The first half of 2024 should see the release of big-ticket films like Max, UI, Yuva, Martin or KD.
One of the biggest grouses that Kannada film audiences had about the year gone by was that there weren’t enough star-driven movies. 2024 should remedy that to a large extent, with most stars, barring Yash and Rakshit Shetty, set to be in theatres to enthral their fans. Here’s a look at what’s in store in 2024.
The Challenging Star was among the few who had not one, but two films in 2023 – Kranti and Kaatera. He has already begun work on his next with director Milana Prakash, a film called Devil, which could be a 2024 release after all.
The Century Star has two films for sure, Narthan’s Mufti prequel/sequel Bhairathi Ranagal, as well as composer Arjun Janya’s directorial debut, 45, which also stars Raj B Shetty and Upendra. Following the success of last year’s Ghost, the Hattrick Hero had also spoken about working on the sequel in 2024. He could do Ghost 2 or the Dalavayi Muddanna spin-off.
Kiccha Sudeep, who was last seen onscreen in 2022’s Vikrant Rona, is working on his next Max, which should be in theatres in the first half of 2024. He is also scheduled to return to direction with King Kichcha, a KRG Studios production.
Roaring Star Sriimurali’s last release was 2021’s Madhagaja, after which he began working on a film with Hombale Productions called Bagheera. Directed by Dr Suri, the film, which also stars Rukmini Vasanth, has been penned by KGF and Salaar maker Prashant Neel. It will be in theatres in 2024.
Real Star Upendra’s return to direction, UI, is one of the most talked about Kannada films and will be a 2024 presentation. The actor-filmmaker has been guarded about the subject of the film, releasing a teaser with no visuals earlier. A new teaser is expected shortly, with an official announcement about the same set for the second week of January.
Action Prince Dhruva Sarja’s much-delayed Martin should be in theatres this year. The AP Arjun directorial, produced by Uday K Mehta, has been pushed ahead from Dasara 2022, with the makers not yet confirming a final date with audiences. The makers of his next, KVN Productions, though, are gung-ho about bringing KD-The Devil, directed by Prem, to theatres in 2024.
Daali Dhananjaya has not had great success at the box office with his films in the last couple of years, but his upcoming slate does look exciting. He’s finished work on Parameshwar Gundkal’s directorial debut Koti, and should have the first part of Rohit Padaki’s gangster flick Uttarakaanda also in theatres this year. The latter will bring Ramya back to the screens.
Raghavendra Rajkumar’s younger son is widely believed to be the one to fill the void that the tragic demise of his uncle, Power Star Puneeth Rajkumar, created. Yuva is being launched by Hombale Films this year, with a film called Yuva, directed by Santhosh Ananddram, who had two hits with Puneeth for the banner – Raajakumara and Yuvarathnaa. The film was meant to be in theatres in December last year, but was pushed ahead to accommodate Salaar Ceasefire on that date instead. Yuva will now be in theatres on March 28.
The Kantara maker has not confirmed a 2024 outing for his ambitious prequel, Kantara: Chapter 1, but audiences remain hopeful that it will be in theatres this year. Unlike Kantara, which Rishab had made on a much smaller scale than the upcoming film, Chapter 1, will be massive, so chances are that it could get pushed to 2025.
Bheema is Vijay’s second directorial venture and is expected to be in theatres in the first half of 2024. The team has been releasing songs from the Charanraj musical at regular intervals in the run-up to the theatrical outing. This one too will be an underworld story.
What’s interesting about 2024 is that there are other films that are not necessarily star-driven, but warrant a trip to the theatres. Doodh Peda Diganth, for instance, begins the year with a comedy called Bachelor Party that’s coming to theatres on January 26. He’s also got a thriller called Edagaiye Apaghatakke Karana lined up. Vinay Rajkumar should have at least three confirmed releases – Ondu Sarala Prema Kathe (February 8), Pepe and Andondittu Kaala. Golden Star Ganesh will have Krishnam Pranaya Sakhi, while Prajwal Devaraj will bring Mafia and Gana to theatres. Sharan will have Choo Mantar, probably in February, as well as Avatara Purusha 2. Dia fame actors Dheekshith Shetty and Pruthvi Ambaar will have multiple releases, while Premier Padmini’s Pramod should have at least one, as also Vasishta Simha. 2024, by the looks of it, will be a busy year at the Kannada box office, with a stellar lineup of films.