With the second wave upon us and governments imposing more stringent lockdowns, especially on large congregations like events and films, big budget films continue to struggle to find a pan-Indian release date that will help them recover their investments. The following films have backed out of the 2021 summer race:
Director: Karthik Subbaraj
Cast: Dhanush, Aishwarya Lekshmi
Expectations are high for Jagame Thandhiram after the success of Dhanush-starrer Karnan. It looks like the story of a local gangster in London. Originally scheduled for a 2020 release, the film is releasing on Netflix on June 18, 2021 in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam, and Kannada.
Director: Nelson Dilipkumar
Cast: Sivakarthikeyan, Priyanka Mohan
Directed by Nelson (who is also directing Vijay’s next), the film was to release in 2020. It was later scheduled for the last week of March 2021 when state elections came in the way. With the second wave looming, it looks like Doctor might go to an OTT platform after all. Anirudh’s music for the film is already clocking tens of millions of views.
Director: H Vinoth
Cast: Ajith, Huma Qureshi
One of most expected films on the list, Ajith fans haven’t even had a glimpse of their star in the film. The film was supposed to release last year and with parts of the film requiring foreign locations, progress has been slow. The film is likely to release in August 2021.
Director: Ajay Gnanamuthu
Cast: Vikram, Srinidhi Shetty, Irfan Pathan
Cobra features Vikram in many avatars from an old man to ‘Cobra’, the genius mathematician who solves crimes using just math. It was originally set to get a May 2020 release but the pandemic prevented the team from completing the film’s shooting. It is delayed again now, with no official date for a theatrical release.
Director: SP Jananathan
Cast: Vijay Sethupathi, Shruti Haasan
Slated to release in May, late SP Jananathan’s Laabam looks as ideologically-committed as the rest of his filmography. It also features Vijay Sethupathi, who appeared previously in the director’s Purampokku. This one could go to OTTs too, and perhaps, that’s a more conducive space for the kind of films Jananathan makes.
Director: Venkat Prabhu
Cast: Silambarasan, SJ Suryah, Kalyani Priyadarshan
The film is hugely awaited for the Venkat Prabhu–Silambarasan–Yuvan combo and is supposed to be a political comedy thriller. The makers had originally planned to release the film in May 2021, but plans are uncertain now with the new set of lockdown rules with either total lockdown or 50% occupancy.
Director: AL Vijay
Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Arvind Swami
Featuring a terrific Kangana Ranaut as Jayalalitha and Arvind Swamy as MGR, the film is sure to inspire (and also ruffle a few feathers). The trailer drew positive responses and the film was expected to release at the end of April. It has now been postponed without a new release date.
Director: Sekhar Kammula
Originally slated to release on April 16, Fans of romantic dramas may have to wait a little longer now. What could have been a perfect summer watch – with Naga Chaitanya and Sai Pallavi in the lead – is not going to hit theatres anytime soon. Will the monsoon season at least be kind to us?
Director: Shiva Nirvana
Cast: Nani, Ritu Varma
Even before the makers of Tuck Jagadish could go on a full-fledged marketing blitzkrieg, the second wave hit us badly and the team decided to push the movie to a later date (from April 23). This Nani and Ritu Varma starrer is an action film; hence, it’s going to be a different ground for the Natural Star.
Director: Venu Udugula
Cast: Rana Daggubati, Sai Pallavi
The teaser for Virata Parvam looks promising. It’ll be interesting to catch two young actors in challenging roles. Sai Pallavi and Rana Daggubati have played edgy characters in the past. But this movie is going to put a new spin on their careers and that’s positive news. The film was originally scheduled to release on April 30.
Director: Koratala Siva
Cast: Chiranjeevi, Ram Charan
Acharya will be welcomed with open arms and whistles in movie theatres whenever it releases. But it’s not going to be the original May 13 date. The movie stars the father-son duo Chiranjeevi and Ram Charan, after all. Here’s hoping that they will hit a home run with this action drama.
Director: Srikanth Addala
Cast: Venkatesh, Priyamani, Prakash Raj
Narappa is a remake of the Tamil movie Asuran which won Dhanush the National Film Award for Best Actor. Venkatesh can certainly match the aura of the Tamil star, but will the Telugu remake send a strong anti-caste message, like the original? The film’s May 14 release date has now been pushed back.
Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham
Cast: Mohanlal, Arjun, Suniel Shetty, Keerthy Suresh, Manju Warrier, Prabhu
This epic stars Mohanlal as Kunjali Marakkar IV, the naval commander of the Calicut Zamorin. It must be hard to coordinate the theatrical release of a mammoth film that’s releasing in several languages. It was finally going to hit screens in May when the second wave pushed it to 12 August 2021.
Director: Mahesh Narayanan
Cast: Fahadh Faasil, Nimisha Sajayan, Joju George
The Fahadh Faasil-starrer was supposed to release on the Eid weekend of 13 May. The film tells the story of the enigmatic Sulaiman Malik who looks to be both a leader of his community and also on the wrong side of the law. There is no official news on the release date yet.
Director: Rajeev Ravi
Cast: Nivin Pauly, Indrajith Sukumaran, Joju George
Set against the backdrop of the unique Mattancherry culture and the inhuman system followed to allocate daily wage work at the harbour, the film premiered and competed at the 50th International Film Festival of Rotterdam. Also originally slated for an Eid weekend release, it has now been pushed back due to the second wave.