Bigger is better? Do Bollywood sequels work better with bigger names?

Jul 10, 2014, 08:19 IST | Shameem Khan

Even as encouraging box office collections spawn sequels to films, actors/actresses from the original are often dropped in favour of leading industry names. We list a few instances

These days, a film’s success tends to pave the way for its sequel/s. Successful franchises are commonplace now even as producers, egged on by box office collections, pump in more money to make a sequel. However, what’s interesting is that more often than not, they prefer to cast a bigger name as opposed to the actors/actresses who starred in the original.

For instance, Singham (2011) had Kajal Aggarwal in the lead role, but the upcoming sequel, Singham Returns, has Kareena Kapoor cast opposite Ajay Devgn. hitlist brings you a few more instances...

Film franchise: Dhoom
Lowdown: YRF’s Dhoom (2004) had Rimi Sen and Esha Deol in the lead roles. The action thriller was a huge success and it gave way to a sequel in 2006.

Aamir Khan and Katrina Kaif in Dhoom 3 and (left) Esha Deol in Dhoom

This time around, Aishwarya Rai and Bipasha Basu were brought on board. Its latest instalment, that was released last year, featured the popular Katrina Kaif.

Film franchise: Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai
Lowdown: The first film, out in 2010, had Emraan Hashmi play Shoaib Khan (said to be inspired by Dawood Ibrahim).

Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai
Emraan Hashmi in Once Upon A Time in Mumbai and (right) Akshay Kumar in Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai Dobaara

It came as a surprise to many when his character, which was well-received by the audience and critics, was played by the more saleable Akshay Kumar in the film’s sequel, Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai Dobaara (2013).

Film franchise: Golmaal
Lowdown: This comedy released in 2006 and it starred Rimi Sen who was wooed by Ajay Devgn, Tusshar Kapoor, Arshad Warsi and Sharman Joshi in the film.

Rimi Sen in Golmaal and Kareena Kapoor in Golmaal Returns

The film worked well with the audience and a sequel was announced. While the main star cast was retained (except Sharman Joshi, who was replaced by Shreyas Talpade), a bigger name — Kareena Kapoor — was brought in to replace Rimi in Golmaal Returns.

Film franchise: Raaz
Lowdown: Raaz (2002) featured then-newcomer Bipasha Basu.


Emraan Hashmi and Kangna Ranaut in Raaz 2 and (left) Bipasha Basu and Dino Morea in Raaz

But Raaz 2 (2009) had Kangana Ranaut, while the third instalment, that was out in 2012, had Bipasha who had become a bigger name by then.

Film franchise: Pyaar Ke Side Effects
Lowdown: Pyaar Ke Side Effects (2006) starred Malika Sherawat and Rahul Bose and it fared well at the BO.

Pyaar Ke Side Effects
Rahul Bose and Mallika Sherawat in Pyaar Ke Side Effects and Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan in Shaadi Ke Side Effects

However, its sequel, Shaadi Ke Side Effects (2014), starring established names, Vidya Balan and Farhan Akhtar, was a dampener.

Film franchise: Ragini MMS (2011)
Lowdown: The first film in this franchise starred newbie Kainaz Motiwala.

Ragini MMS
Kainaz Motiwala and Rajkumar Rao in Ragini MMS and Sunny Leone in Ragini MMS 2

When this small budget film turned out to be a surprise hit, Sunny Leone was roped to star in the next instalment that released this year.

Film franchise: Wanted
Lowdown: After Wanted’s (2009) overwhelming success, it is being said that producer Boney Kapoor is in talks with Salman Khan for the film’s sequel.

Salman Khan and Ayesha Takia in Wanted and Asin

It is being said that the film has been tentatively titled Most Wanted and that it will star Asin as opposed to Ayesha Takia who was cast in the first instalment.

Film franchise: Munnabhai MBBS (2003)
Lowdown: Gracy Singh played the lead opposite Sanjay Dutt in the first instalment.

Munnabhai MBBS
Gracy Singh and Vidya Balan

The film was a huge hit and inspired a franchise. Lage Raho Munnabhai, that was released in 2006, had Vidya Balan replace Gracy Singh.

Still the same

Some franchises that retained the original star cast
>> 1920 (2008) had Tia Bajpai in the lead role. Its sequel 1920: Evil Returns (2012) also had Tia in it.
>> Both Dabangg (2010) and Dabangg (2012) starred Sonakshi Sinha.
>> Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi reprised their characters from Ishqiya (2010) in the film, Dedh Ishqiya (2014), though the latter starred Madhuri Dixit and Huma Qureshi in place of Vidya Balan.

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