The production house will execute some of its ambitious plans in the coming year
Far from being content basking in the near-universal critical acclaim for Kai Po Che, Disney-UTV has revealed ambitious plans to breach the Tamil citadel. Operating on the principle that nothing succeeds like success, Disney-UTV has re-teamed with director Sundar C (whose wife happens to be Kushboo). Sundar is known as a dab hand at comedy, which though not the most sophisticated, never stoops to the level of Anees Bazmee or Sajid Khan. The last Disney-UTV-Sundar collaboration was the superhit comedy Kalakalappu @ Masala Café. The new film is titled Theeyaa Vela Seiyyanum Kumaru and stars Siddharth, Hansika, Ganesh Venkatraman and one of the biggest box office draws in the south these days, comedian Santhanam. Shooting is on at a frenetic pace and the film is due a June release. Shooting locations are Hyderabad, Kumbakonam and Chennai with two songs to be shot in Japan.
G Dhananjayan, Chief – South Business, Studios, Disney-UTV, said, “Our association with Sundar C has been hugely successful with Kalakalappu in 2012 and we are glad to continue this with Theeyaa Vela Seiyyanum Kumaru this year. Comedy films have found a wide audience in the south with many recent successes and we are hopeful to create another good film in this genre. We are working towards an eclectic slate for this year and this project is yet another step in that direction. As a studio, it has been our constant endeavour to bring across the right mix of content for our consumers like we have done with our Hindi slate.”
Disney-UTV’s Settai, directed by R Kannan and starring Arya, Anjali, Hansika, Santhanam and Premgi Amaren is due an April release. Sigaram Thodu, starring Vikram Prabhu and directed by Gaurav will release in December.
Meanwhile Bharatiraja’s iconic 1977 film 16 Vayathinile that launched the career of Bhagyaraj, brought Goundamani to prominence, featured powerhouse performances from Kamal Haasan and Sridevi and had a memorable breakthrough performance from Rajinikanth, has been restored and will see a re-release in cinemas shortly. Bharatiraja and key crewmembers attended a trial screening recently and were very happy with the results. This is a welcome trend in Tamil cinema, following the success of the restored Karnan rerelease and allows a whole new generation to enjoy spanking new versions of classics.
Bollywood is also getting into the re-release mode with Mughal-E-Azam, Hum Dono and Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron coming back to cinemas in recent years. Of course, the re-release that all eyes will be on is the restored 3D version of Sholay. Rights holder Sasha Sippy and his team are working around the clock to get the print ready in time for the Cannes Film Festival’s celebration of 100 years of Indian cinema. We await in slavering anticipation.