Director: SS Rajamouli
Cast: NT Rama Rao Jr, Ram Charan Teja, Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt
Release date: To be announced
Languages: Telugu, Hindi, Tamil
You’re either on the SS Rajamouli hype train, or you’re not. After delivering the two-part blockbusters of the Baahubali films in 2015 and 2017 respectively, the director’s next venture has been one of the most highly anticipated films for a while. Built around two revolutionaries in 1920s India (played by NT Rama Rao Jr and Ram Charan Teja), the film is expected to use crowd-pleasing tropes of patriotism, larger-than-life action, and a pan-Indian cast (including Ajay Devgn and Alia Bhatt) to deliver yet another big-screen spectacle.
Director: Shakun Batra Cast: Deepika Padukone,
Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ananya Panday, Rajat Kapoor
Release date: January 25th, 2022 Language: Hindi
After spending nearly half a decade developing his dream project around Rajneesh and his ashram in Oregon, Batra finally moved on to a more pragmatic project around what seems like interpersonal dynamics between a group of young people played by Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Ananya Panday. Batra has previously spoken about films that have inspired his style including Woody Allen’s observational comedy and America’s mumblecore films, and his third venture seems to be mining the messiness of adult relationships.
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Cast: Alia Bhatt, Vijay Raaz, Indira Tiwari, Seema Pahwa
Release date: February 18th, 2022 Language: Hindi
It doesn’t matter if you like him or not. But it’s difficult to dismiss Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s unique way of constructing high-voltage moments for the big screen. Some (rightly?) call him out for his shallow aesthetics. However, it’s also true that Bhansali is one of the last of his kind. Anything he makes would surely garner interest, and when it’s based on material like Hussain Zaidi’s book, Mafia Queens of Mumbai and stars one of the most exciting actors in Hindi cinema (Alia Bhatt), it’s worth taking note of, at the very least. One can speculate from the outset that Bhansali won’t care too much for facts, but it will be exciting to watch Bhatt come out of her comfort zone, in the role of a sex worker from Kamathipura who slowly ascends the ladder to become an influential figure in the area.
ROCKETRY: THE NAMBI EFFECT
Director: R Madhavan
Cast: R Madhavan, Simran
Release date: April 1st, 2022
Language:English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada
Apparently a passion project for R Madhavan, it will also see the actor take on the duties of a director for the first time. Based on the life of ISRO scientist, Nambi Narayan, who was falsely accused of espionage, Madhavan’s film seems to be a leap unlike anything we’ve seen recently in Indian cinema. It might also be an interesting time for this given the political climate where non-conformists are labelled ‘anti-nationals’. It’s a high-wire act, and one that might result in a performance of a lifetime, or a cautionary tale for the rest of R Madhavan’s career.
JAYESH BHAI JORDAAR
Director: Divyang Thakkar Cast: Ranveer Singh, Shalini Pandey
Release date: February 25th, 2022
You just never count out a Ranveer Singh performance, whether it’s his simmering intensity in a Zoya Akhtar film, or his hyperactive presence in a Rohit Shetty film. Singh seems to be entering the Ayushmann Khurrana space, with a film seemingly taking on a “social issue” in a tier-II setting. Co-produced by Maneesh Sharma, who directed Singh in his debut film, Band Baaja Baraat, it could possibly be a throwback to something as enjoyable as Bittoo Sharma. Knowing how much Singh likes the challenge of an accent or a mannerism, this one’s going to be a film to watch out for.
Director: Anubhav Sinha
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana
Release date: March 31st, 2022
Anubhav Sinha has been on a roll since his ‘second coming’ with Mulk, and it’s going to be interesting to see him reunite with his lead actor from Article 15. Believed to be ‘topical’ like Sinha’s last three films, this one’s been touted as an ‘action-thriller’ and sees Ayushmann Khurrana sporting a slick military haircut.
Director: Ayan Mukerji
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, Nagarjuna
Release date:September 9th, 2022
Ayan Mukerji’s fantasy epic has been in the works for nearly seven years considering the elaborate VFX work. The film is reported to be the first in a ‘trilogy’, and if the motion poster is any indication, then we should manage our expectations. However, it could also turn out to be something that surprises its audience, and hopefully opens a new chapter for fantasy superhero films, one that’s not merely trying to imitate the Marvel/DC fare. And one that could potentially change the game for homegrown fantasy projects.
LAAL SINGH CHADDHA
Director: Advait Chandan Cast: Aamir Khan,
Kareena Kapoor Khan, Naga Chaitanya
Release date: April 14th, 2022 Language: Hindi
Aamir Khan’s next is the government bond equivalent of a film, one that is sure to pay off. A remake of Robert Zemeckis’ much-loved film Forrest Gump for which Tom Hanks won his second consecutive Academy Award, Khan is set to play the protagonist with a below-average IQ, who leads the most colourful life inadvertently intersecting with many significant moments in history. The film also has Kareena Kapoor Khan, presumably in the role originally of Jenny (played by Robin Wright), as well as Naga Chaitanya, probably in a role based on Bubba (played by Mykelti Williamson). It will be interesting to see the real-life events that the makers choose.
Director: Pushkar-Gayathri Cast:Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan
Release date: September 30th, 2022 Language: Hindi
Just like the 2017 original Tamil film witnessed the clash of two titans: R Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi, even the Hindi remake can boast of a cast comprising Saif Ali Khan and Hrithik Roshan in the roles of Vikram and Vedha respectively. A film that subverts the formula of the cop drama, navigating the murky territory between right and wrong, it’s going to be interesting to see if the Hindi remake goes deeper down the rabbit hole. Examining a twisted cop and a holier-than-thou gangster, the director-duo blurred the line between “good” and “bad”. Hopefully, the Hindi remake dives deeper into the core philosophy.
Director: Sriram Raghavan
Cast: Katrina Kaif, Vijay Sethupathi
Release date: December 23rd, 2022 Language: Hindi
Sriram Raghavan’s next is all you need to know as to why this is one of the most awaited films in 2022. Raghavan had been preparing for a war film called Ekkis (starring Varun Dhawan), however later pivoted to this one after the pandemic made the former project less feasible. Like most of Raghavan’s films before release, remarkably little is known about this one too. If the sheer mastery of Andhadhun was any indication, then we should be ready for a Sriram Raghavan at the peak of his powers in his next one. The odd choice of clubbing actors like Katrina Kaif and Vijay Sethupathi together, makes it yet another intriguing prospect.