The big picture: Films to look forward to in 2019

2019 promises to be a year filled with dates in the dark as filmmakers at home and abroad are ready to release some of the most anticipated cinematic stories.

Published: 06th January 2019 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th January 2019 12:39 PM   |  A+A-


(L-R) Petta in Tamil, Vineya Vidhaya Rama in Telugu and Lucifer in Malayalam are upcoming films in 2019.

Express News Service

2019 promises to be a year filled with dates in the dark as filmmakers at home and abroad are ready to release some of the most anticipated cinematic stories. In Bollywood, the year kicks off with Uri: The Surgical Strike, Gully Boy, Kabir Singh, Made In China and a slew of other sure-shot hits. And Hollywood’s calendar is marked with M Night Shyamalan’s Glass, Captain Marvel, Spiderman: Far from Home, It: Chapter 2, John Wick 3: Parabellum, and the list is endless. 

Continuing the previous year’s offbeat trend—led by unlikely genres such as horror comedy (Stree) and comic mystery (Andhadhun)—will be Chhichhore, Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota, Bombairiya. The year also awaits a long line of sequels such a Sadaak 2, Student of The Year 2 and Kick 2 to cash in on nostalgia, and period films such as Manikarnika, Panipat, Batla House, etc. 

Kick 2

Summer looks exciting for children and adults, because there will be a trip down the memory lane with releases such as Godzilla II: King Of The Monsters, Pokemon Detective Pikachu, How To Train Your Dragon 3, Aladdin, The Lion King among many others coming up in Hollywood. Superheroes will continue to save the day with Shazam!, Dark Phoenix, The Gambit, Hellboy and Joker, and a whole range of other New Mutants. Multi-starrers such as Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, The Irishmen, Little Women, Us cannot simply be missed just for the sake of the cast ensembles such as Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan, Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, among others. 

Don’t forget to catch your breath; Indian regional cinema has Rajinikanth in Petta, Ajith in Viswasam, Chiranjeevi in Sye Raa, Prabhas in Sahoo and Ram Charan in #RRR, which are hitting the screens. So, before you advance-book, here’s a handy guide to help choose the big movies that are coming soon to the theatres near you. 

(With inputs from Sajin Shrijith, A Sharadhaa, Navein Darshan and Murali Krishna CH) 


Hera Pheri 3
Plot: Another film depicting the comic misadventures of the trio—Raju, Ghanshyam and Baburao Ganpatro Apte.   
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty and Paresh Rawal
Director: Neeraj Vora and Ahmed Khan
Release date: July
USP: Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham have been added to the star cast

Kick 2
Plot: The much-awaited sequel to the story of how a common man, Devi Lal Singh, turns into a high-profile robber named Devil.
Cast: Salman Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez
Director: Sajid Nadiadwala
Release date: Dec 20
USP: Salman reprises the role of Devil

Student Of The Year 2
Plot: Similar to Karan Johar’s SOTY, the sequel will tell the story of college students and the strife caused due to a love triangle.  

Cast: Tiger Shroff, Tara Sutaria and Ananya Panday
Director: Punit Malhotra
Release date: May 10
USP: Actor Chunky Pandey’s daughter Ananya debuts on the big screen.

Plot: A fictitious dance crew and their struggles to win a global dance championship.  
Cast: Varun Dhawan, Shraddha Kapoor, Prabhu Deva, Dharmesh Yelande and Lauren Gottlieb

Director: Remo D’Souza
Release date: Nov 8
USP: Indian dance drama in 3D viewing format

Housefull 4
Plot: The fourth installment with a multistar cast promises to be a laughter riot laced with doses of action and romance.
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Kriti Sanon, Riteish Deshmukh, Kriti Kharbanda, Bobby Deol, Pooja Hegde, Chunky Pandey, Boman Irani and Rana Daggubati 

Director: Farhad Samji
Release date: Oct 25
USP: Bobby Deol’s Bollywood comeback as one of the lead actors

Sadak 2
Plot: A modern rendition of the 90’s hit, which carries forward the story of lovers caught between the worlds of crime and prostitution. 
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Pooja Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapur and Alia Bhatt

Director: Mahesh Bhatt
Release date: Nov 15
USP: Pooja Bhatt and Sanjay Dutt reunited on screen after several decades

Period Films

Plot: Based on the Battle of Saragarhi, which was fought with an army of 21 Sikhs against 10,000 Afghan men in 1897, the story is of Sardar Bahadur Ishar Singh who single-handedly won the battle.
Cast: Akshay Kumar and Parineeti Chopra

Director: Anurag Singh
Release date: March 21
USP: Akshay Kumar in action avatar

Plot: Pre-Partition drama with a multi-star cast ensemble.

Cast:  Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit, Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sonakshi Sinha

Director: Abhishek Varman  
Release date: April 19
USP: Madhuri and Sanjay share screen after 21 years


Plot: Nawazuddin Siddiqui essays the larger-than-life character of Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray, who was a political and cultural icon in Maharashtra. 
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Amrita Rao

Director: Abhijeet Panse
Release date: Jan 18 
USP: Siddiqui’s first biopic 

Gully Boy
Plot: A cinematic biography on the lives of rap artists Naezy and Divine who grew up in Mumbai’s largest slum, Dharavi. 

Cast: Ranveer Singh 
and Alia Bhatt
Director: Zoya Akhtar
Release date: Feb 14
USP: Unlikely story on Indian street-rappers

Super 30
Plot: The film is based on the real-life story of math wizard Anand Kumar from Bihar, who starts a training programme to coach aspiring IIT students from modest backgrounds to help them crack one of the toughest competitive exams in the country.

Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Amit Sadh, Pankaj Tripathi and Mrunal Thakur
Director: Vikas Bahl
Release date: Jan 25
USP: Lesser-known story of a common man

Taanaji—The Unsung Warrior
Plot: A period drama on the life of 17th century Maratha leader Tanaji Malusare, who fought alongside Chhatrapati Shivaji and helped him win the famous Battle of Sinhagad in 1670 AD.
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Ajay Devgn and Kajol
Director: Om Raut
Release date: Nov 22
USP: Ajay Devgn and Kajol to reunite on screen

Manikarnika—The Queen of Jhansi
Plot: Historical retelling of Rani Laxmibai’s fight against the British during the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny.  
Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Jisshu Sengupta, Ankita Lokhande, Danny Denzongpa, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and Atul Kulkarni.

Directors: Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi and Kangana Ranaut
Release date: Jan 25
USP: Kangana’s directorial debut 

Plot: An adaption of the South Korean film—Ode to My Father. It will span through 1950s to the modern day through the lens of an ordinary man. 

Cast: Salman Khan, Tabu, Katrina Kaif, Sunil Grover , Disha Patani, Aasif Sheikh Director: Ali Abbas Zafar

Release date: June 7
USP: Reimagination of Indian historical events

Batla House
Plot: Real-life story of IPS officer Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, who spearheaded Operation Batla House against Indian Mujahideen terrorists hiding in Jamia Nagar, Delhi, in 2008.
Cast: John Abraham 
and Mrunal Thakur
Director: Nikhil Advani
Release date: Aug 15
USP: Dose of patriotism on Independence Day   

Mission Mangal
Plot: The film tells the success story of Indian Space Research Organisation’s Mars Mission known as Mangalyaan and how it was the least expensive project undertaken so far by a space unit.
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Sharman Joshi, Sonakshi Sinha, Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari and Nithya Menen

Director: Jagan Shakti
Release date: Aug 15
USP: High on patriotism 

Plot: Cinematic recreation of the third battle of Panipat fought between Ahmad Shah Durrani of the Afghan kingdom and the Marathas in 1761.    
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Arjun Kapoor, Kriti Sanon and Kabir Bedi

Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
Release date: Dec 6
USP: Historical sets and period costumes


Vinaya Vidheya Rama
Plot: The story of a young man, who tries to save his family from the clutches of evil men
Cast: Ram Charan, Kiara Advani, Vivek Oberoi

Director: Boyapati Srinu
Release date: January 11
USP: After basking in the success of blockbuster Rangasthalam, Ram Charan has teamed up with director Boyapati Srinu, who has made a name for himself in dishing out action entertainers.

Plot: Maharshi is about an affluent businessman, who leaves his job to implement modern farming techniques in the heartland of Rayalaseema
Cast: Mahesh Babu, Pooja Hegde, Allari Naresh
Director: Vamshi Paidipally
Release date: April 5
Usp: Mahesh Babu and Pooja Hegde’s pairing

Plot: A high-voltage action film with the protagonist as an undercover cop.
Cast: Prabhas, Pooja Hegde, Neil Nitin Mukesh

Director: Sujeeth
Release date: Aug 15
USP: Prabhas’ universal appeal following the stupendous success of the Baahubali franchise

Plot: A biopic structured around the walkathon of late YS Rajasekhara Reddy, the former chief minister of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh.
Cast: Mammootty, Jagapathi Babu, Suhasini Maniratnam, Rao Ramesh

Director: Mahi V Raghav
Release date: Feb 8
USP: The hype around Rajasekhara Reddy’s personality


Thalapathy 63 
Plot: Yet to be disclosed
Cast: Vijay, Nayanthara, Vivekh 
Director: Atlee 
Release date: 
Oct 25
USP: Vijay is supposedly playing a soccer player

Plot: The film is touted to be a revenge drama along the lines of Baasha (1995). 
Cast: Rajinikanth, Vijay Sethupathi, Simran, Trisha, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Director: Karthik Subbaraj

Release date: January 10
USP: Rajinikanth’s third film with a new-age filmmaker after Kabali and Kaala. 

Thala 59 
Plot: When three young women get accused in a crime, a retired lawyer steps in to help them clear their names
Cast: Ajith Kumar, 
Rangaraj Pandey
Director: H Vinoth 
Release Date: Oct (tentative)
USP: Remake of Hindi film Pink. Ajith will reprise Amitabh Bachchan’s role.

Indian 2
Plot: A sequel to the 1995 hit film Indian, this one is once again said to revolve around freedom fighter Senapathy’s quest to hunt down the corrupt people in the system. 

Cast: Kamal Haasan, Kajal Aggarwal 
Director: Shankar
Release Date: Nov 29
USP: Kamal Hassan’s first film to be shot after his plunge into politics.


Irupathiyonnam Noottaandu
Plot: Not announced
Cast: Pranav Mohanlal, Gokul Suresh, Manoj K Jayan

Director: Arun Gopy
Release date: Jan
USP: Stunts by Peter Hein Mikhael


Plot: Not announced
Cast: Nivin Pauly, Unni Mukundan, Manjima Mohan
Director: Haneef Adeni
Release date: Jan
USP: The cat and mouse game between Nivin Pauly and Unni Mukundan

Plot: Not announced
Cast: Prithviraj, Wamiqa Gabbi, Mamta Mohandas, Prakash Raj
Director: Jenus Mohammed
Release date: Feb 7
USP: The sci-fi genre

Plot: Not announced
Cast: Mohanlal, Manju Warrier, Tovino Thomas, Vivek Oberoi
Director: Prithviraj

Release date: March 28
USP: Prithviraj’s directorial debut 

Plot: Mammootty plays a fierce member of ancient warriors plotting to overthrow the Zamorin rulers.
Cast: Mammootty, Prachi Tehlan, Neeraj Madhav, Dhruvan

Director: Sajeev Pillai
Release date: Not announced
USP: The big-budget historical epic will reportedly have Mammootty in several get-ups.


My Name is Kirataka
Plot: A sequel to Kirataka (2011), Yash plays a rustic village lad in the film set in the Mandya region similar to the original.
Cast: Yash, 
Nandita Shweta
Director: Anil Kumar 
Release date: March USP: Following KGF’s wide popularity, there’s a lot of buzz around this film 

Muniratna Kurukshetra 
Plot: A retelling of the Mahabharata 
Cast: Darshan, Ravi Chandran, Arjun Sarja, Ambareesh, Danish Akhtar Saifi, Nikhil Kumar, Ravi Shankar
Director: Naganna

Release date: March-April
USP: Darshan’s role as Duryodhana

Plot: An action film in which Puneeth plays a photojournalist 
Cast: Puneeth Rajkumar, Anupama Parameswaran, Rachita Ram 
Director: Pavan Wadeyar 

Release date: 
USP: The stunt sequences by Peter Hein

Yuva Ratna
Plot: An entertainer where Puneeth Rajkumar will play a college student 
Cast: Puneeth Rajkumar
Director: Santhosh Ananddram
Release date: March
USP: Santhosh and Puneeth, joining hands after Raajakumara 


Avengers: Endgame
Plot: Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Captain America and Bruce Banner team up to bring back their vanquished allies to fight Thanos. 
Cast: Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Brie Larson, Josh Brolin, and more
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Release date: April 26

Men in Black International
Plot: London-based Men in Black (MIB) secret agents try to solve a murder mystery that sends them travelling across the globe.
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Rebecca Ferguson and Liam Neeson
Director: F Gary Gray
Release Date: June 14
USP: Third MIB installment after a decade

Captain Marvel
Plot: In 1995, Captain Marvel follows a former US Air Force fighter pilot, who joins Starforce. She returns home only to question her past and identity when the Earth is caught in the centre of a galactic conflict between two alien worlds.
Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson and Jude Law
Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

Release date: March 8
USP: 90’s superhero flashback

X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Plot: X-Men face their most powerful enemy when team member Jean Grey starts to spiral out of control. Jean is nearly killed when hit by a mysterious cosmic force, which has made her more unstable. The X-Men try to save her while battling aliens who want to use her new abilities to rule the galaxy.
Cast: Sophie Turner, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender.
Director: Simon Kinberg
Release date: June 7
USP: Sophie Turner aka Sansa Stark in a superhero avatar

Plot: Aladdin falls in love with Princess Jasmine, but cannot marry her as he is not royalty. He finds a magic lamp that turns him into a prince, but first, he and his companions —the fabeled Genie—must face the evil Jafar.
Cast: Will Smith, Naomi Scott and Mena Massoud
Director: Guy Ritchie
Release date: May 7
USP: Will Smith playing the role of Genie

The Lion King
Plot: Lion cub Simba idolises his father, King Mufasa, but Scar, Mufasa’s brother, has plans of his own. Scar usurps the throne and sends Simba to exile. With help from friends, Simba grows up and comes back to reclaim what rightfully belongs to him. 
Cast: Donald Glover, James Earl Jones, Beyonce and Seth Rogen (voice over)

Director: Jon Favreau
Release date: July 19
USP: 90’s favourite Lion King in a modern rendition

Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Plot: Members of a crypto-zoological agency fight an army of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. The monsters fight for supremacy threatening to wipe out humanity.
Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, Zhang Ziyi
Director: Michael Dougherty
Release date: May 31
USP: Millie Bobbie Brown aka Eleven’s debut on the big screen

Pokémon Detective Pikachu
Plot: A young man joins forces with Detective Pikachu to unravel the mystery behind his father’s disappearance. Chasing clues, the dynamic duo discover a devious plot that poses a threat to the Pokémon universe.
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Kathryn Newton, Justice Smith 
Director: Rob Letterman
Release date: May 10
USP: Cinematisation of Pikachu.

The Addams Family
Plot: The Addams family’s lives begin to unravel when they meet a greedy crafty reality-TV host while also preparing for their extended family to arrive for a major celebration.
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Finn Wolfhard, Chloë Grace Moretz 
Directors: Conrad Vernon, Greg Tiernan
Release date: Oct 18
USP: Nostaglia for 90’s kids

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Plot: In 1969, a former actor and his longtime stunt double struggle to find success in a Hollywood that they don’t recognise anymore 
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Release date: July 26
USP: Leonardo and Brad sharing screen space

Ad Astra
Plot: A man journeys across a lawless solar system to find his missing father —a renegade scientist who poses a threat to humanity.
Cast: Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga
Director: James Gray
Release date: May 24
USP: Brad Pitt in a sci-fi

IT: Chapter Two
Plot: The evil clown Pennywise based on Stephen King’s book IT returns 27 years later to torment the grown-up members of the Losers’ Club.
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, James McAvoy, Bill Skarsgård
Director: Andrés Muschietti
Release date: Sept 6
USP: Stephen King’s bestseller retold

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