When Sushant Singh Rajput delivered his first 100-crore hit with ‘M.S Dhoni The Untold Story’, one believed his career would skyrocket after that. While he was flooded with several offers post the success of the film, a couple of the films he had signed did not take off. While films like ‘Chandamama Door Ke’ and ‘Takadum’ were shelved, he had to opt out of ‘RAW/Romeo Akbar Walter’ because of date issues.
In 2017, he had just one release in the form of ‘Raabta’ which bombed at the box-office. Things were expected to get better in 2018 as he had two big releases namely, ‘Kedarnath’ and ‘Drive’. While the former reunited him with his debut film ‘Kai Po Che’ director Abhishek Kapoor, the latter was his first collaboration with Dharma Productions.
While there are murmurs about the makers of ‘Drive’ being unhappy about the final product and readying it for a release on a digital streaming platform next year, ‘Kedarnath’, after going through a lot of issues during the production phase, will finally be releasing on 7th December. Apart from a cameo in the forgettable ‘Welcome To New York’, Sushant did not have a single release to his name this year.
But, he is all set to make up for his absence from the big screen this year by appearing in as many as five films over the next twelve months. Of course, there is always a chance of one of the films moving ahead but unless that happens, he will have the maximum releases for any young, mainstream actor in the longest time. Let us analyse the five films he is touted to be seen in the next year.
1. Kedarnath: The film was initially being produced by a plethora of producers including KriArj Entertainment, T-Series, Balaji Motion Pictures and Abhishek Kapoor’s Guy In The Sky Pictures. A legal battle between the Prernaa Aroraa and Arjun N Kapoor owned KriArj Entertainment and Abhishek Kapoor stalled the film for a while. Later, Ronnie Screwvala took over the project and the film was slated to release in October. Till a few weeks back, everybody thought the film will be releasing next year. Karan Johar, too, had stated on Twitter that ‘Simmba’ will be Sara Ali Khan’s debut film. Though the film is in the midst of a potential controversy at the moment, the other issues have been sorted out and it is ready for a release. Sushant had earlier delivered a hit (‘Kai Po Che’) with the director which, incidentally, revolved around a real-life incident. The promotional material that has come out so far has been appreciated by the audience and one waits to see how the film fares when it releases in the first week of December.
2. Drive: After a hit debut in ‘Dostana’, Tarun Mansukhani did not make a film for ten years. Though there were talks of ‘Dostana 2’, the film was never really made. He did make ‘KoochiKoochieHotaHai’, an animated version of ‘KuchKuchHotaHai’. The trailer of the film came out several years back but the film, for reasons best known to the makers, never made it to the theatres. Tarun was supposed to make a comeback to the movies with ‘Drive’, a film which Dharma Productions and Fox Star Studios had intended to develop into India’s first car franchise. According to some reports, the folks at Dharma and Fox are not too happy with the way the film has shaped up and are planning to release it on a digital streaming platform. One is not sure about the content of the film but a film mounted on such a huge scale would have made for a good watch in the theatres.
3. Sonchiriya: AbhishekChaubey’s dacoit drama, too, was supposed to release this year but just like ‘Drive’ missed its date with the audience. The film is set in the infamous badlands of Chambal and has an ensemble cast comprising of Sushant, BhumiPednekar, Manoj Bajpayee, Ashutosh Rana and Ranveer Shorey among others. Earlier slated to release in October this year, the film will now hit the screens on 8 January 2019. AbhishekChaubey has earlier made films like ‘Ishqiya’, ‘Dedh Ishqiya’ and ‘Udta Punjab’, two of which (the first and the last) have done moderately well at the box-office. Judging by his past work, one expects ‘Sonchiriya’ to be a raw and gritty affair.
4. KizieAur Manny: Mukesh Chhabra, one of the top casting directors in the country, was supposed to make a film for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s company. That film did not happen and now, Chhabra was signed on to direct the official Hindi remake of the Hollywood flick ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ which itself was an adaptation of a book of the same name. Halfway through the film, Mukesh found himself in the middle of a controversy and had to bow out of the film. Whether a new director takes on the project or the film is shelved, that is something time will tell. Though the essence of the film is expected to be similar to the original, one does not think Sushant and newcomer SanjanaSanghi will play 16-17 year olds like the protagonists in the original film/book.
5. Chhichhore: The official announcement of this film was made recently and this, without a doubt, is the biggest of the five films mentioned in this list. Backed by Sajid Nadiadwala and directed by Nitesh Tiwari, ‘Chhichhore’ traces the lives of a bunch of college friends across a span of several years. The poster, which shows the actors in their young and older shelves, has generated a lot of curiosity and the audience is keen to see what the ‘Dangal’ director does next.