Kannada star Puneeth Rajkumar, who died unexpectedly in October last year, will be seen in the role of a soldier in his swansong James. The late actor's elder brother Shiva Rajkumar on Wednesday, January 26, unveiled the first look of the film on the occasion of India's 73rd Republic Day. The poster shows Puneeth in army fatigues, holding a machine gun, with images of a battlefield in the background.
Taking to Twitter, Shiva Rajkumar shared the poster of Puneeth's movie James and wrote, "Appu as James.. Happy Republic Day to all." James is written and directed by Chethan Kumar. The movie also stars Anu Prabhakar, Srikanth, R Sarathkumar, Tilak Shekar, and Mukesh Rishi, among others. According to media reports, the film is set to release on March 17, coinciding with Puneeth's birth anniversary.
Puneeth Rajkumar, who was popularly known as 'Powerstar' for his strong performance in a number of commercially-successful Kannada films, passed away at the age of 46 after suffering a cardiac arrest in October 2021. According to reports, James is slated to have a solo release, which means that no other Kannada film will be released from March 17 to March 22, to honour the late actor.
The Kannada star's last big screen release was action-thriller Yuvarathnaa in April 2021. James marks the second-time collaboration between Puneeth and Priya Anand, after the 2017 action film Raajakumara.
Meanwhile, streaming service Amazon Prime Video recently announced that they would release three of Puneeth's home production films — Man of the Match, One Cut Two Cut and Family Pack — directly on their platform. The cast of Man of the Match, a modern-day reflection of human emotions and social challenges, stars upcoming actors Atharva Prakash, K Jayaram, Dharmanna Kadur and Nataraj, among others. One Cut Two Cut, which is a mad-cap comedy, narrates the story of a day when everything went haywire. It features Danish Sait, Prakash Belavadi and Samyukta Hornad. Family Pack is a romantic comedy starring Likith Shetty and Amrutha Iyengar in lead roles.
Amazon Prime Video statement also said that five of Puneeth Rajkumar's most memorable productions — Law, French Biryani, Kavaludaari, Mayabazaar and Yuvarathnaa — will be available for free viewing for a month, starting on February 1, to non-Prime members as well.