Haathi Mere Saathi, the upcoming trilingual film starring Rana Daggubati in the lead role, has postponed its release date citing “Covid-19 situation in the Hindi markets”, the makers said in a statement on Tuesday. The film was supposed to release on Friday.
However, the film’s Telugu and Tamil versions, Aranya and Kaadan respectively, will release on Friday. Produced by Eros International, the trilingual drama film is written and directed by Prabhu Solomon.
“Dear viewers, It pains us to share this news but given the Covid-19 situation in the Hindi markets, the team of Haathi Mere Saathi has decided to hold on to the release of the film. We shall keep you posted on further developments,” the production company said in the statement.
Nikil Murukan, the publicity manager of Kaadan, told Silverscreen India, “There is an increase in Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra, hence the team has not yet decided the release date for the Hindi version.”
Haathi Mere Saathi also stars Vishnu Vishal, Zoya Hussain, and Shriya Pilgaokar. Music is composed by Shantanu Moitra, with AR Ashok Kumar as the cinematographer. Bhuvan Srinivasan is in charge of editing.
The makers have not announced a revised release date of Haathi Mere Saathi.
Zee Studios’ upcoming Punjabi film Puaada, which was slated to release on April 2, has also postponed its release. Puaada is the first Punjabi film which was expected to release after the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
“Due to the rising cases of Covid-19 and new guidelines for cinemas with weekend and night closures of theatres we have decided to postpone our movie Puaada until further notice… And feel our movie is best suited for a theatrical experience, so we have decided to bring Puaada to audiences theatrically when the environment is more conducive for the theatrical experience,” Puaada makers said.
We wish for everyone’s safety, health and well being.
Team #Puaada is grateful for your love and support. See you in cinemas soon!@AmmyVirk @bajwasonam @aandapictures @brat_films @ZeeMusicCompany #RupinderChahal @atulbhalla78 @PawanGill @SinghAnurag79 @theamangill pic.twitter.com/Qe8CwSFfbO
— Zee Studios (@ZeeStudios_) March 23, 2021
As India entered a year of lockdown on Wednesday. As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, there are 3,68,457 active cases and 1,60,441 deaths, till 8 am on Wednesday. About 5,08,41,286 people have been vaccinated.
India recorded its highest virus tally in 102 days on March 17, with 35,886 patients testing positive. Maharashtra, one of the most important markets for Hindi cinema and where the Hindi film industry is based, continues to be one of the worst affected states, contributing to 64% of India’s daily number of cases. Punjab and Madhya Pradesh have imposed night curfews and restrictions on theatre capacity.
Film trade analyst Komal Nahta said releases of Haathi Mere Saathi and Puaada were postponed as both films have an all-India market.
“The south remains unaffected because when the respective states do not report cases, they can afford to release the films. But for a Hindi film, you need to consider all of India. Even if two big states are reporting too many cases, it is a huge loss when the film gets released. This is because Hindi films have a pan-Indian appeal. And their recovery has to be from all India. While a Tamil or Telugu film would concentrate on Tamil Nadu or Andhra [Pradesh] respectively, Hindi films have to take account of pan-India. There are many states that are consumers of Hindi films. It is a major setback for Bollywood,” Nahta said.
“However, while Haathi Mere Saathi is postponed, I spoke to Reliance [Entertainment] and they said they are going ahead with Sooryavanshi because they are hopeful by April 30, which is the date of release, things will improve,” he said.
Recently, Yash Raj Films announced a slew of projects. While their Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar released in theatres on March 19, the production house has Bunty Aur Babli 2, a sequel to the 2005 film Bunty Aur Babli, lined up for a theatrical release on April 23. Other films in the pipeline include Shamshera, starring Ranbir Kapoor on June 25, Ranveer Singh’s Jayeshbhai Jordaar on August 27, and Akshay Kumar’s Prithviraj on November 5.
— Yash Raj Films (@yrf) February 17, 2021