May 04 2011
After every Rajni movie is released, there is usually a lull when rumors about his next movie begin to swirl. Articles – sometimes, cover stories too – are written, fan-made posters are created, social networking sites begin to buzz and email forwards increase as these rumors begin to spread(I remember atleast two titles Jaggubhai (after Baba) and Aadhisesha(after Chandramukhi) that were discussed. While the former was eventually used for a Sarathkumar film, the latter, which was announced in a Kungumam cover story, became the bad guy’s name in Sivaji!).
With Endhiran released, such rumors began to swirl again a few months ago. A popular rumor was that Rajni’s next project would be Baasha 2, with news stories getting circulated about Rajni meeting R.M.Veerappan, the producer of Baasha, to talk about the sequel. But within a surprisingly short time, the rumors were squashed as Rajni’s next film was officially announced and then launched last week. Titled Rana, the film will be directed by K.S.Ravikumar and have music by A.R.Rahman.
The launch happened with a poster that led to mixed feelings. The composition is good with a warrior standing in the forefront with a masked face(Rajni?) towering over him in the background. But the poster’s quality left a lot to be desired with warrior Rajni looking painted and/or photoshopped, giving the poster a slightly cheap feel. In fact, I waited a day to ensure that it wasn’t a poster made by a fan.
The film’s cast has also been subject to much speculation and rumors. With Rajni supposedly playing 3 roles, young, middle-aged and old, there are 3 heroine slots open. Deepika Padukone was finalized pretty soon as the heroine for the youngest role but the other 2 roles are still to be filled. Anushka, Ileana and Vidya Balan were names suggested as middle-aged Rajni’s jodi while Tabu and Rekha were mentioned for the older Rajni’s pair. The only other role fixed is the comedian’s role. While Vadivelu was the first choice, Ganja Karuppu has now been picked since Vadivelu’s political campaigning and his personal attacks on Vijayakanth were considered too strong.
The film’s puja took place last week. But it wasn’t a smooth start since Rajni fell ill right after the puja and had to be hospitalized. Though it was apparently just a case of dehydration and he was back home in a day, he has been advised rest and so shooting hasn’t resumed yet.
With the mega success of Sivaji and Enthiran/Robot, brand Rajni is now bigger than ever and Rana will come with unprecedented hype and expectations. Let’s hope the Rana team is up to the task.
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