Superstar Akshay Kumar's much-awaited cop drama "Sooryavanshi" will hit the theatres on Diwali, while Ranveer Singh-starrer " 83" will release on Christmas this year, Reliance Entertainment has announced.
"Sooryavanshi", directed by Rohit Shetty, was originally scheduled to release on March 24 and Kabir Khan-helmed "'83" was set to hit the cinema houses on April 10.
But both the movies were indefinitely postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which led to theatres shutdown across the country and in other parts of the world.
"We have decided to release 'Sooryavanshi' during Diwali and '83' will come out during Christmas this year. We are committed to release these two films in theatres first. As and when the government and exhibitors open cinema halls and the environment is safe and secure for audience to come, these things will have to happen," Shibasish Sarkar, Group CEO Reliance Entertainment, told PTI.
"We are optimistic people and we have another five to six months to go from now and hopefully situation will be normal (by then). That's the expectation. Usually, these films are slated for a date when festival is around and we thought it will be prudent to work towards that date," he added.
"Sooryavanshi" is the third film in Shetty's cop universe after Ajay Devgn's "Singham" and Ranveer-starrer "Simmba".
The film is presented by Reliance Entertainment and produced by Rohit Shetty Picturez in association with Dharma Productions and Cape of Good Films.
"'83", which chronicles India's first World Cup win under the captaincy of Kapil Dev in 1983, also stars Hardy Sandhu, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Jiva, Saqib Saleem, Pankaj Tripathi and Deepika Padukone.
The film is produced by Kabir Khan, Madhu Mantena, Vishnu Induri and presented by Reliance Entertainment.
"Sooryavanshi" and ''83" are the first two big films two have officially announce the theatrical release date as the country recovers from the pandemic, which has led to many star-studded projects opting for a direct-to-digital release.
Shoojit Sircar's "Gulabo Sitabo", featuring megastar Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana, was the first big Hindi movie to release on a streaming platform.
Vidya Balan-led "Shakuntala Devi", Janhvi Kapoor's "Gunjan Saxena - The Kargil Girl", and actor Sushant Singh Rajput's last film "Dil Bechara" are all headed for direct-to-digital release.
On Monday it was announced that Akshay's "Laxmmi Bomb", "Sadak 2", featuring Alia Bhatt, Devgn and Sanjay Dutt-starrer "Bhuj: The Pride of India", Abhishek Bachchan's "The Big Bull", Vidyut Jammwal's "Khuda Haafiz" and "Lootcase", featuring Kunal Kemmu and Rasika Dugal, are all set to premiere on streaming platform Disney+ Hotstar.
During a virtual press conference, Akshay had said though he is "excited" about releasing "Laxmmi Bomb" on the OTT platform, he feels "sad" that people won't be able to watch the movie in theatres.
"To be honest, today I am excited for this platform. But yes, I'll say that I am also sad for theatres. After all, movies are theatres first birth right. But in the current situation, everyone's safety is of utmost priority.
"Today with theatres being shut and people watching movies on OTT platforms, if I can make my fans happy by releasing film on Disney+ Hotstar, which is a big platform with a massive reach, then I am glad," Akshay told reporters.
The decision to put out the films on streaming services was not welcomed by many cinema chain owners, but the announcement of theatrical release of "Sooryavanshi" and "'83" has come as a relief.
"Exciting times ahead... Gearing up to release Rohit Shetty's 'Sooryavanshi' on Diwali and Kabir Khan's ''83' on Christmas this 2020," PVR Cinemas, the largest theatre chain in the country, posted on its Twitter page.