Over the last eight months, B-Town had almost come to a standstill following the coronavirus pandemic. While technicians, along with directors, worked from home on the post-production, the actors sat twiddling their thumbs. Finally, in August, Akshay Kumar was the first A-List actor to flag off a new film. The espionage thriller, ‘Bell Bottom’, was shot in Scotland in a start-to-finish schedule. Since then, other actors are slowly getting back in action, assessing the on-ground scenario with a few days of patchwork or a passing cameo. But post Diwali, the big four-Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Ranveer Singh, and Ranbir Kapoor-will jump into the battlefield, to embrace the new normal and kick off new projects.
Salman, who got back to the set on October 2, after the longest break in his 30-year career, to wrap up his action-thriller Radhe without any casualties, will roll with the Mahesh Manjrekar directorial, Antim, from November 16. He plays a cop, pursuing a gangster, played by brother-in-law Aayush Sharma, in the Hindi adaptation of the Marathi crime drama Mulshi Pattern, which will be shot at a village on the outskirts of Pune, and studios in Karjat and Mumbai.
Shah Rukh returns with a full-fledged feature film after almost 900 days. Pathan, directed by Siddharth Anand, rolls in the city before the month end. Interestingly, just before he flew to the UAE to root for his cricket team, SRK shot a cameo for Aamir Khan’s next in the capital which served as a test shoot of sorts. The action-thriller also features John Abraham and Deepika Padukone, with Salman in a cameo, and is looking at a late 2021 release.
Shah Rukh’s Chennai Express director, Rohit Shetty, may still be waiting to release the Akshay Kumar-fronted cop drama ‘Sooryavanshi’, but he is all set to move to his next, ‘Cirkus’, with Ranveer Singh and Varun Sharma in double roles, along with Pooja Hegde and Jacqueline Fernandez as the leading ladies. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, the whacky comedy also takes off in Mumbai next week, followed by schedules in Ooty and Goa. It is confirmed for a winter 2022 opening.
Since Sanju in 2018, Ranbir Kapoor has not shown up on the big screen. For the last three years, he’s been shooting ‘Shamshera’ and ‘Brahmastra’. While the period drama has finally wrapped up, the fantasy action adventure is currently being shot in a city studio with two songs remaining for January. But RK will finally roll with a new film this month, the Luv Ranjan-directed yet-untitled rom-com which pairs him with Shraddha Kapoor for the first time. A major chunk of the story is set in Spain, but the film will start in Mumbai with the makers taking a call on the overseas schedule depending on the pandemic given that Spain is seeing a second surge currently.
With these A-Listers back in action, makers and exhibitors are heaving a sigh of relief while the audience can look forward to a starry 2021.