The success of Baahubali: The Beginning (2015) proved to be a turning point for regional Indian cinema. Besides being lauded for its stunning VFX and cinematography, the film’s record breaking box office revenues (including those of its dubbed Hindi version) caught several people unaware and proved that when it comes to churning blockbusters, regional films can provide Bollywood films a run for their money.

Similarly in 2016, while many Bollywood films failed to make a mark at the box office, several South Indian films such as Rajinikanth’s Kabali, Mohanlal’s Pulimurugan, Allu Arjun’s Sarrainodu raked in the moolah and also met with their share of critical acclaim. The latter also include films such as Rajeev Ravi’s Kammatipaadam, Sameer Thahir’s Kali and Vineeth Srinivasan’s Jacobinte Swargyarajayam to name a few.

2017 is poised to be yet another exciting year for regional cinema judging by the number of projects in the offing. As the new year begins, here’s our list of anticipated South Indian films that promise to make 2017 another interesting and a hopefully better year at the cinemas.



Director – Shankar

Cast – Rajinikanth, Amy Jackson and Akshay Kumar

Since his debut film The Gentleman (1993), director Shankar has made larger than life films that are backed by interesting content and a technical finesse one rarely witnesses in Indian cinema. With the Rajinikanth starrer Enthiran (dubbed in Hindi as Robot), which boasted of some dazzling visual effects, he took it a league above the average blockbuster.

Seven years later, Shankar and Rajinikanth return to helm its much awaited sequel titled 2.0. Besides having Shankar’s regular collaborators such as A.R Rahman and art director Sabu Cyril on board, the film stars Akshay Kumar as the antagonist, marking his foray into South Indian cinema.

Kaatru Veliyidai

Director – Mani Ratnam

Cast – Karthi, Aditi Rao Hydari and Shraddha Srinath

After going through a rough phase, Mani Ratnam made a smashing return with the romantic drama Ok Kanmani (2015). The film which won unanimous critical acclaim and boasted of some delightful performances including that of Nithya Menen, showed why Mani Ratnam is still a force to reckon with.

The filmmaker’s latest is touted to be a love story set against the backdrop of the armed forces with Karthi playing the role of an Indian Air Force pilot. The film sees Aditi Rao Hydari returning to Tamil cinema a decade after she made her debut with the critically acclaimed Sringaram (2007). The film also stars Shraddha Srinath who debuted in Pawan Kumar’s acclaimed Kannada film U Turn last year. Lastly, it also sees noted cinematographer Ravi Varman (Barfi, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, Tamasha) and Mani Ratnam collaborate for the first time.

Sabash Naidu

Director – Kamal Hassan

Cast – Kamal Hassan, Brahmanandam, Shruti Hassan

The quirky Government employee named Naidu who left audiences in splits with his witty repartee was the most memorable character that featured in Kamal Hassan’s magnum opus Dasavatharam (2008). The upcoming trilingual titled Sabash Naidu (in Tamil and Telugu) and Sabash Kundu (in Hindi) is a spin off centred on the aforesaid character from Dashavtharam.

Touted to be a comedy, the film will see Hassan reprise his role as Naidu and also star Telugu actor Brahmanandam who is known for his impeccable comic timing. It will also see Kamal Hassan and his daughter and actor Shruti Hassan share screen space for the first time.

Besides these, there are several other exciting Tamil films on the anvil this year. After a lackluster 2016 (with the exception of Kodi), Dhanush will be seen in Gautham Menon’s Ennai Nokki Paayum Thota, Vetrimaaran’s Vada Chennai and Soundarya Rajinikanth’s VIP 2 – the sequel to the 2014 Dhanush starrer Vellaiyilla Pattadhari. This year the actor will also make his directorial debut with the Rajkiran starrer Power Paandi.  Post the acclaimed Thani Oruvan (2015), the duo of Jayam Ravi and Arvind Swamy reunite for Bogan directed by Lakshman of Romeo and Juliet (2015) fame.

The other keenly awaited films this year include Singam 3, Selavraghavan’s Nenjam Marappathillai starring S.J Surya, Mysskin’s Thupparivalan starring Vishal, Bramma G’s Magalir Mattum starring Jyothika and director Siva’s untitled film with Ajith, that marks their third collaboration after the super successful Veeram (2014) and Vedalam (2015).


Baahubali – The Conclusion

Director – S.S Rajamouli

Cast – Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, Rana Daggubati, Sathyaraj

S.S Rajamouli returns with the sequel to his magnum opus Baahubali – The Beginning (2015), two years after it took the box office by storm.

Expect yet another big ticket entertainer replete with some great VFX, action set pieces, eye catching visuals and hopefully the answer to the question everyone’s been asking for a while  – why did Kattappa kill Baahubali? 


Director – Kishore Kumar

Cast – Pawan Kalyan, Shruti Hassan

2017 will see quite a few remakes lined up for release in Tollywood. Pawan Kalyan stars in this remake of the Ajith starrer Veeram (2014) and the title Katamarayudu is inspired from a song sung by Kalyan in his previous blockbuster Attarintiki Daredi (2013).

Mahesh Babu and Murugadoss Untitled Project

Director – A.R Murugadoss

Cast – Mahesh Babu, Rakul Preet

Director A.R Murugadoss’ (Ghajini, Holiday, Kaththi) latest is a Tamil – Telugu bilingual featuring Mahesh Babu. As of now most of the film’s details are under wraps, including the plot and the title. But as per an Indian Express news article, Mahesh Babu plays an intelligence officer and the film is speculatively titled as Abhimanyu.

The other keenly awaited Telugu releases this year include Guru – a remake of the Tamil – Hindi bilingual Irrudhi Sutru (Saala Khadoos in Hindi) which stars Venkatesh and sees actor Ritika Singh reprise her role with Sudha Kongara directing the remake too. Actor Nagarjuna will star in K Raghavendra Rao’s Om Namo Venkatesaya based on the true story of Hathiram Bhavji and Sankalp Reddy’s The Ghazi Attack starring Rana Daggubati, Taapsee Pannu, Kay Kay Menon, Atul Kulkarni and the late Om Puri.



Director – Prithviraj

Cast – Mohanlal

Actor Prithiviraj who has been noted for his performances in films such as Raavanan (2010), Mumbai Police (2013), Aurangzeb (2013), Picket 43 (2015) and Ennu Ninte Moideen (2016) turns director with Lucifer.

Originally scheduled to be directed by the late Rajesh Pillai (Traffic), the film will star Mohanlal who’s currently basking in the multiple successes of Oppam and Pulimurugan.


Director – R.S Vimal

Cast – Prithviraj

Post Ennu Ninte Moideen (2015), Director R.S Vimal and Prithivraj reunite for the period drama Karnan that is supposedly based on Mahabharata. Rumored to be one of the costliest Malayalam films ever made, the film will be released in multiple languages including Tamil, Telugu and Hindi.

Puthan Panam

Director – Ranjith

Cast – Mammootty

The duo of director Ranjith and actor Mammootty has previously given us some great films such as Paleri Manikyam (2009) and Pranchiyettan and the Saint (2010). Expectations are therefore manifold from the duo’s latest feature which as per reports deals with issues of corruption and black money. With the announcement of the demonetisation policy, there could be no better moment to release the  film.

The ongoing tussle between the Malayalam Film Producers Council and Distributors Association and the Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation (KFEF) over profit sharing has led to the delay of some big ticket films that were scheduled for a Christmas 2016 release. These include Jomonte Suvishengal, Ezra, Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol and Fukri starring Dulquer Salman, Prithviraj, Mohanlal and Jayasurya respectively and they are expected to release soon.

The other Malayalam films to look forward to this year include Major Ravi’s 1971: Beyond Borders starring Mohanal, Siddharth Siva’s Sakhavu starring Nivin Pauly and Bejoy Nambiar’s Tamil – Malayalam bilingual Solo that stars Dulquer Salman.

Prithviraj will have a busy year as an actor as he will also be seen in Roshni Dinaker’s My Story which reunites him with Parvathy after Ennu Ninte Moideen (2015). The actor’s production house August Cinema (which he co-founded with ace cinematographer Santosh Sivan) is also producing Haneef Adeni’s The Great Father starring Mammootty and Sneha.



Director – S Krishna

Cast – Sudeep, V Ravichandran, Amala Paul

2016 was a mixed bag for actor Sudeep. While Kotigobba 2 turned to out to be a success, Mukunda Murari – a remake of OMG – Oh My God! (which paired Sudeep opposite actor-director Upendra) didn’t meet with much success.

2017 however might prove to be a better year for the actor. Hebulli which sees the actor sport a dapper new hairdo promises to be an interesting action thriller. The film also marks the Kannada debut of actors Amala Paul (Mynaa, Amma Kanaku) and Ravi Kishen (Tere Naam, Welcome To Sajjanpur).


Director – Prashanth Neel

Cast – Yash

Prashanth Neel debuted with Ugramm (2014) which was one of the biggest hits of Kannada cinema in 2014 and opened to positive reviews. His second film which is supposed to be yet another action thriller features actor Yash who’s basking in the multiple successes of Mr. And Mrs. Ramachari (2014), Masterpiece (2015) and Santhu Straightforward (2016).


Director – Santhosh Ananddram

Cast – Puneeth Rajkumar, Priya Anand

Santosh Ananddram’s follow up to his super successful debut film Mr. And Mrs. Ramachari (2014) stars actor Puneeth Rajkumar in the titular role. The cast which also includes Priya Anand, Anant Nag, Sharath Kumar and Prakash Raj among others promises to be yet another big budget entertainer.

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