Inspired by Hollywood and egged on by the popularity of some films, a spate of sequels is all set to hit Bollywood.

When Munna and Circuit were planning to go to Amrika (America), there was a rush of excitement among the trade and audiences alike. Rajkumar Hirani just had to say the magic word, “sequel”, and everybody heard with rapt attention. Hirani, of course, pushed his “Munnabhai Chale Amrika” (the third in the “Munnabhai” series) on the backburner to make “3 Idiots”, a step that many would term hara-kiri. After all, why not make hay while the sun shines, was the industry's refrain.

Keen to milk the success of their first film, several filmmakers are hoping to make hay this year, with a barrage of sequels hitting the screens! The Abbas-Mustan duo is gearing up for “Race 2”; “Dhoom 3” is going to hit the floors soon; David Dhawan is all set to commence “Partner 2”; Farhan Akhtar's “Don 2” is easily the most-awaited film this year; Anees Bazmi is piloting “No Entry Mein Entry”; Boney Kapoor is bringing “Mr India” back to life; and Indra Kumar is set to work on “Dhamaal” as “Double Dhamaal”.

Lessons from Hollywood, or merely a drying up of ideas? It's neither, if one were to believe the filmmakers trying to recapture audiences with sequels. Boney Kapoor of BSK Network and Entertainment that has projects such as “Mr India 2” , “No Entry Mein Entry”, and possibly a sequel to Salman Khan-starrer “Wanted” (2009), says: “A sequel carries forward the credibility established by the first project. The hero creates the initial interest; a sequel multiplies that interest manifold. There is a lot of media buzz around the sequel, something one has to work very hard for in a standalone film,” he says, adding that part of this phenomenon could be attributed to Hollywood. “There was a sequel effect in Hollywood. The “Munnabhai…”, “Golmaal” and “Dhoom” sequels have created an excitement in Bollywood too.”

Kapoor is not the only one thinking so. Tarun Mansukhani, whose “Dostana” set the cash registers ringing in 2008, has been penning a sequel to it for a while now. Mansukhani has reportedly been under great pressure to quicken the pace and direct a sequel, but is taking his time to put together a solid script. Such is the speculation about the film that reports about Imran and Ranbir essaying the roles of John and Abhishek keep surfacing every now and then, although the director keeps denying them.

“For a sequel, you'd better have a great script,” says director-producer J D Majethia of Hats Off Productions, whose televised series ‘Khichdi' made it to the silver screen last year and even posted fat returns on the box office and through satellite rights. He is certain to direct the second part of “Khichdi The Movie”. “When making the film, I wondered if people would pay money to watch a TV series as a film. Now that it has done well, we are scouting for ideas for a sequel,” he adds.

 The “Dhoom” series (2004, 2006) is going to see a third one five years after the first Sanjay Gadhvi-directed film was released to packed houses. Direction is changing hands to Vijay Krishna Acharya (who helmed the infamous “Tashan”) and the script is apparently so good that it has bowled over none other than Aamir ‘Midas' Khan who has agreed to play villain following the steps of John Abraham and Hrithik Roshan.

While many think that repeat value is hedged with the characters being etched in peoples' minds and hence the effort to market a sequel is lesser, opinion is divided over whether sequels are bound to perform better or as well as the original. The fear is that comparison can kill a sequel too. Hence, most directors are keen on pencilling a tight storyline before even thinking of an encore.

One two many

“Race 2” will also be directed by Abbas-Mustan and produced under the Tips Films banner. Initial reports suggest that except for Bipasha Basu, the rest — Anil Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Bipasha Basu and Katrina Kaif — will star again in the film.

“Partner 2”, a sequel to the 2007 romcom, is beginning soon. Besides Salman Khan and Govinda, it will reportedly star Sanjay Dutt. Grapevine suggests that Salman is keen on roping in Miss Universe Jimena Navarrete Rosete as his heroine, in place of Lara Dutta.

Unlike suggested by some, “Mr India 2” will not have Boney Kapoor's son in the lead; Anil Kapoor plays hero.

“Don 2”, a sequel to Farhan Akhtar's remake of the Amitabh Bachchan starrer “Don” (1978), will see a year-end release. Directed, co-written and co-produced by Farhan Akhtar, it stars Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Arjun Rampal, Ishaa Koppikar, Boman Irani and Om Puri in their previous avatars. It will also feature Hrithik Roshan in a cameo — his first ever.