With the Coronavirus cases increasing day by day, the chances of cinema halls opening anytime soon also appear slim. Though the exhibitors are putting up pressure and inside reports state that theatres should start next month or latest by September, the Bollywood filmmakers, it seems, have lost patience. A couple of weeks back, the exhibitors got a jolt when as many as 7 films were announced as direct-to-OTT release, on Disney+ Hotstar. And now, they are in for a far bigger shock. The worldwide streaming giant Netflix is now all set to release its list of Bollywood films, which were originally supposed to release in cinemas, but will now arrive straightaway on their platform. The announcement is expected to be made on July 16, that is, two days from now.
A source says, “The list is tentative but mostly, these are the films that will be unveiled as Netflix originals to the media on the 16th.” These movies are as follows:
1. Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare
Starring Konkona Sen Sharma and Bhumi Pednekar, it is directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, who earlier made the acclaimed 2017 flick Lipstick Under My Burkha.
It stars Sanjay Dutt and Nargis Fakhri and was one of the first or probably the first Hindi film to be shot in Kyrgyzstan. Directed by Girish Malik, it is set in the Afghanistan city of Kabul and deals with the issue of child suicide bombers. Interestingly, its producer Rahul Mittra had, in March 2020, assured that the film would hit cinemas in October.
3. Ginny Weds Sunny
Directed by debutant director Puneet Khanna and produced by Vinod Bachchan of Tanu Weds Manu (2011) and Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana (2017) fame, this romcom stars Vikrant Massey and Yami Gautam. It was shot in real-life locations in Delhi and also in places like Ghaziabad, Noida, Karnal and Manali. The light-hearted flick is about Ginny and Sunny, who meet for a marital alliance, but she rejects him. Sunny then teams up with the mother, who becomes his love guru, and they together try to woo Ginny.
4. Indoo Ki Jawani
Starring Kiara Advani and Aditya Seal, this Nikkhil Advani production is about a feisty girl from Ghaziabad whose bizarre experience on a dating app results in a comedy of errors. This will be Kiara’s second Netflix film after the Karan Johar-produced Guilty, which was released in March this year.
It is supposed to be in the Life In A… Metro (2007) zone, which like Ludo, is also directed by Anurag Basu. The ensemble star cast includes Abhishek Bachchan, Rajkummar Rao, Aditya Roy Kapur, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra and Pankaj Tripathi.
6. Raat Akeli Hai
Netflix and Radhika Apte are like a match made in heaven. Hence, it’s no surprise that one of the films in the slate also includes a Radhika Apte-starrer. Raat Akeli Hai also stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Shweta Tripathi, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Ila Arun and Swanand Kirkire and marks the directorial debut of casting director Honey Trehan. As per reports, this crime thriller is set in the Uttar Pradesh of 1980s, and is about the journey of a man from a rookie cop to an experienced police officer.
7. The Girl On The Train
It is the official remake of the Hollywood film of the same name and stars Parineeti Chopra, Aditi Rao Hydari, Kirti Kulhari and Avinash Tiwary. Directed by Ribhu Dasgupta, it has been extensively shot in United Kingdom.
8. Anurag Kashyap’s next with Alaya F
This flick is reportedly titled Project 10 and is directed and produced by Anurag Kashyap. Shot extensively in UK, it stars Pooja Bedi’s daughter Alaya F, who earlier this year, made her debut with Saif Ali Khan-starrer Jawaani Jaaneman. Anurag has described the film as a ‘young love story’.
9. Ak vs AK
The title is actually a play on the initials of its lead actors – Anurag Kashyap and Anil Kapoor. It is directed by Vikramaditya Motwane and is based on a brash film director who kidnaps the daughter of a well-known movie star. Anil’s son Harsh Varrdhan will also be seen in the film in a cameo. This is the only film in the list which was always going to release directly on Netflix and was never intended for a theatrical run.
The source signs off by saying, “Netflix has also backed Dibakar Banerjee’s Manisha Koirala-starrer Freedom and Karan Johar’s The Other (tentative title) and it’s not sure however if these films will also be included in the slate. There’s a slim chance that all films out of these might not make it on the list but one thing is for sure – the announcement is sure to grab eyeballs. Watch out.”