Pongal 2024 movie release confusion: Latest on Rajinikanth, Sivakarthikeyan, Dhanush, Vijay Sethupathi starrers

PUBLISHED DATE : 16/Nov/2023

Pongal 2024 movie release confusion: Latest on Rajinikanth, Sivakarthikeyan, Dhanush, Vijay Sethupathi starrers

Pongal, 2024 or Sankranti, 2024 is the first big holiday season of the calendar year in India, and movies that are scheduled to release in theaters during that January are a handful. In regional Tamil Nadu where Pongal is a major festival, atleast 5 different movies of well known actors have been announced to come out. Four of these are direct Tamil films, and confusion prevails over whether theater screens will be able to accommodate all of them during the said holiday. 


A gist of where each of these movies' release plans stand at the moment:


1. Ayalaan [Sivakarthikeyan]


A long-in-the-making project of Sivakarthikeyan's, Ayalaan is a huge budget sci-fi comedy that was one of the first films to announce its Pongal release i.e. January, 2024 release. Ayalaan release date is yet to be locked, and word in the grapevine is that the film's extensive CGI has not been finished even after all these years.

However theaters have been booked for Ayalaan, which is written and directed by R. Ravikumar, has Rakul Preet Singh playing female lead, AR Rahman for music, is produced by 24 AM Studios, Phantom FX Studios, and distributed by KJR Studios. The distribution banner's 2019 success with Viswasam when the Ajith starrer went against Petta, has seemingly not deterred its confidence in going against another film starring Rajinikanth (in an extended cameo) this Pongal. 


2. Lal Salaam [Rajinikanth, Vishnu Vishal, Vikranth]


Rajinikanth may be making just a special appearance in the movie but the entire marketing of Lal Salaam is shouldered by brand 'Rajini'. Actors Vishnu Vishal, Vikrant play cricketers of Hindu, Muslim religions and the movie is set around how the sports, the people playing it and spectators of it are pulled into the conflicts said religions bring. Rajinikanth's Muslim character 'Moideen Bhai' has been hinted to be a communist, in line with the film's title. 

An AR Rahman musical, Lal Salaam is written and directed by Aishwarya Rajinikanth. However in true Lyca Productions fashion, there were reports of Lal Salaam footage being lost due to an unprecedented hardware error. This was supposed to have delayed the film's scheduled Pongal release but the makers have maintained no change in the plans so far. Red Giant Movies is the distributor of Lal Salaam, so even though theaters haven't been booked yet, the movie is expected to open in decent number of screens in Tamil Nadu.   


3. Captain Miller [Dhanush]


If KJR Studios were the distributors of Viswasam, and hence have the confidence to clash with a star power like Rajinikanth once again, Sathya Jyothi Films were the producers of that film that withstood the box-office race against Petta in 2019. Captain Miller, a period action adventure starring Dhanush in the lead was one of the last biggies to be announced as a Pongal, 2024 release.

This Sathya Jyothi Films productions was previously scheduled to release on December 15, 2023 but their release plans was pushed due to delay at the edit table. It is being said that a lot was shot for Captain Miller, and editing it down is what has caused the release date postponement. Written and directed by Arun Matheswaran, Captain Miller also stars Priyanka Mohan, Shivarajkumar, Sundeep Kishan among others, and has GV Prakash for music. 


4. Aranmanai 4 [Sundar C]


Originally meant to be lead by Vijay Sethupathi, Aranmanai 4 starring, co-written, co-produced and directed by Sundar.C is the fourth installment of the filmmaker's horror franchise, that is scheduled for a Pongal release in January, 2024. Aranmanai 4 also stars Raashii Khanna, Tamannah Bhatia among others, and has Hiphop Tamizha Aadhi for music. It remains to be seen if the movie ends up getting enough theater screens to release alongside other biggies that holiday season. 

5. Merry Christmas [Vijay Sethupathi, Katrina Kaif]


Vijay Sethupathi is getting his Pongal release afterall, albeit with a Hindi-Tamil bilingual. Merry Christmas release date was officially announced as January 12, 2024 [Friday], and the Tamil version of the movie which has been shot with a separate set of supporting actors, will have a huge advantage of a 7-day Pongal holiday weekend. 

Merry Christmas stars Katrina Kaif, Vijay Sethupathi alongside Sanjay Kapoor, Gayathrie, Shanmugarajan, among others. Lal Salaam production banner Lyca Productions was said to be the distributor of Merry Christmas in Tamil, but official announcements on the same await. Besides Hindi and Tamil, the Sriram Raghavan directorial is also releasing in Telugu.  

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