Hollywood has had its fair share of sequels -- franchises are known to rake in the moolah with every instalment. And now Indian filmmakers seem to be taking a cue from the former. A wave of sequels will wash over Bollywood this year. And while the cast and story have changed in some of the films, the premise for films such as Bhootnath Returns, Singham 2 and Ragini MMS 2 hasn’t really been meddled with. Here are some of the sequels one can look forward to this year.
Three years after the original film’s release, director Abhishek Chaubey returns with the sequel on January 10. Here the main characters Babban (Arshad Warsi) and Iftekhar (Naseeruddin Shah) move from Gorakhpur to the town of Nawabs, Mehmoodabad, where they meet Madhuri Dixit’s Begum Para, who holds mushiaras to choose a husband for herself. One will see Madhuri Dixit taking to a gun after Mrityudand. Her character is said to have grey shades in the film. Naseeruddin Shah and Madhuri’s previous outings include Rajkumar and Tridev. Co-produced by Vishal Bhardwaj and Shemaroo, the film also has Huma Qureshi starring opposite Arshad Warsi.
'Ragini MMS 2'
The sequel to Ragini MMS has been directed by Bhushan Patel. The film is a horror-thriller and has Sunny Leone playing the main lead. She plays an actress in the film that has an ensemble cast, including Parveen Dabas Sahil Prem, Sandhya Mridul and Divya Dutta. The story picks up from the climax scene in the original film where Ragini is found unconscious on the road.
After delivering a bumper hit with Chennai Express that starred Shah Rukh Khan, filmmaker Rohit Shetty is now back to collaborating with Ajay Devgan for Singham 2. Scheduled to release on Independence Day this year, the film’s heroine has still not been finalised – though word on the street has it that Kareena Kapoor has bagged the role. In this instalment, Singham moves from a small town to a bigger one after being cleared of corruption charges in the original.
'Bhootnath Returns 2'
After a hiatus of six years, Bhootnath is back with Amitabh Bachchan reprising the title role. The sequel to the film is being directed by Nitesh Tiwari, who also helmed the television commercials for Kaun Banega Crorepati. While the original had Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla in it, the sequel’s cast includes Usha Jadhav, who won the national award for her Marathi film Dhag; and Anurag Kashyap, who will be playing a film director. Slated to release mid-April this year, the film might see Ranbir do a special number in it.
Sunny Deol’s last directorial venture was Dillagi (1999); with Ghayal 2, he returns to direction after a gap of over 14 years. The film is about a father and daughter and has Sunny playing the father; the hunt is still on for the girl to play his daughter in the film. Written by Shaktimaan, who also wrote Gadar, the film also has Om Puri and Prakash Raj in it. Sunny will be taking over the reins from Rajkumar Santoshi, who had directed the 1990 film Ghayal.
'Shaadi Ke Side Effects'
Director Saket Chaudhary returns with the sequel to this Mallika Sherawat and Rahul Bose-starrer after seven years. The film, that has an interesting pairing of Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan, deals with marital problems. Vidya essays the role of a contemporary, modern woman - completely different from her past work. She plays a woman who works in an ad agency and is married to guy named Sid, which incidentally is the name of her real-life husband as well.
Kamlesh Pandey, writer: There are no storytellers left today; I think filmmakers have run out of ideas and stories. To add to it, they can’t seem to recognise the potential of a new story. They are insecure and now think that their only safety net is a sequel to a hit film. I am not against sequels per se but one has to realise that a sequel should take the franchise to a newer height and for that, it needs to be better than the original. The original idea should be revisited in a new light.
Komal Nahata, trade analyst: Sequels are an easy way out because they cash in on the loyalty of the fan base established by the original. That's why producers often keep in mind the possibility of a sequel when the movie’s climax is being scripted. Audiences expect the sequel to surpass the original or at least be as good. However, some producers dish out substandard fare in the name of sequels. In the long run, such films will surely sound the death knell for sequels in Bollywood.