From Akshay Kumar to Salman Khan to Ranveer Singh, and from Deepika Padukone to Kangana Ranaut to Alia Bhatt, they have all had their fans waiting restlessly for a new release for months owing to the pandemic. With theatres opening up again, and with people trickling back, the trade hopes cinemas will do a booming business again at some point this year.
Not surprisingly, the mainstream factory has been working overtime to ensure a steady line-up of releases is ready for the months ahead. It's all about big stars and big line-up for the big screen. Only, if the Covid situation comes under control there will be big ticket sales, too.
While release dates of many films are yet to be announced, here is a list of the anticipated releases, due for big screen opening in 2021.
The subject, star cast and production scale made Kabir Khan's new directorial one of the most talked-about Bollywood film last year. It continues to be equally anticipated as it gears up for release in 2021. "83" narrates the story of India's first-ever cricket World Cup victory in 1983. In the movie, Ranveer Singh stars as the underdog team's captain Kapil Dev while Deepika Padukone plays Kapil's wife Romi Dev. A handpicked cast reprises cricketing icons as Sunil Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath, K. Srikkanth, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sandeep Patil, Yashpal Sharma, Madan Lal, Roger Binny, Syed Kirmani, Kirti Azad, Balwinder Sandhu, and Sunil Valson along with team manager Man Singh and Farokh Engineer. Shot on actual locations including Lord's, the movie is expected to open in the first quarter of 2021.
Rohit Shetty's ambitious "Sooryavanshi" will finally come alive on the big screen in 2021. Akshay Kumar will be seen as ATS officer Veer Sooryavanshi on a lookout for terrorists planning a deadly strike on Mumbai. Ajay Devgn and Ranveer Singh will reprise their roles of Singham and Simmba respectively in special appearances. Actress Katrina Kaif will be seen as Veer Sooryavanshi's wife while Jackie Shroff plays the antagonist. The film is expected to release in March.
CHANDIGARH KARE AASHIQUI
Ayushmann Khurrana stars alongside Vaani Kapoor in the modernday love story by Abhishek Kapoor. The film is the first mainstream film in India to wrap up shooting amid the Covid pandemic.
THE SONG OF SCORPIONS
Irrfan Khan's last film will be released on the big screen in early 2021. It revolves around an independent young tribal woman, who tries to overcome a brutal betrayal so as to find her voice. Irrfan will be seen in the role of a camel trader in the Anup Singh directorial.
RADHE: YOUR MOST WANTED BHAI
Salman Khan will be back on the screen with yet another bigger than life story. Directed by Prabhudheva, the film was scheduled to release in 2020 but got pushed due to the Covid crisis. The makers are planning an Eid 2021 release for the film, co-starring Disha Patani.
SS Rajamouli's much-anticipated lavish period drama is set to be based on the lives of two legendary freedom fighters Alluri Seetharama Raju and Komaram Bheem. It stars Ram Charan, Jr NTR, Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt, and Olivia Morris. The multi-lingual movie is said to be made on the rumoured budget of Rs 450 crore, and the teaser is expected to be out on January 26.
While the official announcement is awaited, there is buzz that superstar Shah Rukh Khan will return on the big screen with the film, which also reportedly stars John Abraham, Deepika Padukone, Dimple Kapadia and will reportedly feature a cameo by Salman Khan.
LAAL SINGH CHADDHA
The movie will reunite Aamir Khan with Kareena Kapoor Khan on the screen. "Laal Singh Chaddha" is the Hindi remake of Robert Zemeckis' 1994 Hollywood film "Forrest Gump" starring Tom Hanks, which won multiple Oscars. The Advait Chandan directorial is slated to arrive on Christmas.
Ranveer Singh and Rohit Shetty are reuniting to adapt Shakespearean comedy for the Bollywood screen. It is an adaptation of William Shakespeare's play "The Comedy Of Errors", with Ranveer essaying a double role. The film is set to release in the winter of 2021.
The war action movie will see Ishaan Khatter in the role of Brigadier Balram Singh Mehta. The film is directed by "Airlift" maker Raja Krishna Menon. Veteran Brigadier Balram Singh Mehta of the 45th Cavalry tank squadron, along with his siblings, fought on the eastern front during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971, and the film recounts his story. It is based on his book, "The Burning Chaffees". It is expected to release late 2021.
Kannada superstar Yash will return with the sequel to KGF. The two-part fictional mob drama traces the journey of the dreaded criminal, Rocky. It will also feature Sanjay Dutt as Adheera, the antagonist of the story. The teaser will be out on January 8, 2021.
Amitabh Bachchan, Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor star in the ambitious Ayan Mukerji-directed superhero adventure, which has been billed as the first part in a trilogy. The film also stars Nagarjuna and Mouni Roy.
Kangana Ranaut returns with "Thalaivi", a biopic of late Tamil politician J. Jayalalithaa. The bilingual movie will trace the journey of the late leader from silver screen to politics. It is directed by AL Vijay, and also stars Arvind Swami, Prakash Raj, Madhoo and Bhagyashree.
Actress Alia Bhatt will be seen in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Gangubai Kathiawadi". According to reports, the movie revolves around Gangubai Kothewali, a brothel owner and matriarch.
Former beauty queen Manushi Chhillar will be walking into Bollywood alongside Akshay Kumar through the historical drama. Based on the life and heroism of Prithviraj Chauhan, the film is directed by Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi, who helmed the television epic "Chanakya" and the period drama "Pinjar".
SARDAR UDHAM SINGH
Vicky Kaushal will bring alive the story of martyr Udham Singh, who assassinated Michael O'Dwyer, the former lieutenant governor of Punjab in pre-Independence India, to avenge the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of Amritsar in 1919. Singh was subsequently tried and convicted of murder, and hanged in July 1940. The film is directed by Shoojit Sircar.
Aanand L. Rai's "Atrangi Re" brings together Akshay Kumar, Sara Ali Khan, Dhanush and Nimrat Kaur. Written by Himanshu Sharma, it is billed as a cross-cultural love story.
Inspired by true events, the film is set in the 1980s. Directed by Ranjit M. Tewari, the film also stars Akshay Kumar, Vaani Kapoor, Lara Dutta Bhupathi and Huma Qureshi. It is scheduled to release on April 2, 2021.
Shahid Kapoor's sports drama is a Hindi remake of a Telugu hit of the same name. The Hindi version is directed by Gowtam Tinnanuri, who had also helmed the 2019 original. The story is about a talented but failed cricketer named Arjun, who decides to make a comeback in his late thirties and play for India, in order to fulfil his son's wish. The film also stars Mrunal Thakur.
Actor Ajay Devgn's "Maidaan" will release on October 15, on the occasion of Dussehra. The film is inspired by the true story of Syed Abdul Rahim, who was one of India's greatest football coaches. Rahim, who manages the Indian national team from 1950 till his death in 1963, is said to have redefined modern Indian football.
Starring Akshay Kumar, the film celebrates the brother-sister bond, with Akshay dedicating the project to his sister, Alka Hiranandani. Expected to go on the floors next year, "Raksha Bandhan" is scheduled to hit the big screens on November 5.
Katrina Kaif stars with Ishaan Khatter and Siddhant Chaturvedi as desi ghostbusters in the horror comedy. The film is directed by Gurmeet Singh, who shot to the limelight directing episodes of hit web series as "Mirzapur" and "Inside Edge". Shooting of the film produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani started recently.
Taapsee Pannu plays a runner from the Rann of Kutch who fights for her identity and becomes an athlete. Priyanshu Painyuli plays Taapsee's husband in the Akarsh Khurana directorial. A date has not yet been announced.
SATYAMEVA JAYATE 2
Led by John Abraham and Manoj Bajpayee, the Milap Zaveri directorial is a sequel to the 2018 action drama, "Satyameva Jayate". Also featuring Divya Khosla Kumar, it is slated to release on May 12.
Actor Tiger Shroff will revisit his tough and rugged avatar for the action film set in a post-pandemic dystopian era. The film is planned as the first of a franchise. Shooting begins in mid-2021.
Teaser images of Farhan Akhtar's beefed-up frame to transform into an on-screen boxer have raised curiosity of fans. Director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra returns with his second sport-base subject with Farhan after the 2013 hit "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag". The film along features Paresh Rawal, Mrunal Thakur and Isha Talwar.
BHOOL BHULAIYAA 2
The second instalment of "Bhool Bhulaiyaa" stars Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani. It is directed by Anees Bazmee. The film was slated to release in 2020, but got pushed due to the pandemic.
The horror comedy stars Saif Ali Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Yami Gautam, Arjun Kapoor and Jaaved Jaaferi. It is directed by Pawan Kripalani, who is known for directing thrillers like "Phobia" and "Ragini MMS".
The suspense drama "Chehre" starring Amitabh Bachchan and Emraan Hashmi has been helmed by Rumy Jafry. "Chehre" also features Rhea Chakraborty, Siddhanth Kapoor, Krystle Dsouza, Raghubir Yadav and Annu Kapoor.
Priyadarshan returns with a sequel to his 2003 comedy hit. The film is billed as a spiritual successor to the original, and stars Paresh Rawal, Shilpa Shetty, Meezaan Jaffrey and Pranitha Subhash
OM: THE BATTLE WITHIN
Actress Sanjana Sanghi will join actor Aditya Roy Kapur in the action film. The action thriller is directed by debutant Kapil Verma. The makers hope to complete shooting of the film by March.
The film casts Rajkummar Rao opposite Janhvi Kapoor. Directed by debutant Hardik Mehta, the horror comedy is expected to narrate a story of a ghost who abducts brides on their honeymoons.
The multilingual action thriller film stars Allu Arjun and Rashmika Mandanna while Prakash Raj and Jagapathi Babu play supporting roles. Written and directed by Sukumar, the film will be released in Telugu along with dubbed versions in Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam languages.
KHUDA HAAFIZ CHAPTER 2
Written and directed by Faruk Kabir, the second chapter of "Khuda Haafiz" stars Vidyut Jammwal and Shivaleeka Oberoi. It will be on floors in the first quarter of 2021.
Starring Sidharth Malhotra and Rashmika Mandanna, the espionage thriller is based on India's most ambitious covert operation. Inspired by real events set in the 1970s, it is the story of India's mission in the heart of Pakistan. It will go on floors February 2021.