms, a move that theatre owners resent because they feel the public will not flock to theatres when they open again. However, there are several movies in the pipeline for which a theatrical experience cannot be easily substituted. Let's not forget that despite movie piracy and the arrival of OTT platforms, films like Baahubali: The Conclusion, Dangal and many others minted money in theatres because the audience wanted to watch the story unfold on the big screen.

Here's a list of upcoming south Indian films that are likely to have a big opening when normal life resumes and theatres open their doors again.

Master: Lokesh Kanagaraj's action-thriller was supposed to release in April but got postponed because of the lockdown. The film is likely to be the first big budget Tamil film to release after theatres open. With Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi in the cast, Lokesh who delivered a riveting thriller with Kaithi, has set up massive expectations. Since the film has two big names facing off each other and is likely to have stunning stunt sequences, it will probably be best enjoyed in the theatre. Malavika Mohanan, Andrea, Shanthanu Bhagyaraj and others are also in the cast.

Marakkar: Arabinkadalinte Simham: Priyadarshan's historical epic was supposed to release towards the end of March. The big budget project is based on Kunjali Marakkar IV, a much celebrated naval chief of the zamorins of Kozhikode. The marakkars or naval chiefs are credited with being the first to have defended India's coast. The film has Mohanlal in the lead, and a host of actors such as Suniel Shetty, Prabhu, Manju Warrier, Keerthy Suresh, Suhasini and others. The visual effects for the film took over a year to complete, and the theme of the film as well as the star-studded cast are sure to be a big draw.

Roudram Ranam Rudhiram: SS Rajamouli's next after the phenomenal success of Baahubali is yet another colossus. Called RRR, the film has Ram Charan and Jr NTR in the lead, apart from Bollywood biggies like Alia Bhatt and Ajay Devgn. The film is based on the stories of Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem who fought against the British and the Nizam of Hyderabad respectively. Knowing Rajamouli's penchant for grandeur, the period film with heavy action scenes should be a treat to watch in theatres.

KGF 2: Kannada cinema went pan-Indian with Prashant Neel's KGF, with Yash in the lead. The sequel is bigger than the first one, and has Sanjay Dutt playing the antagonist. The film also has Raveena Tandon in the cast. Anant Nag, who was part of the first film, will be appearing in the sequel, too. Set in the Kolar Gold Fields, the film tells the story of the gold mafia. The gritty KGF was praised for its stunt sequences and the sequel is expected to top it. The film is expected to release in October this year but might be pushed due to the unprecedented circumstances.

Ponniyin Selvan: Mani Ratnam's ambitious film based on the Tamil epic by the same title has a long list of stars in the cast – Vikram, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Trisha, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sobhita Dhulipala and others. Kalki Krishnamurthy's historical drama has been a favourite with Tamil readers down the ages, and it has been announced several times that a film would be made on it. However, it has always seemed to be a daunting task for filmmakers till Mani Ratnam decided to take the plunge. The film has only just begun and it will be a long time before it's completed, but this is one project that's sure to bring crowds to theatres.

Salpetta: After making two back-to-back Rajinikanth films, Pa Ranjith's next is about a boxer, with Arya playing the lead. Though we don't know too many details about the film, it's reportedly set in North Chennai. Arya's beefed-up look from the film had gone viral a few months ago. Ranjith is known for bringing in subaltern politics into mainstream cinema in a "mass" way, and Salpetta is likely to excite fans of the director. While we have had quite a few sports films in the recent past, they have sort of become formulaic now. Salpetta will hopefully offer something new.

Kaadan: Prabhu Solomon's Thodari was a disaster but Kaadan is an ambitious film that's releasing in three languages – Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. The film has Rana Daggubati, Vishnu Vishal and Zoya Hussain in the lead. Rana plays the character Bandev, who protects the jungle. The film is said to be on elephant abuse, and Rana's look from the film has set up high expectations.The actor lost 15 kg for the role.

Virata Parvam: With Rana Daggubati and Sai Pallavi in the lead, this Venu Udugula movie on the Naxal movement can prove to be thrilling. The film is said to be a love story between a police officer and a Naxalite, and covers significant political events in the country. Sai Pallavi has a sound fanbase in the Telugu states as does Rana, and if the film is well-made, it has the potential to entice audiences to theatres. It also has Priyamani in the cast. The posters from the film have already become a discussion point with fans.

Roberrt: Darshan's Kannada thriller was supposed to release in April but was postponed. Directed by Tharun Sudhir, the film also has Jagapathi Babu, Ravi Kishan and Asha Bhat in the cast. Darshan is supposedly playing a layered character in the film, and the promos have notched up millions of views. This will probably be among the first big Kannada films to release in theatres when they open.

Kurup: Based on a real life criminal and one of the most wanted killers in Kerala, this film has Dulquer Salmaan playing the wily Sukumara Kurup. Directed by Srinath Rajendran, the film is Dulquer's most expensive project yet. Considering the air of mystery that still surrounds Sukumara Kurup, who is said to have committed a murder for insurance fraud over three decades ago and has evaded arrest since, the film is likely to open with great hype.