Mumbai, June 30: Amid ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the video streaming giant platform Disney Plus Hot Star announced that seven blockbuster films including Sushant Singh Rajput-starrer Dil Bechara will be released on the OTT platform between July and October.
Naming their virtual press conference ‘Bollywood Ki Home Delivery’, the meet was hosted by actor Varun Dhawan with Akshay Kumar, Alia Bhatt, Ajay Devgn, and Walt Disney Chairman Uday Shankar in attendance. They disclosed the lineup of the movies to be released on Hotstar.
Disney+ Hotstar recently announced its latest tab, titled Multiplex. This new tab is set to release on July 24, 2020. On this Multiplex tab, it will premiere multiple highly anticipated Bollywood films. It is aimed at re-imagining the theatrical experience which has been at a halt from mid-March in the wake of the coronavirus-led shutdown.
The movies set to release are Laxmi Bomb, Bhuj: The Pride of India, Sadak 2, The Big Bull, Lootcase, Khuda Haafiz, and Sushant Singh Rajput’s last film, Dil Bechara. The new posters for these films have been released on social media after their release was announced.
The first movie of Disney+ Hotstar Multiplex will be Sushant Singh Rajput’s last movie “Dil Bechara”. It will be available free to viewers as a tribute to Rajput but all the other films will be available to Disney+ Hotstar VIP and Premium subscribers with screenings starting on 24 July.
“These are all compelling films, which will be of interest to subscribers., Hindi films have a core audience base but we have widened the access to these films and hopefully many more will experience them," Uday Shankar, president of The Walt Disney Company APAC and chairman of Star and Disney India said.
Talking about the poster of Laxmmi Bomb, Akshay Kumar said, “Horror-comedy is my favorite genre. I had previously done Bhool Bhulaiyaa in this space. I had heard the story of Laxmmi Bomb long back and always wanted to get it made. It’s my passion project and I want to thank my producers Shabina Khan and Tusshar Kapoor, and our director Raghava Lawrence.”
Talking about the film releasing on an OTT platform, Ajay said in a statement, "Having done a hundred films, I took it for granted that theatres were where our films were meant to play. However, two things happened suddenly and almost simultaneously. The Corona pandemic threw all our comfort worlds into a tizzy.
Further, he added, "And, at the same time the OTT medium that was a fairly new phenomenon gained a huge significance as far as consuming entertainment is concerned. In the future, Theatres and OTT will move in parallel. Both options offer their strengths. Bhuj: The Pride of India on Disney+ Hotstar VIP – a platform that will showcase our film across the length and breadth of the country. I think people will once again start looking forward to new film releases."
Khuda Haafiz stars Vidyut Jammwal, Annu Kapoor, Shivaleeka Oberoi, Shiv Pandit, and Aahana Kumra. The film is written and directed by Faruk Kabir and produced by Kumar Mangat Pathak and Abhishek Pathak (Panorama Studios International).
Sadak 2 is a sequel to the iconic blockbuster Sadak which released in 1991. The movie stars Sanjay Dutt, Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapur, and Pooja Bhatt, Jisshu Sengupta, Makarand Deshpande, Mohan Kapoor, Gulshan Grover, Priyanka Bose, and John Gardener. The film has been directed by Mahesh Bhatt, Written by Suhrita Sengupta and Mahesh Bhatt, Cinematography by Jay Patel and Produced by Mukesh Bhatt.
Lootcase stars Kunal Kemmu, Rasika Dugal, Gajraj Rao, Ranvir Shorey, and Vijay Raaz. The film is directed by Rajesh Krishnan, written by Rajesh Krishnan and Kapil Sawant, Produced by Fox Star Studios and Soda Films.
All seven films were originally slated to première in theatres. However, the film couldn’t release on its scheduled date as the cinema halls were shut due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Then the producers decided to skip theatres entirely and release the movies directly on streaming.
Moreover, the petty discriminatory behavior displayed at this recent press conference as the Vidyut Jammwal and Kunal Kemmu stars in some of the films revealed in the lineup were reportedly not invited to talk up their films. A brief mention of their films, Khuda Haafiz and Lootcase, was made by Varun Dhawan and Uday Shankar. They expressed their disappointment about being excluded from the online event.