Darshan and Tharun’s second film, Kaatera, ended 2023 on a high note for the duo. The Rs 100 crore+ grossing film is still in some theatres and dropped on OTT recently
Challenging Star Darshan and filmmaker Tharun Kishore Sudhir are turning out to be quite the hit combination. After a cameo in Tharun’s Chowka, Darshan did Roberrt with him, which, despite delays caused by the pandemic, did well in theatres when it eventually came out. Their second, Kaatera, came out at the end of December and went on to become a runaway hit. The film is still playing in select movie halls, even though it is now available to stream on Zee5 Kannada, and now comes news that Darshan and Tharun will reunite for a third film as well.
After Roberrt, it was reported that Tharun and Darshan were looking at doing a historical on the life of freedom fighter Sindhura Lakshamana, even though there is a 1977 film on the subject. Eventually, the duo decided on Kaatera instead, which, though not a biopic, touched upon a very real issue that plagued farmers of the state in the 70s.
Kaatera, written by Jadesha K Hampi and Tharun, was considered experimental for Darshan, considering that despite its mass elements, it was not in a typical commercial movie mould. Darshan played the title role of Kaatera, a blackshmith in Bhimanahalli, a village in which farmers were oppressed not only by the landlords of the land they toiled on, but also for hailing from a lowly caste. When the government decides to provide relief to the farmers with the Land reform Bill, the landlords oppose. How Kaatera fights for the rights of the farmers forms the crux of the movie.
In early 2023, it was reported that Darshan was looking at collaborating with Yajamana and Kranti makers V Harikrishna and Shylaja Nag again, but the box office failure of the latter has changed that. The Challenging Star is currently working on a film with Tarak maker Prakash Veer, called Devil, following which he will collaborate with Kariya maker Prem for a film to be produced by KVN Productions.
The film with Tharun will either be after Devil or after Prem’s as well, making it #D58 or #D59. There is also a speculated project to be produced by Sathya Jyothi Films in Darshan’s lineup, so it remains to be seen in what order, the films will get made eventually. The first look of Devil will be unveiled at 11.55 pm on February 15, ahead of Darshan's birthday.