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Rajinikanth announces new action film


New Delhi: Actor Rajinikanth has announced a new film to be produced by Sun Pictures and directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj. The actor’s latest Tamil film Jailer, also produced by Sun, has crossed the Rs. 500 crore mark worldwide. Kanagaraj is known for hits like Vikram, Master and Kaithi.

Rajinikanth, born Shivaji Rao Gaekwad in a Marathi family, begun his film career with Tamil movie Apoorva Raagangal (1975). The actor is renowned for his mannerisms and style — the signature walk, flicking a cigarette and catching it between his lips (cigarette was replaced with chewing gum over the years to cultivate a more responsible image), and his natural comic timing, in over 200 films.

A string of blockbusters from the 1970s to the mid-2000s include titles like Bairavi, Mullum Malarum, Billa, Murattu Kaalai , Naan Sigappu Manithan, Padikkathavan, Mr. Bharath, Velaikaran, Thalapathi, Annamalai, Baashha, Muthu, Arunachalam, Padayappa, Baba and Chandramukhi.

Most recently seen in Darbar and Annatthe, the 72-year old actor has been honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Padma Bhushan (2000) and the Padma Vibhushan (2016). Rajinikanth is said to have had some 55,000 fan clubs registered around the world in 2001, after which he stopped certifying them.

Known as one of the few leading men in Tamil, as well as Indian cinema, who could strike a chord with the common man on the street and the upper class, trade experts say he still has both the multiplex and the single-screen audience rooting for him, including the youth, the target group for Tamil films.

Given his mass appeal, controversies around the actor’s social and political stands have also been big—such as his justification of police action during the 2018 Thoothukudi violence or his day-long fast to protest the Karnataka government’s decision to not release Kaveri River water into Tamil Nadu in 2002. Having announced a foray into politics in 2018, the actor recently cited health issues for having cancelled those plans.

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Updated: 11 Sep 2023, 12:15 PM IST

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.