Big Fat Hindi Films of 2016
If you are a Hindi film buff, you will find it handy to plan out your trips to the theatre. If you are not, you will still want to read about which star is doing what next. So here goes:
To release: 8 January
2016 starts on a Friday but nobody perhaps wanted to release their film on a day when you would be recovering from the New Year's Eve party. So no big release except *Killing Veerappan*. But the Friday next starts with a big bang - as big as Big B.
Wazir is about the uusual bonding of a wheelchair-bound grandmaster, played by Amitabh Bachchan, and a brave former anti-terror cop (Farhan Akhtar) facing a dangerous opponent in Neil Nitin Mukesh.
The Vidhu Vinod Chopra production is directed by Bejoy Nambiar who has made a mark with films with a twist like Shaitaan and David, which also featured Neil. Wazir also stars Aditi Rao Haydari along with John Abraham.
To release: 15 January
The film that ensured superstardom for Sunny Deol was Ghayal. Now the 1990 film has a sequel. Deol, of course, makes a comeback to celebrate the quarter century. Not only is he the star in this, he has also written and called for the cuts.
The question is whether this one will match up to the original, especially in he absence of Rajkumar Santoshi, who made that iconic film?
To release: 22 January
1990 seems to be in vogue. This one takes you to the Gulf War, when Saddam Hussain invaded Kuwait and promises the tale of an India businessman there, played by Akshay Kumar, stuck in that country with other Indins trying to flee.
To release: 29 January
This Hindi-Tamil bilingual promises to be an interesting sports drama directed by Sudha Kongara. Madhavan plays a boxing coach with a temper who is hell bent upon shaping a young girl (Ritika Singh) into a boxing star.
To release: 19 February
This biography of Neerja Bhanot may be the fillip that Sonam Kapoor's career needs. Bhanot became the youngest recipient of Ashok Chakra in 1986 for trying to save the passengers of the Pan Am Flight 73. She was the senior purser of the aircraft that was hijacked by terrorists. In the process Bhanot lost her life.
Shabana Azmi plays the mother of the protagonist in the movie directed by Ram Madhvani, while Shekhar Ravjiani, of Vishal-Shekhar fame, makes his acting debut.
To release: 4 March
Prakash Jha will be back with the sequel to Gangaajal, one of his most successful movies. It's back to Bihar and baddies. And cops. This time Priyanka Chopra leads the charge as SP Abha Mathur. Interestingly, director Jha has cast himself in what seems to be a pivotal role.
To release: 1 April
Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor play a couple that challenges 'normal' gender equations. Adman-turned-filmmaker R Balki also casts Amitabh Bachchan, just like his previous outings, and this time there's Jaya Bachchan, too.
Bonus: Music by Illayaraja.
To release: 15 April
A superstar playing a superstar and his own fan - that's Fan for you: the year's first really big release, just in time for the summer vacations and the new year celebrations for people in many parts of the country.
Add to that the Yash Raj banner and boy, does it get bigger! The younger of the two roles SRK plays in Fan has a distinct look, thanks reportedly to Greg Cannom, who has three Academy Awards in his kitty. Like Manish Sharma's previous outings, Band Bajaa Baraat, Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, this one also seems centred in Delhi.
To release: 13 May
That gait, those upturned collars, that lucky charm hanging from his neck... they all read the character right. And then they read between the lines: "I am known for three things - for following Khuda, for my marriage and for fixing matches."
Biopics are catching on in this part of the world, for sure. But portraying as controversial a figure as Mohammed Azharuddin is perhaps a first. Of course, it's worth an effort.
To release: 13 May
The launch vehicle for Anil Kapoor's son Harshvardhan tells the age-old tale of Mirza-Sahiban, a Punjabi folklore of star crossed lovers. Saiyami Kher plays Sahiban to Harshvardan's Mirzya in this uncharacteristic attempt by Rakesh Omprakash Mehra.
To release: 3 June
After the roaring success of an unconventional film like Barfi, expectations are high from the director-actor duo of Anurag Basu and Ranbir Kapoor. They are co-producing this film. It stars Katrina Kaif opposite Kapoor, who reportedly plays a teenage detective.
But the movie, which also stars Govinda, has been a long time in the making and there are doubts over it being wrapped up in time.
To release: 8 July
Mark the date. For this Eid will be the mother of all Bollywood clashes - off screen: Salman Khan-starrer Sultan and Raees, featuring SRK, are scheduled to be released on the same day.
In Yash Raj films directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, Sallu plays "Haryane ka sher" Sultan Ali Khan, a wrestler. His beefing-up for the film has generated quite a lot of interest as has the look of Shah Rukh's for Rahul Dholakia's Raees.
Seems the script about 'baniye ka Dimaag, Miyanbhai ki daring' impressed SRK so much so that he decided to back the movie himself.
But who will the audience back? Or will they root for both.
To release: 12 August
Another clash-date. While not much is still known about these films, the heavyweight names associated with them makes it an intesresting guess: whether all three would finally release together.
Mohenjo-daro is a love story by Asutosh Gowarikar set in the Indus Valley Civilization, starring Hrithik Roshan.
Rustom will be the third collaboration between Akshay and director Neeraj Pandey after the successful Special 26 and Baby.
In Baadshaho director Milan Luthria is expected to showcase Ajay Devgn who has given him hits such as Kachhe Dhaage. The two are working together after a decade.
To be released: 14 October
Vishal Bhardwaj's next is a romance drama in the backdrop of the Second World War featuring Saif Ali Khan, Kangna Ranaut and Shahid Kapoor.
To release: 28 October
Karan Johar comes back this Diwali to directing with a love-triangle of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Fawhad Khan. Or is it a love-quadruple!
Whatever it might be, the fact is Kjo's return to an established starcast - his last outing was a newcomer-driven Stuedent of the Year - should produce something that would make the Box Office happy.
The same day Ajay Devgn is planning to bring on Shivaay, reportedly a 'high octane' action caper which he has produced and directed as well as acted in.
To release: 23 December
As usual, Aamir Khan sticks to the Christmas slot which has proved lucky for him several times, including for 3 Idiots and Ghajini. In Dangal, directed by Nitesh Tiwari, Aamir plays wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat who taught his daughters wrestling too. They made headlines by winning medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
To release: late-2016
Why did Kattappa kill Baahubali? The answer to that and other questions is currently being shot by SS Rajamouli. He promises to make Part 2 "more emotional and with more grandeur" than the first Baahubali. And to release it in 2016.