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Prithviraj Sukumaran, Asif Ali, Allu Arjun, Samantha Prabhu, and Tamanna Bhatia are all set to extend their fan base this year with rollicking hits
The past few years have seen the emergence of pan-Indian stars from regional industries and in 2023 , they are all set to broaden their reach with eagerly awaited releases.
Here is our pick of some names that are expected to set the box-office ablaze this year:
Hindi film audiences were first introduced to Prithviraj Sukumaran through ‘Aiyyaa’ ( 2012) and he was subsequently seen in ‘Aurangzeb (2013) and ‘Naam Shabana’ in 2017 but it is with the rising consumption of regional content that he became a household name. His company Prithviraj Productions has been spearheading hit films like ‘9’ (2019) and his directorial debut ‘Lucifer’ (2019) became the highest-grossing Malayalam film ever and also won over the OTT audience. Jana Gana Mana in 2022 became another big success but it was with ‘Kaapa’, a crime drama produced by Saregama India Ltd., that he truly became a pan-Indian force. In 2023, he will be seen in the Telugu action-thriller, ‘Salaar’ opposite Prabhas and also in a mainstream hindi film ‘Bade Miya Chote Miya’ with Akshay Kumar.
When the Malayalam procedural ‘Kuttavum Shikshayum’ became a hit on a streaming platform in 2021, audiences all over the country sat up to take notice of this subtle yet powerful actor. Since his well-received debut in 2009, ‘Ritu’ , Asif has walked the fine line between commercial hits and critically acclaimed cinema like the 2012 period drama, ‘Ozhimuri’ . 2022 was a fecund year for him with films like ‘Rorschach’, ‘Kooman’, ‘Kotthu’, and the superhit Yoodlee production, ‘Kaapa’. In 2023, fans are awaiting the release of his film ‘Kasargold’ , which promises to be another simmering crime caper by Yoodlee Films.
2021 saw the ascent of Telugu superstar Allu Arjun on the national stage when ‘Pushpa – The Rise’ broke records and emerged as the highest-grossing Indian film of the year. It also became among the highest-grossing Telugu films of all time. With his trajectory, he has decisively emerged from the shadows of his producer father, Allu Aravind and his uncle, superstar Chiranjeevi. This year, he will be seen in the eagerly awaited sequel, ‘Pushpa – The Rule,’ where he will star opposite Rashmika Mandanna.
Samantha Ruth Prabhu
In 2021, when Samantha Ruth Prabhu starred in the second season of Amazon Prime Video’s Hindi spy thriller ‘The Family Man’, as the fiery antagonist Raji, a rebel leader from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, India sat up and took notice. With regional hits like her debut ‘Ye Maaya Chesave’, ‘Eega’, ‘Kaththi’, ‘Dookudu’, ‘Mersal’, ‘Majili’, and the critically acclaimed , ‘Super Deluxe’, Samantha is now a nationally recognised talent whose cameo in ‘Pushpa – The Rise’ sent the audiences in a frenzy. This year, she will headline the lavish, period drama, ‘Shaakuntalam’ in the title role.
Her first few Hindi films (‘Chand Sa Roshan Chehra’ and ‘Himmatwala’) may not have worked but with the Baahubali franchise, Tamanna became a star to watch out for. Her martial art skills, screen presence and undeniable talent made her stand out even in these two largely testosterone driven blockbusters dominated by Prabhas and Rana Daggubati. After working extensively and successfully in the regional space with superstars like Surya (‘Ayan’), Ajith Kumar (‘Veeram’), and Vikram (‘Sketch’), she is now all set to welcome 2023 with ‘Bhola Shankar’, a remake of the Tamil movie, ‘Vedalam’, with Chiranjeevi and Keerthi Suresh .