We’ll see actor-director duos, who’ve delivered several hits in the past, re-collaborate this year — from Padmavati (Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh) and Tubelight (Salman Khan, Kabir Khan) to Crack (Neeraj Pandey, Akshay Kumar). 2017 will also see successful franchises return (Badrinath ki Dulhania, Dabangg 3). The hit writer-director (Apurva Asrani, Hansal Mehta) duo, who gave us one of the finest films of last year Aligarh, will collaborate again in 2017 for Simran. Films we’ve long awaited, that were stuck due to production and Censor Board issues, will finally hit the screens this year. So here go all the films I’m keeping my eyes peeled for in 2017. upcoming Bollywood films
1. Raees (January 26, 2017)
No other trailer in the recent times created a frenzy among fans as this one, for reasons obvious. Shahrukh Khan. But what’s more thrilling is seeing him play a dark character (a change from the recent spate of roles he’s been doing). Add Nawazuddin Siddiqui and director Rahul Dholakia who gave us the critically-acclaimed Parzania to it and you can have my money already! 28 days is a long wait.
2. Padmavati (November 17)
After two successful collaborations in Ram Leela (2013) and Bajirao Mastani (2015), the trio (Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone) will return with period drama Padmavati, based on the story of Sultan Allauddin Khilji. But unlike the previous two films, this is not a love saga between the leads. Ranveer plays a dark character. Talking about his character he was quoted in an interview saying, “I am absolutely petrified. It takes a lot out of you. Sometimes you feel empty… Hopefully, after Padmavati, I will do something light to keep a balance. I need time to recover. I am on the threshold of entering a completely uncharted territory.”
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Bollywood’s costliest film so far, Padmavati will be made on a budget of Rs 190 crore.
3. The Ring/Rahnuma (August)
Imtiaz Ali’s working-titled, romantic drama brings together Shahrukh Khan and Anushka Sharma. Their third outing together, The Ring has already created enough noise on social media with pictures from the sets of Prague shared recently. Shahrukh plays a tour guide, and Anushka a Gujarati girl. The film is mostly shot in Europe (Prague, Amsterdam, Budapest), with some bits back home in Punjab. A Red Chillies production, The Ring releases mid-August. I like how Shahrukh has lately been more experimental in his choice of films – Fan, Dear Zindagi and Raees. Though it doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s always dished out a diverse variety. He’s one of the few actors who fits in as perfectly in a Yash Chopra film as in a Mani Ratnam or a Bhansali film. (You might like: An Open Letter to Shahrukh Khan)
4. Sanjay Dutt’s biopic
After the 2014-blockbuster PK (where Ranbir Kapoor played a cameo), Rajkumar Hirani roped in the actor to play the lead in his next venture, a biopic on actor Sanjay Dutt. Starring alongside him would be Sonam Kapoor (apparently plays Madhuri Dixit, who Dutt dated) and Anushka Sharma (plays a journalist). Ranbir and Sonam, who we last saw in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Sawariya (their first film together), will reunite after 10 years. The biopic is schedule for a December release.
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One of the most controversial writers of the post-independence era, Saadat Hasan Manto has been the subject of as much scrutiny as admiration. But how well do we know the man from the writer? Nandita Das is directing a biopic on the Indo-Pakistani writer, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the titular role. A short film, a prelude to the feature, was released recently. It’s one of the most interesting films to look out for in this year’s line-up. Manto also features Rasika Duggal, Shashank Arora, Shabana Ami, Javed Akhtar.
6. Badrinath Ki Dulhania (March 10)
The team of the 2014-hit Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (Karan Johar, Shahshank Khaitan, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan) will return with the next installment in the franchise. Alia Bhatt and her feisty onscreen chemistry with Varun Dhawan have me looking out for this one.
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7. Phillauri (March 24, 2017)
March looks packed with light, breezy romcoms. After Badrinath ki Dulhaniya, get ready for Phillauri starring Anushka Sharma and the immensely talented Diljit Dosanjh, the star of 2016.
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After NH10, Phillauri is Anushka’s second home production. Anushka and her brother Karnesh’s Clean Slate Films and Fox Star Studios have jointly produced the film. Anshai Lal’s directorial debut will also feature actor Suraj Sharma (of Life of Pi fame).
8. Tubelight (June 26)
After Ek Tha Tiger and the immensely successful Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015), Salman Khan and director Kabir Khan will come together for Tubelight. Set in the backdrop of Indo-China war (1962), Tubelight will see Chinese actress Zhu Zhu star opposite Salman. After Kashmir in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Kabir explores the picturesque Ladakh and Manali in this one.