Rajinikanth continues to bet on his upcoming films, with 2.0 and Karthik Subbaraj's Petta in the pipeline

Sreedhar Pillai

October 30, 2018 14:01:33 IST

It looks almost certain that Rajinikanth will continue with his acting career, as he dilly-dallies regarding the launch of his political party.

Last week he completed the shoot of his upcoming film Petta, directed by Karthik Subbaraj, 15 days before schedule and now the film is getting ready for a Pongal (January 2019) release. The big buzz in Kollywood now is that Rajinikanth has agreed, in principle, to do AR Murgadoss’ next film. Murgadoss is currently gearing up for Vijay-starrer Sarkar, which is slotted for a Diwali release.

File image of Rajinikanth. AP

File image of Rajinikanth. AP

A few days back he told members of the Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM), a precursor to his to-be launched party, that he will never allow those eyeing money and posts to join his movement. Rajinikanth said, “ I want a change in the political space and I’m committed to ushering in a change without money power. Don’t join my outfit if you are looking for party posts. I want to bring about a change in the current politics. Please first look after your family and their needs and don’t join for trappings of money and lure of posts”.

Rajinikanth expressed his views in light of recent disciplinary action against some office bearers and a "misinformation campaign" that such steps were taken without his knowledge. Defending the action, he said only those who had acted against the RMM's principles were removed. The superstar’s baby steps into running a political outfit ran into trouble immediately as DMK mouthpiece Murasoli ran a sarcastic Q & A format under the pseudonym Silanthi (Spider in Tamil) in reply to a peeved “fan” of the actor. The satirical piece titled “He is the black sheep meh, meh, meh”, actually is a punchline from the superstar’s film Enthiran (Robot).  It accused Rajini of being a puppet in the hands of unknown individuals and being supported by communal elements.

Rajinikanth, unlike others, is very sensitive about how he is viewed by rival parties. After speaking tough to his fans he issued a press release on the day the Mursoli article was published, in which he took a U-Turn and went out of his way to appease fans. Rajinikanth said, “Thank you for understanding the bitter facts and the fairness I had explained, I am honoured to have fans like you. No force can separate us. Let whatever path we take be a fair one.”

Two days later, the DMK mouthpiece Murasoli apologised for the remark against Rajinikanth. The DMK party organ, which has never put out an apology to any political party or individual wrote – “It has been brought to our notice that the article on Superstar Rajinikanth which appeared in Murasoli has hurt some good hearts. The editiorial team has has been advised to be cautious while publishing such write-ups.” Buzz is that Rajinikanth spoke to DMK chief Stalin, who did not want to upset him at a time when Lok Sabha elections are round the corner.

Poster for 2.0/Image from Twitter

Poster for 2.0/Image from Twitter

Meanwhile Rajinikanth is now concentrating more on his acting career than on politics. He is yet to name his political party, almost a year after its launch. And rumours that he will announce the name this year on his birthday has been dispelled by the star. The buzz is that he is playing a wait-and-watch game, and is in no mood to take the political plunge at the risk of jeopardising his acting career. Political analysts and parties feel that he has a loyal band of followers but whether that could be transformed into votes remain doubtful. The superstar has also shown disinterest in getting into the nitty-gritty of Dravidian politics and is yet to tour the state. He has also refused to comment or speak about major issues plaguing the state. This is in sharp contrast to arch rival Kamal Haasan who has always expressed his views more openly.

The superstar is genuinely more interested in his films than politics. His film 2.O is all set for a release on 29 November, pegged to be budgeted at Rs 450 crores. The Shankar-directed sci-fi, action adventure is the arguably the biggest Indian film ever made and brings together Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar together for the first time. The teaser of the film had created huge hype and now the trailer will be out on 3 November. A very big function is being planned in Chennai for the trailer launch of the film. The film releasing in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi on 29 November is expected to take a gargantuan opening worldwide.

Rajinikanth in Karthik Subbaraj's Petta.

For the first time in the last two decades, Rajinikanth will have back-to-back releases in less than 50 days. Following the release of 2.O on 29 November, his next release will be Petta, which is said to be a Pongal release on 10 January, 2019. Petta is now undergoing post-production and is said to be an action packed multi-starrer with a array of stars like Vijay Sethupathi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sasikumar, Bobby Simhaa, Trisha, Simran and others. The trade feels that both these films will work big time at the box-office and Rajinikanth will continue to do films.

Meanwhile, rumours are rife that Rajinikanth has heard and given a nod to AR Murgadoss' next. The film will reportedly have Rajinikanth playing a larger-than-life hero and the story will be modelled as a vintage MGR film with a message. The shoot of the film will commence early next year. At the same time Rajinikanth continues to make news and has not said anything regarding his party. He is sticking to his first statement that he will jump into full time politics only in 2021, when assembly elections are due.

Updated Date: Oct 30, 2018 14:11 PM