Akshay Kumar, Rajinikanth's 2.0 release postponed to Republic Day 2018 weekend
Over Friday, 21 April 2017, a day of 'breaking' entertainment news stories (with Baahubali actor Sathyaraj apologising for his nearly decade-old anti-Kannada comments), this development came to light:
The release of Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar's big budget 2.0 — the sequel to the highly successful Enthiran/Robot — has been postponed.
Raju Mahalingam, the COO of Lyca Production, the producers of 2.0 posted on Twitter: “Our most ambitious project, Shankar's 2.0,shifts to 25 January 2018. It moves from (its) earlier Diwali release to achieve world class standards in VFX.”
The news came as a bombshell to the trade, which had pitched the film as the big Diwali 2017 firecracker.
However, it did avert one major three-way clash, with noted trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeting: “With 2.0 getting postponed to 25 January 2018, the clash is between Aamir Khan's Secret Superstar and Ajay Devgn's Golmaal Again this Diwali."
The shoot of 2.0, directed by Shankar, is complete, except for some patchwork. In south India, the producers are already looking at alternative content to fill up the gap left by the postponement of the Rajinikanth biggie. Traditionally, Diwali is one of the biggest festival seasons in Kollywood, dominated by big star releases.
The reason given for pushing the release date is that the special effects and VFX required for the project are taking a long time. The VFX is being undertaken by a leading studio in the US. Raju Mahalingam told Firstpost, "2.0 is the costliest Indian film ever and the VFX work has to be done carefully to give it that world class look. The team needed some more time, so we decided to push it by three months from Diwali 2017 to the Republic Day 2018 weekend.”
Actually January is a better date for 2.0 (releasing in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu) as there are no big banner/superstar films announced for the same day. In north India, Akshay Kumar's star power is sure to make the film work. In the south too the new date makes practical sense — Chennai’s north-east monsoon usually comes around Diwali, leading to floods in key collecting areas of Chennai city and Chengalpet.
Meanwhile, Rajinikanth has moved on to his next project — the shoot of his new film with Pa Ranjith (his Kabali director) in Mumbai. The buzz is that the film (produced by Rajinikanth's son-in-law Dhanush) is based on the life and times of the Mumbai-based smuggler and don, Haji Mastan. Pa Ranjith has denied that his film is inspired by Mastan, however. Rajinikanth is counting on this film to be a quickie summer of 2018 release.
So 2018 will be a crucial year for Rajinikanth, with two major releases.