In June 2015, director Pa. Ranjith announced his third directorial venture, which would follow his previous two films Attakathi (2012) and Madras (2014), with Rajinikanth.

Working with Ranjith would make Kabali Rajinikanth’s first film with a novel director for the first time since his collaboration with S. Shankar in Sivaji.

On 17 August 2015, Ranjith announced the title of the film to be Kabali and that Rajinikanth would play the role of Kabaliswaran. The makers of the film had earlier considered using title Kaali, which was the title of Rajinikanth’s 1980 film. As that film did not do well in the Tamil Nadu box office at that time, the makers passed on using it for the new film.

Kabali is an upcoming 2016 Indian Tamil-language crime drama film written and directed by Pa.Ranjith.The film stars Rajinikanth, Radhika Apte, Kishore, Kalaiyarasan, Dhansika, and Dinesh Ravi. In the film, Rajinikanth plays the role of an aged crime boss. Radhika Apte will be playing the role of the lead character’s wife. She was introduced to Tamil films through Dhoni (2012). Dhansika signed to play a supporting character in the film. Principal photography for the film began on 21 August 2015 in Chennai. While filming mostly occurred in Malaysia, smaller scenes were shot in Bangkok and Hong Kong.The film is scheduled to release on 22 July 2016.

Kabali is expected to be released in Tamil worldwide, along with dubbed versions in Hindi, Telugu, and Malayalam.The film will be simultaneously released in Singapore and Indonesia. Malik Streams Productions and Distribution, a Malaysian media company, will simultaneously release the film in Malay for exclusive screening in Malaysia alongside the original Tamil version.

Kabali will also premiere at the Le Grand Rex in Paris, France.The satellite rights of the film were sold to Jaya TV.