Akshay Kumar has a busy 2019 with five releases in Kesari, Housefull 4, Good News, Mission Mangal, Sooryavanshi,

Gautam Chintamani

Feb 21, 2019 15:00:50 IST

For a few decades, the trend of the bigger the star, lesser the number of films they release in a year has been the norm for popular Hindi cinema. This formula has worked brilliantly for most of the A-List stars, but it is going to change a bit this year. Akshay Kumar is slated to feature in five films, in the least.

 Akshay Kumar has a busy 2019 with five releases in Kesari, Housefull 4, Good News, Mission Mangal, Sooryavanshi,

Akshay Kumar and Parineeti Chopra in a still from Kesari

One cannot recall the last time a superstar might have had so many films in a single year in the recent past. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, it was quite common for actors to feature in more than five or six films in a year. In fact, Rajesh Khanna had 13 releases in 1985.

Kumar has maintained a decent track record when it comes to the number of films releasing in the year where. Unlike an Aamir Khan, he does not have too many years between releases. Or even unlike a Shah Rukh Khan, who usually looks at one film per year. Kumar has had more than one film releasing in a calendar year but this year, he is all set to outdo his own record and feature in SooryavanshiKesari, Housefull 4Mission Mangal and Good News.

First up would be Kesari that is based on the legendary Battle of Saragarhi, where an army of 21 Sikhs soldiers fought against 10,000 Afghans in 1897. There were multiple versions of the film being made simultaneously with Ajay Devgn also working on his own film on the same subject but Kumar’s Kesari, which is co-produced by him as well, and directed by Jatinder Singh, would hit the screens before others.

Cast of Mission Mangal. Image from Instagram @akshaykumar

Sharman Joshi, Kirti Kulhari, Taapsee Pannu, Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha and Nitya Menen are part of Mission Mangal. Image from Instagram @akshaykumar

Based on Zarreen Khan’s book Koi Good News?, Good News reunites Kumar with Kareena Kapoor Khan and also features Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani. Rohit Shetty’s Simmba already revealed the character Kumar would play in his upcoming Sooryavanshi. Besides Devgn’s Singham, Simmba also had Kumar in a cameo as the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) officer Veer Sooryavanshi. How soon before Shetty announces a mega project where Singham, Simmba and Sooryavanshi all congregate is anybody’s guess.

Off late, Kumar has been best identified with socially conscious, action and nationalistic themed films like Toilet: Ek Prem KathaRustomBabyAirlift and Jolly LLB 2. He has largely ignored out and out comedies. The mix of films that he is featuring in this year will also see Kumar return to a typical Bollywood-esque comedy (Housefull 4), action (Sooryavanshi), romance-drama (Good News) and finally, contemporary history (Mission Mangal). The film is believed to revolve around the women engineers working on India’s Mars Orbiter Mission and besides Kumar, it also features Kriti Kulhari, Taapsee Pannu, Sonakshi Sinha, Vidya Balan, Sharman Joshi and Nithya Menon. Incidentally, a US-based filmmaker Radha Bhardwaj has filed a lawsuit to stop the film as she claims Mission Mangal infringes on the copyright of her original screenplay. Bhardwaj had shared the script with photographer/producer Atul Kasbekar in 2016, who then apparently shared it with Vidya Balan, who stars in the film.

A still from the sets of Housefull 4

A still from the sets of Housefull 4

If you thought Kumar has a full platter then wait till you hear more. There has been a lot of talk about the next instalment of Hera Pheri finally getting off the ground. Despite the five-film line-up, Kumar is not really stretching himself too much. Both Mission Mangal and Good News seem to have him in a parallel presence. Kumar in Mission Mangal could be reminiscent of Kevin Costner in Hidden Figures, and both Dosanjh and Advani are the ‘main leads’ in Good News. With Housefull 4 following the franchise template, Kumar would share the screen with a motley cast that includes the usual suspects Riteish Deshmukh, Boman Irani and Chunky Pandey, besides Kriti Sanon, Bobby Deol, Kriti Kharbanda and Rana Daggubati, who replaced Nana Patekar in the film following allegations of sexual harassment by Tanushree Dutta.

Unlike Aamir and SRK, who have have just one project each on the anvil, the former focusing on his Mahabharat and the latter getting ready to play Rakesh Sharma in Saare Jahaan Se Achcha despite rumours suggesting that Shah Rukh Khan might have quit. Nonetheless, Kumar is far from being in the 'less is more' mode; not in 2019 at least.

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Updated Date: Feb 21, 2019 15:23:20 IST