Fans of the Superstar are eagerly awaiting the first look of Siva's Annaatthe which is hitting the screens on November 4
Rajinikanth with daughter Aishwarya from the film's location
A few months before before AR Murugadoss's Darbar hit the screens, it was officially announced that Rajinikanth's next project would be under the direction of Siva, who's last outing, Viswasam, was a blockbuster. Tamil movie buffs considered it as a welcome relief for the filmmaker as he had helmed four continuous projects with Ajith, from 2014 to 2019.
With Imman being roped in as the composer for the project, which was tentatively titled as Thalaivar 168, Sun Pictures, which bankrolled the movie, announced that it will have a story set against a village backdrop. The project went on floors on the eve of Superstar's birthday. Legendary singer SP Balasubrahmanyam, who passed away last year, had sung his last song for Annaatthe.
After the blockbuster hits Enthiran and Petta, the mega hit combo of Superstar @rajinikanth and @sunpictures come together for the third time for Thalaivar 168, Superstar’s next movie, directed by @directorsiva#Thalaivar168BySunPictures pic.twitter.com/AL5Z6ryjbG— Sun Pictures (@sunpictures) October 11, 2019
Who are the actors playing pivotal roles in the movie?
Siva has pulled off an interesting casting coup for the film. It has an ensemble cast, involving Khushbu, Nayanthara, Meena, Keerthy Suresh, Prakash Raj, Soori, Sathish, Vela Ramamoorthy and George Maryan among others. Jagapathi Babu and Abhimanyu Singh are expected to play antagonists in the film. Khushbu, Prakash Raj and Meena last teamed up with Rajinikanth in the '90s, while Nayanthara was last seen paired opposite the Superstar in Darbar. Keerthy, Soori and Sathish are sharing screen space with the star for the first time. Most of the actors came up with short videos on social media expressing their happiness in joining hands with the numero uno star of Kollywood.
Why did the makers stop shooting temporarily earlier this year?
The team of Annaatthe had resumed shooting after the government granted permission for all the film crew to commence production post the first lockdown. But a few crew members were tested positive for COVID-19, after which the team had to temporarily put filming on hold. After a few months, the team resumed shooting in Hyderabad, and they planned shooting in such a way that Rajini's portions were wrapped up in a long schedule. The Superstar wrapped up the portions in May, and a video of his wife Latha welcoming him with traditional aarti did the rounds on social media.
Will his decision to quit politics affect the film's prospects at the box office?
A discussion of whether the star will make his long-delayed political entry or not pops up whenever the release of his films are round the corner. However, the scenario would be different for Annaatthe as he had announced his decision not to foray into politics a while ago, and confirmed it for one last time a couple of months ago by dissolving the outfit Rajini Makkal Mandram. There used to be dialogues pertaining to his political entry in many of his films and fans would lap them up instantly.
While enjoying a Rajini movie on the big screen, fans also assume him to be the messiah who is capable enough to save Tamil Nadu. With a good number of his hardcore fans heartbroken over the U-turn on his political plunge, it has to be seen the movie will open at the box office.
When is Annaatthe releasing in theatres?
The makers had announced earlier this year that the movie will hit screens on the occasion of Deepavali, on November 4. KS Ravikumar's Muthu (1995), which had Rajini and Meena playing lead roles, was the last film of the star which had a release on the festival. Though the team were keen on bringing the film to theatres on Pongal 2021, the delay in opening of theatres in Tamil Nadu and other states after the first lockdown made them push its release to the latter half of 2021. Though Sun TV is the film's satellite partner, its digital streaming partner is yet to be confirmed.
When is the film's much-awaited first look expected to release?
Though Annaatthe's theatrical release is less than two months away, fans are slightly concerned about the team not having released its first look, teaser and trailer. Sources say that there is likely to be an update coming on the occasion of Vinayagar Chaturthi. Fans hope it is the much-awaited first look. Though they got to see a glimpse of his look in a couple of stills from the location, they have been longing for an official picture of their matinee idol to be released by the team. It's been a while since their Thalaivar has appeared in a film set in a village background, and they hope the first look is worth the wait.
Why has the film hit headlines now with regard to its release?
There were speculation that the movie will lock horns with Vinoth's Ajith-starrer Valimai at the box office. Going by the latest reports, the clash is inevitable, though an official word is awaited on this. Films of Rajini and Ajith took on each other in 2019, with Petta and Viswasam releasing on the same day for Pongal festival. Interestingly, Viswasam had Siva at the helm then. A few exhibitors have already taken to social media to opine that avoiding a clash is the best thing to do for the industry in the current scenario. Fans of both the stars have already started challenging each other on social media. It's just a matter of time to know if Thalaivar and Thala will clash again at the box office.