METRO PLUS

Role model

FOR THE Andhra star Pawan Kalyan, the younger brother of Chiranjeevi, the Tamil mega-star Rajnikanth is his role model.

Like Rajni, he is very secretive about his films. Pawan's last release was "Kushi" in April 2001 and the film, according to trade analysts, got a record distributors share of Rs. 30 crores from Andhra Pradesh.

Two years after "Kushi", Pawan is all set to release his new film "Johnny" this April. Taking a leaf out of his hero's book, Pawan has tied up with Archies to sell "Johnny" merchandise such as T-shirts, caps, wallpapers, cargo pants, tattoos and notebooks. The film audio rights have been sold for over Rs. one crore, the highest ever in Telugu film history. He has even issued a "Johhny" patent notice.

And in the trade "Johnny" is red-hot, as all distribution areas in Andhra have been sold out for nearly Rs. 20 crores!

Added to that, an NRI has purchased the U.S. rights for the film, which will be the first Telugu film to be released in the U.S. simultaneously.

SREEDHAR PILLAI

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