"Remakes of South-Indian films are here to stay," says veteran producer Anand Pandit

Akshay Kumar’s ‘Laxmmi' is being globally streamed on Disney+Hotstar VIP on November 9, just before Diwali. It is the much-awaited remake of Raghava Lawrence’s 2011 film, ‘Kanchana.’ ‘Laxmmi' is just one of the many South-Indian remakes that will hit the screens in the near future. Shahid Kapoor's next is the remake of Telugu hit ‘Jersey,’ John Abraham is remaking Malayalam hit, ‘Ayyappanum Koshiyum,’ and Rajkummar Rao will star in the Hindi remake of Telugu film, ‘Hit.’

However, veteran producer Anand Pandit says that the trend of remaking South-Indian films is not new. According to him, it is older than even the recent wave of remakes like ‘Laxmii,’ ‘Simbaa,’ ‘Kabir Singh’ and the not-so-recent remakes like ‘Kick,’ ‘Rowdy Rathore’, ‘Wanted,’ ‘Ready,’ ‘Singham,’ ‘Bodyguard,’ ‘R…Rajkumar,' ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa,’ ‘Garam Masala,’ ‘Hera Pheri,’ ‘Ghajini’ and more.  

All through the 40s and the 50s, regional studios like Gemini Pictures, AVM and Prasad Productions were remaking their films in Hindi.

Pandit observes, “South-Indian films were being adapted for Hindi film audiences as far back as the 50s. Films like ‘Azaad’ that established Dilip Kumar Saab as a comic legend, was made in 1955 and was a remake of Tamil film ‘Malaikkallan.’ In fact Dilip Saab starred in many South-Indian remakes like ‘Ram Our Shyam’ and ‘Aadmi.”’

In the eighties too, reminds Pandit, Jeetendra starred in many hit South-Indian remakes like ‘Himmatwala’, ‘Mawaali,’ ‘Tohfa,’ ‘Justice Chaudhury’ and more.

Says Pandit, “It is not tough to see why so many makers and actors are drawn to South-Indian hits. Well-told stories that have already struck a chord with the audience are a safe bet and that is why you see so many remakes of ‘Arjun Reddy.’ It makes sense commercially to bet on a film that has done well.”

The producer whose films, ‘The Big Bull’ starring Abhishek Bachchan and ‘Chehre' starring Amitabh Bachchan and Emran Hashmi, are almost complete, says audiences want stories that have a universal appeal and often a South-Indian film offers something fresh. He adds, “I don’t think, we would have had films like ‘Laxmii' or ‘Ghajini’ or ‘Sadma’ amid us without their regional predecessors. As a maker, I too look forward to collaborating with directors from other industries and produce a really enthralling, entertaining remake.”

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