Indian 2

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Indian 2
Indian 2 poster.jpg
Announcement poster
Directed byS. Shankar
Written by
Produced byViknesh Subramaniam
Starring
Cinematography
Edited byA. Sreekar Prasad
Music byAnirudh Ravichander
Production
company
CountryIndia
LanguageTamil
Budgetest. ₹200 crore[1]

Indian 2 is an upcoming Indian Tamil-language vigilante action thriller film directed by S. Shankar. A sequel to his 1996 film Indian, the film is being produced by Allirajah Subaskaran under the banner Lyca Productions. The script was written by Shankar, along with B. Jeyamohan, Lakshmi Saravanakumar and Kabilan Vairamuthu. The film stars Kamal Haasan and Nedumudi Venu reprising their roles from the first film, while new cast consists of Kajal Aggarwal, Siddharth, Rakul Preet Singh, Bobby Simha, Priya Bhavani Shankar and Jisshu Sengupta. The film features music composed by Anirudh Ravichander with cinematography and editing performed by R. Rathnavelu and A. Sreekar Prasad respectively.

Indian's sequel was announced in September 2017 with director Shankar re-uniting with Haasan after 24 years. Principal photography of the film commenced in January 2019, with filming taking place in Chennai, Rajahmundry, and Bhopal. The shoot was halted following an accident on the sets in February 2020 that resulted in the death of few crew members. Production of the film has not resumed since then owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, budget overrun, and legal disputes due to other commitments of the cast and crew.

Cast

Production

Development

Shankar began discussing plans to make a sequel to his 1996 film, Indian, as early as May 2015. Initial discussions were held with the producer of the original film, A. M. Rathnam of Sri Surya Movies, who stated it was too early to talk about the project.[17] Shankar later became busy with the production of 2.0 (2018) and delayed starting the project, but he continued working on a story theme for Indian 2. In late September 2017, the film was then publicly announced during the finale of the Tamil reality television show Bigg Boss Tamil in Chennai.[18] The show's host Kamal Haasan, who also played the lead in the original film, was confirmed as the lead actor and prominent Telugu film producer Dil Raju was announced to fund the project, for his film studio Sri Venkateswara Creations, thus marking his debut in Tamil.[19][20] However, Raju backed out producing the film, citing the high production costs involved,[21] and later Allirajah Subaskaran of Lyca Productions took over as the film's producer in October 2017.[22][23][24]

The film marks Shankar's reunion with Haasan after a hiatus of 24 years. Shankar decided to work with Anirudh Ravichander for the first time,[25] rather than his regular collaborator A. R. Rahman, who scored music for its predecessor,[26] for the film. His inclusion was later confirmed in late December 2018.[27] Art director T. Muthuraj was hired to work for the film. Ravi Varman agreed to work for the cinematography in the film,[28] but due to production delays, meant that he could not commit dates for the films, and was replaced by R. Rathnavelu.[29] Writers Jeyamohan, Kabilan Vairamuthu and Lakshmi Saravanakumar were all signed on to help complete the film's script and dialogues.[30][31][32]

Despite several proposed announcements of starting dates, the film's shoot was delayed throughout 2018 owing to Shankar's commitments with 2.0, which also faced significant production delays. Kamal Haasan also decided to use the time to release his long-delayed Vishwaroopam II (2018) and commit to his political career. In August 2018, Shankar and Kamal Haasan, announced that the film's shoot will commence in December 2018,[33] Lyca Productions, later officially announced the film on 7 November 2018, coinciding with Haasan's birthday.[34][35] Muthuraj began working on the production design during November 2018,[36] as the film's shoot was scheduled to start in late 2018, however the delay in its set work, made the team to postpone its shoot to early 2019.[37]

Casting

Nayanthara was considered for the leading female role,[38] before Kajal Aggarwal was finalised.[39] For her role, the actress learnt the basics of the Indian martial arts form Kalaripayattu.[40] Siddharth was confirmed to play another role in the film,[41][42] after the team had initially held discussions with the likes of Silambarasan,[43] Dulquer Salmaan and Arya for the same character.[44][45] Ajay Devgn agreed to play the antagonist in the film,[46] but production delays meant that he could not commit dates for the films.[47][48] Akshay Kumar, Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham were considered as replacements, but neither actor was signed.[49][50][51] Other actors including Nedumudi Venu,[52] Delhi Ganesh and RJ Balaji were also signed to portray supporting roles in the film.[53][54] However, Balaji opted out of the film in October 2019 and Nedumudi Venu died on October 2021 after post-coronavirus complications and stomach ailments since a few months.[55][56][57][58]

Closer to the start of the second schedule, actors Vidyut Jammwal and Bobby Simha were signed on for roles.[59][60] While, the latter confirmed his role in the film,[61] the former denied such claims.[62] Rakul Preet Singh also joined the film to star opposite the character essayed by Siddharth,[63][64] Aishwarya Rajesh was expected to join the film,[65] but due to call sheet issues,[66][67] she was replaced by Priya Bhavani Shankar.[68][69] Vivek confirmed that he will be a part of the project,[70] collaborating with Kamal Haasan for the first time,[71] where he plays the role of a CBI officer in the film.[72] It was considered to be one of his final films before his death on April 2021.[73] Actors Samuthirakani and George Maryan also joined the cast in supporting roles.[74] Telugu actor Vennela Kishore was announced to play a supporting role and has allotted 70 days for the film, making his Tamil debut.[12] Manobala who has acted in Anniyan, Nanban directed by Shankar was hired for an important role.

Filming

A series of promotional posters featuring Kamal Haasan in his character were released in early January 2019 and production subsequently started on 18 January 2019.[75][47] A week-long shoot was held at a memorial home near Government General Hospital in Chennai, before the team also shot scenes at a nearby film studio.[76] However the film was again delayed after the makers had trouble with the created sets.[77][78] The shoot was pushed further owing to the Indian general election in May 2019,[79] where Kamal Haasan's political party participated.[80] Throughout the development process in 2018 and early 2019, the makers regularly denied media reports that the film had been shelved.[81] Later, the shooting was resumed in May 2019, post elections.[82] Owing to the long break between the schedules, cinematographer Ravi Varman also left the project after becoming committed to Mani Ratnam's Ponniyin Selvan,[83][84] and was subsequently replaced by R. Rathnavelu who previously worked with Shankar in Enthiran (2010).[85][86]

The second schedule began on 12 August 2019, at MGR Film City in Chennai,[87] with scenes featuring Rakul Preet Singh being shot.[88][89] Siddharth and Priya Bhavani Shankar too joined the sets on 16 August,[90] and later Kamal Haasan too joined the sets on mid-September, where his portions being filmed.[91] Haasan and team, later moved to a city hotel in T. Nagar, to proceed the shoot further.[92] On 11 September 2019, the team announced that the second schedule of the film which took place in Chennai has been completed.[93] On 19 September 2019, the team went to Rajahmundry, shoot the film's sequences featuring Kamal Haasan.[94] Later on 23 October, Kamal and his team went to Bhopal, to shoot the film at its third schedule.[95]

On 25 October, it was reported that a massive political rally along with a fight sequence,[96] involving Haasan and 2000 junior artistes was shot in Bhopal at the cost of 40 crore (US$5.3 million).[97][98] On 30 October 2019, it was reported that the makers head to Gwalior for a 12-day long shoot schedule,[99] which was completed within seven days.[100] Post the completion, the actor went to Chennai, to attend a felicitation ceremony for his 60 years in Tamil cinema,[101] followed by a surgery on 22 November, after he met with an accident in 2016.[102] Scenes without featuring Kamal Haasan were canned, in order to complete major portions of the film, and planned to shoot his portions, after his recovery.[103] On 21 January 2020, it was reported that Kamal Haasan will shoot for the film post his recovery, and it will take place at the EVP Film City, Chennai which will last for 35 days.[104][105] It was reported that the film's team will change the location from China to Italy, following the fear of coronavirus pandemic.[106]

The film's shoot was further interrupted following a major accident in the film's sets,[107] and also due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[108] Kamal Haasan planned to resume the shoot in January 2021 after hosting the fourth season of Bigg Boss Tamil.[109] But the makers cited the difficulties on finishing the shoot before the Tamil Nadu elections,[110] and planned to resume the shoot without Haasan in February 2021, with the other cast and the director were advised to keep themselves available for the shoot and planned to finish Haasan's portions after the elections.[111] As of 12 February 2021, 60% of the film's portions have been completed with more than 100 days of the film's shoot is pending.[112]

Music

The soundtrack album and background score are composed by Anirudh Ravichander, who is working with Kamal Haasan and Shankar for the very first time,[113] and also replacing A. R. Rahman, Shankar's norm composer, whom also worked with him in its predecessor.[114] In an interview with an online portal Rahman stated that "Kamal had mentioned me to score for its sequel, but Shankar eventually had other ideas. Shankar is a person who wants to get inspired. Sometimes, when you work with the same person back-to-back, you get bored. Also 2.0 is a difficult film that took me a long time to complete. Maybe Shankar thought he shouldn't make me overwork. That could be one of the reasons why he had chosen Anirudh."[26]

Anirudh Ravichander stated working with Shankar as a "dream come true moment"; he eventually quoted Indian is a cult album and one of his favourites from Rahman's composition.[115] In an interview with India Today, Anirudh stated about the comparisons of the first part to its sequel, that "With sequels, there are always comparisons on which one is better, but then nobody can match Rahman's work. I can never recreate the magic that Indian did in the 90s. Whatever I can do to the best of my abilities is what I am trying to do."[115] After the offer came his way in November 2017, Anirudh started composing for the songs during December 2017, and it took a year to complete the album, stating that the delay in the release of 2.0, have given him much time to work on the film's songs.[116]

In May 2018, lyricist Thamarai was hired to write one of the songs in the film,[117] in her maiden collaboration with Shankar.[118] During the film's launch, lyricists Pa. Vijay, Vignesh Shivan and Vivek were hired for the technical crew.[119][120] It was further reported that Haresh Vikram, an independent artist from Malaysia, was reported to provide vocals for one of the songs in the soundtrack.

Controversies

Accident in the sets

On 19 February 2020, during the shooting of the film, a crane carrying a heavy flash light fell on the sets,[121] resulting in the deaths of three crew members,[122] including an assistant director and leaving ten more injured. Kamal Haasan, Shankar and Kajal Aggarwal all had narrow escapes.[123][124] A case was filed against Lyca Productions, along with other three persons by the Chennai police in connection with the accident on 21 February;[125] The crane operator Rajan who absconded post the incident, was arrested and booked under three sections, the same day.[126] Later Haasan and Shankar were summoned by the CBI, to investigate about the accident during the sets.[127][128]

On 26 February 2020, a week after the accident, Kamal Haasan wrote a letter to Lyca Productions, to conduct a safety audit, in order to prevent any unfortunate accidents.[129] The very same day, the CEO of Lyca Productions, Allirajah Subaskaran, released a statement on Twitter, stating the shoot was held completely under the supervision of Kamal Haasan and Shankar.[130][131] On 28 February, Shankar announced that, a donation of ₹1 crore will be given to the family of the deceased.[132] Following the accident, the team planned to shift the shooting location from EVP Film City to Binny Mills.[133]

Delay in film production

While Kamal Haasan planned to resume shooting in January 2021,[134][135] he also signed Lokesh Kanagaraj's film Vikram, during the intermediate timeline,[136] and Shankar also felt disappointed with the production house for not taking a call on the resumption of the shoot.[137] A report from The Times of India stated that:[138]

Shankar had planned to resume the shoot once the government allows film shoots with a larger crew. However, Lyca Productions decide to bring down the cost further to make up for the losses as a result of the lockdown, despite reducing the budget from ₹400 crore to ₹220 crore after their first disagreement. Shankar felt that it would be very hard to make the film as he has envisioned with further budget cuts. So the production house decided to wait for the time, until Kamal Haasan has committed to Lokesh Kanagaraj’s film. Initially, he wanted to start the shoot after the film's completion. But, after seeing the current deadlock, he did a photo shoot with celebrity photographer Venket Ram at AVM Studios a couple of days ago. This had made Shankar upset, and wrote a letter to asking them to provide him with their plans for the project, and allowing him to work on another film if they intend to delay things even further.[139]

A week later, S. Shankar had a formal meeting with Aashish Singh, the newly appointed CEO of Lyca Productions, to sort out the issues regarding the delay.[140] One of the officials from the production house stated, "Shankar has so far completed around 60 per cent of the film’s portions, including the intermission sequence. Even though Kamal is now focusing on Lokesh’s project, he is also keen on wrapping up this film because he feels the film will give a major boost to his political image in the upcoming state elections, and wants it to release at least by summer 2021."[138] However the company's CEO, P. Kannan, denied it as a baseless rumour and stated that they did not get any kind of such information from the director. He added, "The film requires a huge crew of 500-600 people on the set, so the planning is going on. We are in the process of deciding how to move forward with the shoot, and in fact, we met Kamal Haasan yesterday to discuss this. We are hoping to resume the shoot soon."[138] Kajal Aggarwal, in March 2021, had stated that the reason for the delay as most of the crew members are from the United States, they are unable to travel and work here in India due to the COVID-19 restrictions.[141]

Allegations against Shankar

Shankar had planned to direct his next Telugu project with Ram Charan, and also the Hindi remake of Anniyan, with Ranveer Singh.[142] In April 2021, Lyca Productions submitted a suit against Shankar to restrain directing any other film before his commitments with the film.[143] However, Shankar denied Lyca's allegations and also argued that the production house cannot prevent him from making other movies.[144] The court ordered Shankar and Lyca Productions to settle this issue amicably,[145] but negotations were failed,[146] with Shankar blaming Kamal Haasan and Lyca for the delay.[147][148] In June 2021, the Madras High Court denied the producer's appeal to stop Shankar directing other films.[149][150]

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