New releases every Friday after Dil Bechara: report
Alia Bhatt. Akshay Kumar. Ajay Devgn. Varun Dhawan. Abhishek Bachchan — those are the big names part of Disney+ Hotstar's next big announcement, slated for Monday 4:30pm, the streaming service announced on its social media handles over the weekend. Disney+ Hotstar hasn't said what it's about but given that it's titled “Bollywood Ki Home Delivery” and it's amid a pandemic that's keeping theatres shut across India, it's likely that it's about Bollywood movies that are releasing straight on streaming. Reports from earlier in June have claimed as much.
Of the five aforementioned actors, Kumar's next film — the horror comedy Laxmmi Bomb — was the first in talks to skip theatres entirely. A report from April claimed that Laxmmi Bomb actor-producer Kumar and director Raghava Lawrence were in “discussions” with Disney+ Hotstar. Laxxmi Bomb was deep into post-production then and was said to be ready by June. Disney-owned Fox Star Studios is the distributor, which likely had a role to play in the film's transfer to a Disney-owned platform.
Fox Star Studios is also the distributor — and co-producer — on Alia's next film, the romantic thriller sequel Sadak 2 from her director father Mahesh Bhatt. In an interview with Press Trust of India, producer Mukesh Bhatt confirmed that Sadak 2 is going straight-to-streaming, a further hint that Sadak 2 is part of Disney+ Hotstar's announcement later today.
According to a Bollywood Hungama report, Devgn is involved in two films that are headed to Disney+ Hotstar, both under his Ajay Devgn FFilms banner. The first is the Devgn-starrer war film Bhuj: The Pride of India, while the second is the Bachchan-starrer biopic The Big Bull.
That leaves Dhawan, whose upcoming films — including the Coolie No. 1 remake — have not been mentioned in any straight-to-streaming conversations. Per Bollywood Hungama, Dhawan is said to merely be hosting the event, and it's “unlikely” that Coolie No. 1 will release on Disney+ Hotstar owing to Varun's father and Coolie No. 1 director David Dhawan's preference for the theatrical model.
Earlier reports from the same website also claim that the Kriti Sanon-starrer drama Mimi, the Kunal Kemmu-led comedy Lootcase, the Janhvi Kapoor-starrer horror comedy Roohi Afzana, the Sunny Kaushal, Radhika Madan-starrer romantic drama Shiddat, and the Faruk Kabir-directed romantic thriller Khuda Haafiz could also be part of the Disney+ Hotstar slate.
The aforementioned films will release every Friday, per Bollywood Hungama, starting July 24 with the Sushant Singh Rajput-led Dil Bechara, announced last week.
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Akhil Arora covers entertainment for Gadgets 360, interviewing stars such as Christian Bale and Anurag Kashyap, covering series premieres, product and service launches across the globe, and looking at American blockbusters and Indian dramas from a global socio-political and feminist perspective. As a Rotten Tomatoes-certified film critic, Akhil has reviewed over 150 movies and TV shows in over half a decade at Gadgets 360. When he is not completely caught up with new film and TV releases, Akhil