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Why Kollywood stars are signing on multiple projects with producers

Tamil actors are preferring to sign multiple projects with the same producer

Tamil actors are preferring to sign multiple projects with the same producer   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The trend of doing two or three-film deals started in the South in the 70s and 80s

Early this year, a new trend kickstarted in Kollywood, with top heroes signing two or three-film deals with production houses. It has now caught on, with leading production houses in Chennai and Mumbai signing up stars to do multiple projects. Earlier, most top heroes used to dole out dates to individual producers on a one-film basis, but now, they want to work with the same producer in two or three films.

The trend of doing two or three-film deals started in the South in the 70s and 80s when actors like MGR, Sivaji Ganesan, Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan and Hindi star Jeetendra worked on back-to-back projects with leading production houses. The trend reversed in the late 90s, with a newer crop of producers making their way into the industry.

Now it’s back, as saleable stars feel more comfortable with signing up multiple films with the same producer.

Ajith will be working back-to-back with Boney Kapoor till 2020 for two films. The first will be the H Vinoth-directed Nerkonda Paarvai, the Tamil remake of Amitabh Bachchan’s Pink, which is likely to release this summer in June/July. It will be followed by another film for Boney Kapoor, for which the director has not yet been chosen.

Jayam Ravi has signed a three-film deal with a new production house, Screen Scene Media Entertainment. Ravi tweeted, “Excited to announce that I’ve signed a 3-film deal with the young and vibrant media house Screen Scene Media. Looking forward to a wonderful partnership and some great content. More updates on the projects soon.” Ravi refused to divluge details about the projects. The market rumour on the three-film deal pegs its value at about ₹25 crore! Meanwhile, Dhanush is doing a two-film deal with Kalaipuli S Thanu’s V Creations and TG Thyagarajan’s Sathya Jyothi Films. The star will be directed by Vetrimaaran and then Mari Selvaraj. He will also shoot for Durai Senthilkumar’s untitled new film, and follow it up with a project with director Ramkumar of Ratsasan fame.

Vijay Sethupathi, who has been supporting several independent producers, has now gone one step ahead and signed a reported three-film deal with Vansan Movies, with whom he did Sethupathi in 2016. For Vansan Movies and their associates, Vijay Sethupathi is currently doing the Arun Kumar-directed Sindhubaadh, followed by two more films.

The latest to join the three-film-deal club is Vishnu Vishal, who has signed a deal with Viacom 18. He says, “ It made good business sense to do a three-film deal with a corporate company that is looking seriously into Tamil films. The kind of films I want to do will concentrate more on content as proved by Ratsasan, which is now being remade in many Indian languages. This makes me more responsible and the idea for a three-film deal is a win-win situation for all concerned.”

What makes top stars go for such deals? Perhaps, it’s due to the safety net and comfort level of working with known people who understand the business of cinema. An industry analyst said, “Working with a leading production house, the star can be assured that his film will release on the announced date and there won’t be any hiccups during the making and time of release. As far as a producer is concerned, it is a safe bet because even if one of the films does not do well, he can make up with the other. The producer gets the chance to bargain and get a discount on the star’s salary, and for the actor, it is cash upfront.”

However, producer G Dhananjayan warns, “I think this amounts to monopolising of the trade or stars and is not good for the industry. Such bulk booking by one producer takes away the reasonable chances of other producers, who might have a good script for that specific artiste. Further, it will lead to escalation of costs if the films do not work out.” The industry is divided about such deals. Their success will depend largely on how these films work at the box-office.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 2:09:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/its-a-big-deal/article26597539.ece

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