Coronavirus: Kollywood takes a beating, Shootings cancelled, film releases delayed

Chennai: After World Health Organization (WHO) declaring COVID-19 as a pandemic, not just other business but film industry too has taken a beating. Production and release of numerous films across all languages have been stopped.

Interestingly in Kollywood biggies like Annaatthe starring Rajinikanth, Vikeram starrer Cobra, Indian 2 and several small films have canceled shoots.

There is uncertainty over release schedule as many theaters in districts bordering Kerala have been asked to shut their doors. Says a producer, ”We are worried about paying interests to the financiers as the shoots of out films coming to a halt. We never thought such a situation would come. The fear of COVID 19 outbreak has bothered us a lot. However we don’t want to take any risks”.

When government has advicd people to avoid public gatherings, we know the footfall will come down in theaters’. Meanwhile, a owner of a thatre in Chenani suburb, says, ”People are really woprried. The collections have come down drastically. During week-days, it is very low. We are worried.”

Ajay Gnanamuthu, who is directing Cobra, tweeted, ”We have packed up the shoot in Russia and are returning to India as per the travel ban rules from the Indian government”.

Produced by Viacom 18 studios and 7 Screen Studio with music composed by AR Rahman, Cobra stars Vikram, Srinidhi Shetty, KS Ravikumar, Mirnalini Ravi and former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan making his debut, who is speculated to play the antagonist.

Rajinikanth’s Annaatthe’s movie unit decided to cancel their shoot in North India that was planned with the star ensemble that includes Nayanthara, Keerthy Suresh, Meena, Khushbu, Prakashraj, Robo Shankar, Soori, and Sathish.

The case is similar in Bollywood too. Recently, Shahid Kapoor announced that the team of his upcoming film Jersey has decided to suspend the shoot of the film to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Yash Raj Films also delayed the release of Dibakar Banerjee-directed Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar. Akshay Kumar-starrer Sooryavanshi has been pushed indefinitely and Tillotama Shome’s film Sir has been postponed.

The release of Hollywood movies A Quiet Place 2, Mulan and new James Bond film No Time to Die has also been delayed.

NT Bureau