October 19 - This is set to be inarguably the biggest day of all times that the Indian film industry would evidence. Reason, not just Rajinikanth but even Akshay Kumar come together in 2.0, sequel to Shankar's Robot which has set records when released in 2010. Now that exactly six months remain for the arrival of the sci-fi flick, the countdown has already begun.
"By all means, this is going to be a magnum opus affair," says a trade guru, "If in 2017 there are two films with pan-India appeal in the regional front as well, they are Bahubali 2 - The Conclusion and 2.0. Former is big by all means since it too is a major sequel to a larger-than-life affair by S.S. Rajamouli. It would definitely set records for the biggest Day One ever. However, records are meant to be broken and this is what makes 2.0 all the more special. More so since other than a star director Shankar, it also has Rajinikant and Akshay in there. It can't get bigger than that."
Considering the fact that multi-starrers are almost dead in the Indian film industry, to gather two superstars together in a major commercial film is a distant dream for all involved.
"With Rajinikanth reprising his double role from Robot, one as a scientist and another as a robot, and Akshay Kumar being seen in various avtars as well in the part of a powerful baddy, 2.0 is catching up steam in a big way. While Rajinikanth will take care of the South part of India, Akshay Kumar would be responsible to fetch audiences in rest of the country. 2.0 gets all the ticks against the boxes, be it the sequel factor, star director and the actors, larger than life appeal and a budget which pretty much seems to be bottomless," an insider comments.
However, one factor that is definitely going to count really huge is the release time period.
"The film is arriving on Diwali and that means celebrations can well begin right away," the trade guru opines, "This is the biggest festival of the year and is celebrated across the country, right from North to South and West to East. That makes the arrival of the film truly pan-India. Though Aamir Khan is arriving with his Secret Superstar on this day as well, one doesn't foresee a release of more than 1000 screens for it. That would leave over 4000 screens to the disposal of 2.0."
This by the way is just for the screens where Hindi films are screened. Add to that thousands of more screens where Tamil and Telugu films arrive too and it pretty much sets 2.0 to the kind of release platform that could well be unheard of in the history of Bollywood. As for the film’s global arrival, it would be an altogether different ballgame.
"Though Rajinikanth is used to spend quite some time on making his films (Kabali was an exception as a quickie), Akshay Kumar is known for wrapping up his films under 50 days. However in case of 2.0 he has made an exception and gone all out when it comes to extensive shooting schedules spread out across different times of the year. He is thoroughly enjoying making 2.0 with Rajinikanth and wants to make sure that this Shankar extravaganza truly turns out to be the biggest film ever that he has been a part of," the insider adds.
With six months to go for the dream project to be unveiled, one waits to see if some snippets or teasers from the film would be unveiled too over next few months, before the eventual 'dhamaka' takes place at the Box Office.