2017 seems to be big on sequels – not only are sequels to two superstar movies releasing this year, but the industry seems to have discovered a new promotional strategy in them. Indeed, at the success meet of Thupparivalan held last Thursday, director Mysskin confirmed the sequel to the film. “We’d always wanted to make a sequel,” he said, “and now that the public loves Kaniyan Poongundran, we are more enthusiastic about making the second part.”
Kamal Haasan starrer Vishwaroopam 2, Rajinikanth’s Enthiran 2.0, Saamy 2, Sandakozhi 2, Sathuranga Vettai 2, Rajathanthiram 2, Maari 2, Kanchana 3 are other officially announced films, which are currently under production. While some of these are prompted by the success of the previous films, and the others merely cash in on the popularity of the title, Vishwaroopam 2 is perhaps the only film which was planned in two parts right at the inception.
Not all films warrant a sequel, of course. Maari, the Balaji Mohan directorial, was panned across the media, and the sequels to Saamy and Sandakozhi will hit the screens more than a decade after their first parts.
The VIP franchise is perhaps a telling example. The second movie, released last month, did not go down well with the critics. Silverscreen wrote:
“This film is also an example that a female director alone cannot ensure that a film treats its women with respect. Soundarya Rajinikanth is at the helm of things here, and yet, she allowed her male lead to spout misogyny and mansplain stuff. There’s little of her directorial capabilities visible in the film. If at all, this film seems to follow the same trajectory that VIP did.”
However, according to Dhanush, the franchise would continue with VIP 3 and 4 as well – something that was announced at the press meet of VIP 2. “I’m almost done writing VIP 3‘s script. Kajol is likely to be a part of VIP 3. Once the script is complete, I will decide on the cast and crew,” Dhanush had said.
The sequel to Enthiran (2010) – primarily a star vehicle which featured Rajinikanth and Aiswhwarya Rai Bachchan, did not take off as planned. Shankar moved on to I and Nanban, and then returned to 2.0 – which is being made on a budget of Rs 350 crore. The film, which began production in 2015, is scheduled to release next year.
Vishwaroopam, the biggest hit of 2013, reportedly collected Rs 200 crore at the box office. Kamal Haasan released the Vishwaroopam 2 poster in May. He tweeted:
With love my country and it’s people pic.twitter.com/3zdir7u1Gh
— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) May 2, 2017
Singam is yet another franchise that launched in 2010. Singam 2 came out in 2013 and Singam 3 in 2017. While Singam only featured Anushka, Singam 2 had Hansika, and Singam 3 featured Shruti Haasan alongside Anushka.
Talking about the impact of the Singam films on his career, Suriya said at the audio launch of Singam 3, “I have done so many films in my career, but only certain films created an identity for me. Singam films have given me an unique identity. These are important films in my career. Whenever Hari and I come together for a film, it is expected to do good business at the box office.”
Not all sequels are a continuation of the previous films, however. Lingusamy said that he has only retained the Vishal and Rajkiran portions from Sandakozhi in Sandakozhi 2, and rest will be completely different from the first part. Also, Santhuranga Vettai 2 is not directed by the filmmaker who made the first part. While Vinoth directed Sathuranga Vettai, Nirmal Kumar is directing the sequel.
“The sequel to Sathuranga Vettai will be about hi-tech swindling done using advanced technology,” Nirmal Kumar told Silverscreen. The sequel, which is extensively shot in Malaysia, has higher expectations due to its star cast – Arvind Swamy and Trisha. Also, the sequel to the heist thriller Rajathanthiram (directed by Amid) is being directed by Senthil, who had produced the first part.
In the same way, Muni franchise’s next film, Kanchana 3, was recently announced by Lawrence. Though all three parts are in no way related, Lawrence called the films ‘sequels’ and retained the names Muni and Kanchana. “Since the name ‘Kanchana’ has been our lucky charm, we are retaining the name alongside ‘Muni’,” Lawrence said.
The only film that perhaps deserves a sequel is last month’s release Vikram Vedha, which was critically acclaimed and topped the box office charts. “We didn’t think of a sequel while we were making the film,” director Gayathri told Silverscreen, “There was a demand for a sequel after the film released, probably because of the cliffhanger ending.”