South Indian films remakes

Bollywood is presently in the process of remaking as many as eleven films that were originally South Indian hits. This includes family dramas like Jersey, action films like Ayyapanum Koshiyum, Kaithi and Vikram Vedha, thrillers like Ratchasan and spectacles like Shankar’s Anniyan. Chances are almost every hit film (Telugu film Hit too is getting a Hindi remake) is getting a Hindi version. But the reverse is happening too. Andhadhun’s Telugu and Malayalam versions have been released, with a Tamil version releasing soon. 

But what constitutes a good remake? Is it the total amount money all versions of a film makes, or simply the total number of versions that got made? Digging further into this pattern, let’s take a look at the South Indian films that got the most number of iterations in various languages, arranged in ascending order.

Pokiri (Telugu) 

Total remakes: 4

Puri Jagannadh’s Pokiri changed Mahesh Babu’s image when it was released. The film was a blockbuster and was showered with several accolades for direction, performances and music. It inspired several remakes including the superhit Vijay starrer Pokkiri in Tamil, directed by Prabhu Deva. He then made the same film again in Hindi with Salman Khan. But did you know that the film also got a smaller Kannada version called Porki and a Bangladeshi one called Moner Jala?


Bodyguard (Malayalam)

Total remakes: 4 

Bodyguard, starring Dileep and Nayanthara, is a rom-com directed by Siddique, who then went on to direct the Tamil (Kaavalan) and Hindi versions of the same starring Thalapathi Vijay and Salman Khan respectively. There is also a Telugu version with the same name, starring Venkatesh. All the versions of the film fared well and it’s one of those cases where the remakes ended up becoming bigger successes than the original. 

Manichitrathazhu (Malayalam) 

Total Remakes: 4

The Mohanlal- and Shobhana- starrer Manichitrathazhu, directed by Fazil, is considered a modern classic and among the biggest ever hits in Malayalam. The psychological horror film has inspired several remakes, each having made their own changes to suit the local audience. In terms of box office, the Tamil version became a bigger success than the original with a theatrical run of  800 days. It even revived Rajinikanth’s career post Baba, with changes to his character that made him more central to the plot than Mohanlal was in Manichitrathazhu. It was a big hit in Hindi too and a sequel to it is currently being made with Karthik Aryan playing lead. 

Ramji Rao Speaking (Malayalam)

Total remakes: 5 

Ramji Rao Speaking is a 1989 Malayalam comedy film that opened to empty theatres, only for it to snowball into one of the year’s biggest hits. It introduced a legendary director duo (Siddique-Lal) and a comedy film revolution. It also spurned Hera Pheri, among the most beloved remakes in Hindi, starring Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar and Suneil Shetty. Languages in which remakes of the original were made include Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Odia.

Sethu (Tamil) 

Total remakes: 5 

Sethu, directed by Bala, was a breakout film for Vikram. The film was a major critical success and it went on to bag a National Award. The film was remade into Hindi titled Tere Naam starring Salman Khan, who was appreciated for his performance. Sethu was remade into 4 other languages including Telugu, Kannada, Odia and Bangladeshi Bengali).

Naadodigal (Tamil)

Total remakes: 5

Naadodigal, directed by Samuthirakani, is a crime action drama starring Sasikumar, Vijay Vasanth and Bharani. It is a story of  three friends trying to reunite two lovers, but with a superb twist. The film had been remade into Telugu by Samuthirakani himself (Shambo Shiva Shambo) and into four other languages including Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali and Hindi. The Hindi version titled Rangrezz was directed by Priyadarshan.

 Vikramarkudu (Telugu) 

Total remakes: 6

S.S. Rajamouli’s Vikramarkudu starring Ravi Teja and Anushka Shetty is a commercial entertainer which turned out to be a blockbuster. The film was remade in Hindi as Rowdy Rathore starring Akshay Kumar and in Tamil as Siruthai starring Karthi. The film was remade four more in three other languages—one each in Kannada and Bengali and twice in Bangladesh!

U turn (Kannada) 

Remakes: 6

U Turn, starring Shraddha Srinath, gained a lot of attention for being an engaging supernatural thriller. The film is about the mysterious death of people on a flyover in Bengaluru. The film was remade with the same name in Telugu, Tamil, Sinhala and Filipino and as Careful and Flyover in Malayalam and Bengali respectively. The Telugu-Tamil bilingual starring Samantha was a big success.

Okkadu (Telugu) 

Total remakes: 6

Okkadu, directed by Gunasekhar, is one of the most memorable films in Mahesh Babu’s filmography. Owing to the film’s critical and commercial success, the film was remade into several other languages including the Tamil blockbuster Ghilli starring Vijay and the Hindi remake Tevar starring Arjun Kapoor. The film was also remade into Kannada, Bengali, Odia and Sinhala.

Shutter (Malayalam)

Total remakes: 6

Shutter is a Malayalam thriller starring Lal and directed by Joy Mathew. The film revolves around three men in an extremely precarious situation. The sleeper hit made in a tiny budget even worked commercially. The film has been remade into six languages including Telugu, Kannada, Tulu, Tamil, Marathi and Punjabi. The Telugu and Kannada versions were shot simultaneously and were directed by Prakash Raj.

 Kaadhal (Tamil) 

Total versions: 6

Kaadhal, directed by Balaji Sakthivel, is a romantic drama that was both critically and commercially well received. Apart from the Telugu dubbed version titled Premisthe, the movie has been remade into several other languages including Kannada, Marathi, Nepali, Bengali, Punjabi and Bangladeshi Bengali.

Thiruvilaiyaadal Aarambam (Tamil) 

Total remakes: 6

This 2006 movie starring Dhanush and Shriya Saran, was a commercially successful romantic comedy drama directed by Boopathy Pandian. The film has since been remade in six languages including Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Odia, Bangladeshi Bengali and Burmese. In Bangladesh, it became Darling Lover and in Burmese, it was called Chocolate Baby!

Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom (Tamil) 

Total Remakes: 6

NKPK is among the first to make Vijay Sethupathi the star he is today. About a man who forgets everything just a day before he gets married, the small film became a big success. There were remakes of NKPK in Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Marathi and Gujarathi.

Brindavanam (Telugu) 

Total remakes: 6

Jr. NTR’s Brindavanam is a commercial entertainer directed by Vamshi Paidipally. It got remade into six other languages including Kannada, Bengali, Marathi, Odia, Bhojpuri and Bangladeshi Bengali.

Pavitra Bandham (Telugu)

Total remakes: 6 

Pavitra Bandham is a Venkatesh, Soundarya that deals with life post marriage of the lead couple. It resonated with audiences across the country, resulting in six remakes including Kannada, Tamil,  Hindi, Odia, Bengali and Bangladeshi Bengali.

Kireedam (Malayalam) 

Total remakes: 6

Kireedam is a Malayalam action-drama film starring Mohanlal and Thilakan. The film is considered a classic for its exceptional screenplay and performances. Mohanlal even received a Special Mention National Award for this film. Kireedam has been remade into Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi, Bengali and Bangladeshi Bengali, even though none of them could recreate the same magic. 

 Anuraga Aralithu (Kannada)

Total remakes: 6

Kannada film Anuraga Aralithu (1986) starring Rajkumar is a romantic drama that was adapted from the Kannada novel Anuragada Antahpura. It’s Telugu remake Gharana Mogudu became one of Chiranjeevi’s most memorable films. The original film has been remade into six languages including Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Bengali, Odia and Bangladeshi Bengali.

Charlie Chaplin (Tamil)

Total Remakes: 6 

Charlie Chaplin, starring Prabhu Ganesan and Prabhu Deva, is a comedy directed by Sakthi Chidambaram. The movie is about two men trying to cover up a sticky situation from their repstie partners. Charlie Chaplin has been remade into 6 languages: Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi and Bengali.

 Drishyam (Malayalam)

Total remakes: 6 

Jeethu Joseph’s Drishyam broke every single box office record in Malayalam when it was released and it also became the first to hit the Rs.50 crore mark in the industry. It also became another record holder by becoming the first Malayalam film to get a Chinese version! The film has been remade into five other languages including Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and Sinhala. The sequel too became a big success that too will perhaps make it to this list in the future. 

Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana (Telugu) 

Total Remakes: 9

Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana marks the debut of Prabhu Deva as a director, and it went on to become a blockbuster in Telugu. Roughly inspired from the plot of Maine Pyar Kiya, the success of this film made Prabhu Deva a legit remake machine. The movie has a whopping nine versions including Tamil (Unakkum Enakkum), Kannada (Neenello Naanalle), Bengali, Manipuri, Odia, Punjabi, Bangladeshi Bengali, Nepali and Hindi (Ramaiah Vastavaiya). The Hindi version was directed by Prabhu Deva himself. 

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