2022. The year sounds hopeful and heavy at the same time. After two years of struggling and coping through the pandemic, a new year could very well feel like just another change in the dateline. The postponement of the theatrical releases of Jersey and RRR has only added to the woes. However, what we do have is the slate of cinema the year will – potentially – bring with it. Hindi cinema in 2022 looks like the year of experiments, a plethora of mass entertainers and some promising, reflective cinema. It looks like a year of scale and superstars, and at the same time, of subtlety and novelty. It looks like the year of films with a pan-India intent, like RRR, Adipurush, KGF Chapter 2 and Liger. And it also looks like the year we will hopefully see a Shah Rukh Khan film in the theatres – no official announcements have been made yet, however.
Here’s a list of upcoming films that have piqued our interest. Of course, we don’t know if these films would release as per schedule or how they would ultimately turn out to be, but we’re excited to find out.
Director: SS Rajamouli
Think Rajamouli and you can instantly picture scale, enriching visuals and a vision so unique that it’ll leave you in wonder. With RRR, he paints a fictional world with two real-life freedom fighters. Not just that, he brings together a star-studded, legit pan-India ensemble of Jr. NTR, Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn and Alia Bhatt, pulling off a feat so rare that one can’t help but take notice.
Director: Shakun Batra
Releasing On: January 25, 2022
Shakun Batra is a master at depicting complex urban dynamics with utmost sensitivity. He has done it in the past with Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu and Kapoor & Sons. His upcoming film – a deep-dive on urban relationships hinting at infidelity – starring Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ananya Panday and Dhairya Karwa looks no different. [Also, can we talk about the aesthetics of that teaser?]
Director: Harshavardhan Kulkarni
Tentatively Releasing On: February 4, 2022
The film, starring Rajkumar Rao and Bhumi Pednekar, is a ‘spiritual sequel’ of the 2018 hit Badhaai Ho – where Rao plays the role of the sole male cop in his headquarters while Pednekar plays a PT teacher. Both actors have an impressive comic timing and it’ll be interesting to see how they team up to carry forward the novelty of the predecessor.
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Tentatively Releasing On: February 18, 2022
We know we can do with some Sanjay Leela Bhansali grandiose right about now. The director’s frames and colours are like paintings in motion, and with the talented Alia Bhatt headlining the film in a never-seen-before role as a mafia queen, this could be one dream combination.
Laal Singh Chaddha
Director: Advait Chandan
Tentatively Releasing On: April 14, 2022
Aamir Khan handles emotional characters with aplomb. And in the Hindi-language remake of a classic like Forrest Gump, you expect just that. Also starring Kareena Kapoor Khan and Naga Chaitanya, what’s compelling is that the film has been shot in more than a 100 locations across the country.
KGF Chapter 2
Director: Prashanth Neel
Tentatively Releasing On: April 14, 2022
KGF Chapter 2 is being billed as the most expensive Kannada film ever made. Yash and Srinidhi Shetty reprise their roles from the original, and are joined by Sanjay Dutt and Raveena Tandon in pivotal roles. The first film set new records for Kannada cinema, with its dubbed version gaining tremendous popularity among the Hindi-speaking audience. It won’t be wrong then to anticipate something bigger and better from the sequel.
Director: Anubhuti Kashyap
Tentatively Releasing On: June 17, 2022
Ayushmann Khurrana as a gynaecologist? Hell yes.
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Director: Gurmmeet Singh
Tentatively Releasing On: July 15, 2022
Horror comedies are the new trend in Bollywood. However, the idea of casting Katrina Kaif, Ishaan Khatter and Siddhant Chaturvedi as professional ghostbusters is fresh and has us hooked to its updates.
Director: Puri Jagannadh
Tentatively Releasing On: August 25, 2022
Jagannadh’s distinct, massy brand of cinema combined with Vijay Deverakonda’s return to the angry young man avatar post Arjun Reddy might just have the right ingredients for the next big success story at the Box Office.
Director: Ayan Mukerji
Tentatively Releasing On: September 9, 2022
The film was officially announced in 2017 but continues to be one of the most-anticipated projects five years on. While Hindi cinema continues to hunt for homegrown superheroes of their own, the return of the Ayan Mukerji-Ranbir Kapoor combination might just be the missing link. The first motion picture of the film saw an intriguing image of Kapoor with a burning trident along with a silhouette of Lord Shiva holding his Trishul in the background.
Director: Amar Kaushik
Tentatively Releasing On: November 25, 2022
After Stree and Roohi, producer Dinesh Vijan returns with his third horror-comedy instalment, Bhediya. What makes this project a head turner is that it’ll form Vijan’s own horror-comedy universe, with Varun Dhawan’s Bhediya coming together with Janhvi Kapoor’s Roohi and Flora Saini’s Stree. Also, the last time we recall a man transforming into an animal was Rahul Roy in Junoon. It’ll be fascinating to see how Dhawan pulls off the transition.
Director: Amit Ravindernath Sharma
Tentatively Releasing On: June 3, 2022
The director of Badhaai Ho teaming up with Ajay Devgn for a sports biopic on the legendary football coach Syed Abdul Rahim? We’re listening. Devgn as Rahim appears to be a great casting choice, and a film on the golden era of Indian football (1952-1962) – with the likes of football greats like Chuni Goswami and PK Banerjee playing for the team – seems long overdue.
Director: Aakash Bhatia
Starring Taapsee Pannu, Tahir Raj Bhasin and Shreya Dhanwanthary, the film is a remake of the 1998 German thriller Run Lola Run. The original was fun, clever, trippy and anything but a run-of-the-mill (pun intended) love story. If the Hindi adaptation is anything close to it, we have a winner on our hands.
Director: Anvita Dutt
After Bulbbul, the team of Anvita Dutt and Tripti Dimri are back with Qala, which marks the debut of the late Irrfan’s son, Babil. Essentially a story of a daughter longing for her mother’s love, the snow-clad mountains and its crystally white frames gives it a rare mystical charm – reminiscent of the reds and blues of Bulbbul.
Monica, Oh My Darling
Director: Vasan Bala
Vasan Bala is back after Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota, and honestly, that’s enough to make us excited. Starring Rajkumar Rao, Radhika Apte and Huma Qureshi, the noir film will combine elements of thrill, dark comedy and old worldly mystery with a diabolical ploy to pull off ‘the perfect murder.’
Director: Sameer Saxena
Don’t we love the vulnerability Jitendra Kumar manages to bring through his performances? This film looks no different as this time, Kumar essays the role of a magician hoping to magically gain some athletic prowess to win a football match and marry the love of his life.
Director: Karan Malhotra
The period action drama starring Ranbir Kapoor, Vaani Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt started to film in 2018. Now that it’s finally ready to release with extensive detailing and VFX in place, it’ll be fascinating to see Ranbir donning the role of a vigilante in the disguise of a dacoit.
Director: Divyang Thakkar
Whatever Ranveer Singh does, he does well. He gets into the skin of his characters in a way we rarely see in today’s time. Through its poster, it looks like a colourful film with a social message where Singh plays a Gujarati man who aspires to bring about equality between men and women in a patriarchal society.
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Director: Anubhav Sinha
Anubhav Sinha-Ayushmann Khurrana team up again post Article 15 in what will be a political thriller set in the Northeast. While we have seen Khurrana experiment with a variety of roles over the years, the fact that he calls this film ‘genre-breaking’ for him has us intrigued.
Rocketry: The Nambi Effect
The biographical drama chronicles the life of S. Nambi Narayanan, a former rocket scientist at the Indian Space Reasearch Organisation, who was wrongly charged with espionage. The film, spanning across timelines, has been directed, written, produced and acted by R Madhavan. Actors venturing into direction isn’t a new trend but we’re curious to see the way Madhavan details a tricky, research-laden topic with sensitivity.
Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway
Director: Ashima Chibber
We are all for the all-woman team of Ashima Chibber (Mere Dad Ki Maruti) and Rani Mukerji. The powerhouse performer that she is, Mukerji will be seen in a story based on a real-life incident where a mother fights back after getting separated from her children by the Norwegian Child Welfare Services.
Director: Om Raut
We have seen several adaptations of Ramayana in the past, but what makes Raut’s Adipurush exciting is that the director knows how to tell a grand-scale mythological story. Prabhas as Ram is the perfect take-off from Baahubali, and Saif Ali Khan’s role as Lankesh might just give him in 2022 what Langda Tyagi gave him in 2006.
Director: Rohit Shetty
With Rohit Shetty venturing into Shakespearean landscape with the official adaptation of William Shakespeare’s classic, The Comedy Of Errors, we can only imagine what a massy, big-scale re-interpretation it could potentially turn out to be. Also, did we mention it has Ranveer Singh in his first-ever double role?
If the Tamil-language version of the classic thriller had Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi coming together, the Hindi version will see the exciting combination of Saif Ali Khan and Hrithik Roshan. It’s quite rare to see two top actors in Bollywood collaborating for a film and with the original directors helming it, we hope the authenticity of the original will remain intact.
Mr And Mrs Mahi
Director: Sharan Sharma
The film is written and directed by Sharma, whose previous film, Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl impressed on many accounts. It was tender, sensitive and empowering – much-needed in today’s times. His next venture, starring Rajkumar Rao and Janhvi Kapoor, is expected to generate similar emotions; this time, with a story set in the backdrop of cricket.
Director: Maneesh Sharma
The Tiger franchise, starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, has lived up to its billing of being a solid entertainer over the years. With Sharma [returning as a director post Fan] carrying it forward with the third instalment, both the action and the narrative are expected to be taken a notch higher. The addition of Emraan Hashmi in the main cast is generating curiosity; plus, there’s a guest appearance from Shah Rukh Khan too.
Director: Nagraj Manjule
Manjule understands the intricacies of human emotions. We have seen that in his past films like Sairat and Fandry. In his Bollywood debut, he teams up with Amitabh Bachchan to tell the real-life tale of Vijay Barse, the founder of Slum Soccer – an NGO that empowered underprivileged kids through football. If its first look, released in 2020 – just through its music [by Ajay-Atul], visuals of kids walking with cricket bats and stumps in a slum area and Bachchan’s voiceover – could be powerful, we wonder what the film in itself would be like.