After being locked for nearly a year, theatres are in desperate need of more than one blockbuster smash, which Akshay Kumar can give if Covid stays under check. The daily coronavirus infections that peaked at all-time highs in May are waning. Restrictions are gradually being lifted. In addition to eight film projects, the superstar is producing a web series.
Unless something unexpected happens, conditions should improve in a few months, similar to how they were in early March when Bollywood titles began to hit theatres, with Roohi even enjoying a reasonable box-office run. Theaters, which have been closed for almost a year, need more than strong performance to resume. The industry sector anticipates “biggies” accomplishing the trick, but it will need more than one, if not a string of them. This is where Akshay Kumar, who is known in Bollywood as the “one-man industry,” comes in.
The celebrity has nine confirmed projects in various stages of production, including eight films and one web series. Sooryavanshi, Bell Bottom, Atrangi Re, Prithviraj, Bachchan Pandey, Rakshabandhan, Ram Setum, Oh My God 2, and the web series The End are among them. But that’s not all. According to industry sources, Akshay has already given his blessing to at least a number of more films, with formal announcements expected soon.
Except for Ajay Devgn and John Abraham, who have four to five films in the works, none of the other superstars have more than a couple of projects in the works. With the way Akshay Kumar is moving, you can bet that by the time Sooryavanshi hits theatres, the 53-year-old actor will have lined up ten more projects. What makes this unique is that these aren’t films that will be released four or five years from now. If theatres reopen in time for Independence Day, Akshay Kumar may be able to complete all of his signed projects by the end of 2022.
In the meanwhile, don’t be surprised if he squeezes in another feature or two. Of course, there is the art of time management at work here. Akshay Kumar, who is known for wrapping his films in three months on average, has proven that he has the ability to release four films in a year. The year 2019 was the finest of his professional career, with three Rs 200-crore club superhits—Mission Mangal, Housefull 4, and Good Newwz—and a Kesari to kick it all off when it easily crossed Rs 150 crore. Without the epidemic, there would have been three to four more releases in 2020.
Is this Akshay Kumar’s year?
At the time, Sooryavanshi had been done, and Prithviraj was preparing for the final schedule. While waiting for that to resume in Mumbai, Kumar went ahead and finished Bell Bottom in Scotland, and this at a time when the first wave was wreaking havoc on the world. He came back and completed Atrangi Re in record time as well. The same can be said with Bachchan Pandey, which is currently in post-production.
The actor would have finished most of Ram Setu if it hadn’t been for the second coronavirus outbreak. Nonetheless, after fully healing from COVID, Akshay Kumar is back in action and has already begun filming for the remaining parts of Prithviraj. Rakshabandhan is also being shot, and it will soon be time for him to start OMG-Oh My God 2. The End, on the other hand, necessitates a detailed timetable due to its action theme and the fact that the production is spread out due to the web series format. It will be necessary to wait for it to be installed on the flooring. In the midst of it all, a film or two will undoubtedly arrive to keep him occupied.
While he does provide a certain minimum guarantee at the box office, he also provides a wide range of content. At the heart of it all, his films are focused on a family audience, which is one of the reasons they do so well on satellite and OTT, and why Laxmii clocked record figures on both channels. It’s no surprise that the industry is banking on Akshay Kumar to turn things around. Prepare for the Akshay Kumar Film Festival, which is sure to fill the theatres and make the cash registers ring.
Journalist by profession, Adity is a media and communication enthusiast. She is passionate about Bollywood, TV, lifestyle and celebrity reporting.