For an avid movie watcher, sequels are always, at least on paper, an exciting proposition. There was the Mission Impossible series that began in 1996 and ran into six sequels successfully. Fast and Furious has had 8 parts in a span of two decades, with two more lined up.
Back home, we have had some successful franchises—Nadodikattu, In Harihar Nagar, CBI series, Punyalan Agarbathis and Aadu. Sequels are essentially character-driven and the time span has seldom posed a hindrance if it is well-made. Of course, there have been misses like Sagar Alias Jacky, a sequel to Irupatham Noottandu. Chenkol, on the hand, which came after Kireedam was more plot-driven. Here’s a quick look at the sequels freshly announced in Malayalam cinema!
Bilal: Announced last year commemorating Big B’s 10-year anniversary, Bilal is said to be a prequel to the stylish action thriller that announced Amal Neerad’s arrival in Malayalam cinema. Bilal being Bilal John Kurishingal, the titular character of the film. He is the modern-day Phantom — the man from nowhere, who walks with slow deliberate strides, gaze unwavering. Inscrutable, unsmiling and a do-gooder to boot, he speaks in crisp, gruff one-liners with just the right degree of menace that spells doom for his antagonists.
Bilal is said to be based on the events that shaped the man. This announcement was met unanimously with a positive response from social media. Of course, Mammootty will reprise his role as Bilal.
Kottayam Kunjachan 2: The iconic badass Kottayam Achayan (played by Mammootty) from the 80s who packed a mean punch, loved and boozed with abandon, was a trailblazer in Malayalam cinema. The sequel has been announced more than a decade later and will be directed by someone known for his madcap comedies—Midhun Manuel Joseph. It will be interesting to see what new elements will be brought to this sequel and whether Kunjachan will age on screen.
Aadu 3: It’s probably the one franchise that started with a box office flop. But the positive response to the DVDs not only gave it the status of an iconic comedy but also prompted the makers to go for a sequel—Aadu 2, though not as entertaining as the first edition, still managed to rake in enough moolah at the box office. So, it’s not rocket science as to why the same team came up with Aadu 3. Shaji Pappan’s double coloured mundu was a nice addition to Aadu 2, so wonder what’s in store this time!
Madhura Raja: The sequel to the superhit potboiler, Pokkiri Raja, headlining Mammootty and Prithviraj, the announcement of the film has been long pending. The name has been borrowed from the lead character—Madhura Raja alias Pokkiri Raja. The shooting has already begun, but the film doesn’t feature Prithviraj, instead a Tamil star has been roped in. Otherwise the cast and crew remain the same. Peter Hein’s stunts, of Pulimurugan fame, will be another attraction.
Lelam 2: Lelam was a 1997 crime thriller written by Renji Panicker and directed by Joshiy. Exactly two decades later, the film will have a sequel written by Panicker and helmed by his son, Nithin Renji Panicker who had previously directed the controversial Kasaba. The one actor missing in the sequel will be the late MG Soman, who had a powerful presence in the original. Suresh Gopi will play the hero, of course.
Pretham 2: The first one had a novel character, a mentalist Don Bosco who eventually solves the mystery of the ghost. From the posters it’s clear that Don will headline the narrative, hopefully solving yet another mysterious ghost story. Jayasurya, who was spotted in an impressive bald plate and quirky kurtas will once again play the mentalist, and Ranjith Sankar will be the director.