Save the date: Every film worth a watch in 2019
Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Yami Gautam, Kirti Kulhari
Releases: January 11
Pakistan’s unprovoked attack on Uri in 2016 prompted India to launch a surgical strike on our neighbour. That forms the core of this Aditya Dhar-directed patriotic thriller that has already impressed with its hard-hitting trailer. And in Vicky Kaushal, looking all set to continue his fine form, we trust.
Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Jisshu Sengupta, Ankita Lokhande, Danny Denzongpa
Releases: January 25
The story of braveheart Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi is brought alive in this Republic Day weekend biggie that marks Kangana Ranaut’s debut as director. Tolly man Jisshu Sengupta plays Lakshmibai’s husband Gangadhar Rao and the trailer — a mix of fiery action and fabulous lines — is a winner already.
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
Cast: Anil Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, Juhi Chawla
Releases: February 1
The title is inspired by the song from 1942: A Love Story where Anil Kapoor romanced Manisha Koirala, but the tables are likely to be turned in this film that brings together Anil and daughter Sonam on screen for the first time. It touches upon the theme of homosexuality and the need to not put labels on love.
Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Manoj Bajpayee, Bhumi Pednekar
Releases: February 8
Udta Punjab man Abhishek Chaubey helms this film revolving around dacoits, set in the Chambal valley. The cast, that includes Ranvir Shorey, Ashutosh Rana and Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub, makes Sonchiriya a must-watch.
Cast: Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Kalki Koechlin
Releases: February 14
Zoya Akhtar brings together Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt for the first time in this musical drama that’s said to be based on the lives of Mumbai’s street rappers. Gully Boy will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in early February.
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu
Releases: March 8
After Pink, Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu come together for this Sujoy Ghosh thriller that’s a remake of the Spanish film, The Invisible Guest. Filmed extensively in Glasgow, Badla is co-produced by Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment and reportedly features SRK in a cameo.
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Parineeti Chopra
Releases: March 22
The Battle of Saragarhi — in which a battalion of 21 Sikh soldiers fought against 10,000 Afghans in 1897 — is the focus of this Anurag Singh-directed period film starring Akshay Kumar. It is co-produced by Akshay and Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions. Parineeti Chopra will look to bounce back with this one after a disastrous 2018.
Mental Hai Kya
Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Rajkummar Rao
Releases: March 29
The Queen pair of Kangana and Rajkummar come together for this quirky film that’s been described as an “adult black comedy”. If the fun pictures of the cast and crew from the London sets of this Prakash Kovelamudi directorial is anything to go by, Mental Hai Kya should be a cool watch.
The Zoya Factor
Cast: Dulquer Salmaan, Sonam Kapoor
Releases: April 5
Anuja Chauhan’s bestseller about a young girl who becomes a lucky charm for the Indian cricket team and falls in love with its handsome but eccentric skipper was optioned for a film many years ago, but is being shot now. What has us excited? Heart-throb Dulquer Salmaan as the dashing captain Nikhil Khoda.
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit, Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditya Roy Kapur
Releases: April 19
A flood of big Bolly from Gen X and Gen Y is the reason why Kalank is one of the most anticipated films of 2019. 2 States man Abhishek Varman directs this ambitious film that will bring together Sanjay Dutt and Madhuri Dixit 22 years after their last screen outing.
Cast: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Disha Patani, Tabu
Releases: June 5
The blockbuster combo of Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif and director Ali Abbas Zafar promises a paisa-vasool ride this Id. Kat was signed on after Priyanka Chopra walked out of Bharat just days before the film rolled. Scheduled to be shot in locations as diverse as Abu Dhabi, Spain and Malta, Bharat also stars Tabu and is Disha Patani’s biggest film yet.
Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Kiara Advani
Releases: June 21
In this remake of the smash-hit Arjun Reddy, Shahid Kapoor will attempt to slip into the shoes of Telugu star Vijay Deverakonda who excelled in the part of a doctor addicted to drugs and drinks.
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Diljit Dosanjh, Kiara Advani
Releases: July 19
Described as a dramedy, Good News takes a humorous look at pregnancy. Akshay and Kareena — who last starred together in the 2015 hit Gabbar is Back — play a couple, but our eyes are on the new (and unlikely) pair of Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani.
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu, Sonakshi Sinha, Sharman Joshi, Kirti Kulhari, Nithya Menen
Releases: August 15
Akshay Kumar is all set to have yet another super year with this Independence Day multi-starrer that focuses on India’s successful mission to Mars. Said to be “India’s first space film”, Mission Mangal has some notable actresses — Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu and Sonakshi Sinha — in the mix, but we are keeping a close watch on south Indian actress Nithya Menen who makes her Bollywood debut.
Cast: Prabhas, Shraddha Kapoor
Releases: August 15
Giving Akshay Kumar stiff competition on August 15 will be Bahubali man Prabhas who powers in with Saaho. Said to have a massive budget of Rs 300 crore, the story of the film, directed by Sujeeth, is being kept under wraps. Shraddha Kapoor is banking big on the action film to put her back in the reckoning.
Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Shraddha Kapoor, Tahir Raj Bhasin
Releases: August 30
Dangal man Nitesh Tiwari has served up an intriguing past-meets-present poster of his August release that he describes as “a timeless tale of timepass”. Take our money, already!
Hrithik-Tiger’s Untitled Film
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff, Vaani Kapoor
Releases: October 2
The action film produced by Yash Raj Films and directed by Siddharth Anand doesn’t have a name yet, and is going to be shot in Portugal, Sweden and Italy. Can’t wait for a dance-off between Hrithik and Tiger!
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Arjun Kapoor, Kriti Sanon
Releases: December 6
Ashutosh Gowariker will want to put the disaster called Mohenjo Daro behind him with this historical drama based on the Third Battle of Panipat. Arjun Kapoor will sport a new look for his role of Sadashiv Rao Bhau, with Sanjay Dutt playing Ahmad Shah Abdali.
Brahmastra Part I
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt
Releases: December 20
The first film of the fantasy trilogy produced by Karan Johar and directed by Ayan Mukerji will release in December. Real-life lovebirds Ranbir and Alia share screen space for the first time in a film that RK has described as a “romantic-fairy tale in a supernatural format”. Mouni Roy and Nagarjuna are also part of the cast.
Student Of The Year 2
Cast: Tiger Shroff, Ananya Panday, Tara Sutaria
Releases: May 10
Seven years after the first film made stars out of Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra, the sequel will introduce two debutantes — one is Chunky Panday’s daughter Ananya — in this Punit Malhotra-directed high school musical. Tiger Shroff will look to show off both his action skills and his dance moves.
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Esha Gupta, Riteish Deshmukh, Arshad Warsi
Releases: February 22
The first film was a lot of fun; the sequel, a huge disaster. Now, director Indra Kumar has lined up some of the biggest names for Total Dhamaal, with the promise that it will be “a fun-filled ride”. We will know in February.
The Accidental Prime Minister
Cast: Anupam Kher, Akshaye Khanna, Aahana Kumra, Arjun Mathur
Releases: January 11
If the trailer is anything to go by, Anupam Kher has slipped effortlessly into the skin of former prime minister Manmohan Singh in this hard-hitting biopic that’s based on Sanjaya Baru’s book The Accidental Prime Minister. Directed by Vijay Ratnakar Gutte and with Akshaye playing Sanjaya Baru, the film has courted controversy ever since it was announced.
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Amrita Rao
Releases: January 25
January is all set to be a month of political biopics with Nawazuddin Siddiqui playing Bal Thackeray. The film traces Thackeray’s rise from a cartoonist to one of the most controversial figures in India’s political history and it’s Nawaz’s performance alone — from the near-perfect prosthetics to the familiar Balasaheb hand wave — that will make us queue up for a watch.
Cast: Richa Chadha, Pankaj Tripathi
The rise and fall of ’90s adult film actress Shakeela is the focus of this biopic that stars Richa Chadha in the title role. Richa’s chameleon-like ability to slip into any part is what has us interested in this film directed by Indrajit Lankesh.
Cast: Shraddha Kapoor
Releases: Not yet fixed
Badminton champ Saina Nehwal’s remarkable story of grit and glory will be brought alive by Shraddha Kapoor. Amole Gupte — the man behind films like Stanley Ka Dabba and Hawaa Hawaai — directs.
Cast: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy
Releases: January 18
M. Night Shyamalan, the man behind some of the most potent psychological thrillers in recent times, melds the worlds of two of his own films — Unbreakable and Split — to come up with a thriller that will see David Dunn (Willis) use his supernatural abilities to try and track down Kevin Wendell Crumb (McAvoy), a man with 23 personalities. Like in Unbreakable, Jackson plays a pivotal role as “Mr Glass”.
Did you know: Glass draws inspiration from comic books like Saga, Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire, Sandcastle, Paper Girls, Daytripper and Last Look.
Cast: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Releases: March 19
The trailer is a killer. Jordan Peele, who gave us the chilling Get Out, is all set to spook audiences once again with Us, in which a family on vacation is attacked by a group of their own doppelgangers. The tone and texture of Us is similar to that of Get Out, and we are looking forward to a powerful turn from Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.
Did you know: Director Peele made the cast watch 10 horror films — including Dead Again, The Shining, The Babadook, It Follows and The Sixth Sense — before they started filming.
Cast: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, John Lithgow
Releases: April 5
Stephen King’s terrifying novel of the same name will come alive in this April release that traces the horrific turn of events when a young boy is buried in a pet cemetery and is resurrected as the demon. The trailer, featuring many a jump-scare moment, has us both petrified and piqued.
Did you know: Pet Sematary had been made into a film before. The 1989 version is the only film adapted from his books that Stephen King has said that “genuinely scared” him.
Pokemon: Detective Pikachu
Voices & Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Rita Ora, Bill Nighy, Ken Watanabe
Releases: May 10
The video game that took the world by storm a couple of years ago will release in the form of a film in May. The Rob Letterman film has Ryan Reynolds voicing the highly intelligent Detective Pikachu who teams up with Tim Goodman (played by Justice Smith),a former Pokemon Trainer, to look for his missing father. The film’s trailer, released in November, amassed more than 100 million views in 24 hours.
Did you know: The huge success of the Pokemon GO mobile game was the reason why the franchise has now been converted into a live-action movie.
The Lion King
Voices: Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Beyonce, James Earl Jones
Releases: July 19
It’s going to be #NostalgiaUnlimited as The Jungle Book man Jon Favreau reboots the much-loved Disney tale with Donald Glover as the voice of Simba and James Earl Jones reprising his role of Mufasa from the original 1994 film. You will find us in theatres on release day. What about you?
Did you know: July 19 — the day The Lion King hits theatres — marks the 25th anniversary of the release of the original film.
Alita: Battle Angel
Cast: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Lana Condor, Michelle Rodriguez
Releases: February 14
James Cameron co-produces this Robert Rodriguez-directed action-adventure film based on the Yukito Kishiro manga Gunnm. Rose Salazar stars as the title character who wakes up in a post-apocalyptic world with no memory. Reactions to the trailer have been ho-hum, but there are too many prolific names attached to this film to ensure that it will have us queuing up at the cinemas.
Did you know: Though it’s a live-action film, the title character of Alita has been created with CG animation and was shot in 3D.
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Al Pacino, Margot Robbie, Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, Kurt Russell
Releases: July 26
We. Cannot. Keep. Calm. Quentin Tarantino brings together some of the best names in the business — can it get bigger than Leo, Brad and Al Pacino in the same film?! — for this crime drama based on the infamous Manson family murders. While DiCaprio plays a TV actor in 1969 Los Angeles, Pitt stars as his friend and stunt double. The other big names in the cast? Margot Robbie, Damian Lewis and Dakota Fanning.
Did you know: The title is a homage to Sergio Leone who directed Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) and Once Upon a Time in America (1984).
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Vanessa Kirby, Idris Elba
Releases: August 2
A spin-off of The Fast and the Furious series, this August biggie focuses on two of the franchise’s popular characters — Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). The pairing of action men Johnson and Statham has us excited, but we are also looking forward to Idris Elba as bad guy Brixton.
Did you know: The film’s director David Leitch, who also directed Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2, has been a stunt double for Brad Pitt and Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz
Releases: October 14
Joaquin Phoenix stars as Arthur Fleck / Joker whose failed career as a stand-up comic forces him to become a criminal. Todd Phillips, the director of The Hangover films, shifts gears to direct this DC biggie that’s been co-produced by Bradley Cooper.
Did you know: Leonardo DiCaprio and It actor Bill Skarsgard were initially approached to play Joker.
Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Annette Bening, Jude Law
Releases: March 8
Marvel Studios’ first female-led superhero film has Oscar winner Brie Larson in the role of a former US Air Force fighter pilot who metamorphoses into Captain Marvel after the planet is caught in a galactic conflict between two alien races. The trailer, with Larson owning the part and rocking the blue-and-red superhero suit, has us intrigued. Samuel L. Jackson returns as Nick Fury and that glimpse of Jude Law has us wanting more!
Did you know: This film is set in the ’90s and serves as a prequel for established Marvel characters Nick Fury, Phil Coulson, Korath the Pursuer, and Ronan the Accuser.
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Cast: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Jon Favreau, Jake Gyllenhaal, Tom Hardy
Releases: July 5
Tom Holland returns as the webslinger in this Jon Watts film that unfolds after the events of Avengers: Endgame. What has us most excited? Jake Gyllenhaal joins the franchise as the villain Mysterio. Then there’s Michael Keaton as Vulture, Jon Favreau as Harold “Happy” Hogan and Tom Hardy as Venom.
Did you know: This will be the first movie of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Cast: Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, Djimon Hounsou
Releases: April 5
The seventh film in the DC Extended Universe stars Asher Angel as teenager Billy Batson who has the power to transform into an adult superhero (played by Zachary Levi) when the word “Shazam” is uttered. David F. Sandberg, the man behind horror hits like Lights Out and Annabelle Creation, directs. The first teaser, released at the San Diego Comic-Con last July, was praised for its humorous, zany tone.
Did you know: The Tom Hanks film Big and the smash-hit Netflix series Stranger Things are said to be the inspirations for the film.
Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Chris Pratt
Releases: April 26
Where will we find our fave Marvel superheroes when Avengers: Endgame arrives in April? Thanos has wiped out almost half the universe, and it’s now up to the Avengers to recoup and save mankind. The first trailer that dropped without notice in December has sent fans into a tizzy, with “Will this be the end of Iron Man?” being the burning question.
Did you know: The first trailer has broken all records for the highest-viewed trailer in history — approximately 289 million views in the first 24 hours.
Star Wars: Episode IX
Cast: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Lupita Nyong’o
Releases: December 20
Not much is known about the third and final instalment in the Star Wars sequel trilogy that will reportedly be set one year after The Last Jedi. J.J. Abrams will return to the director’s chair. A host of fan rumours regarding the film are doing the rounds with Carrie Fisher, who died in late 2016, being included in the film through unreleased footage from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.
Did you know: The sequel trilogy is the first trilogy in the Star Wars saga where all three films will be released in the same decade.
John Wick: Chapter 3
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane, Boban Marjanovic, Laurence Fishburne
Releases: May 17
Keanu Reeves returns as hitman John Wick in an all-new adventure where he’s on the run with a $14 million global contract out on himself. What we are looking foward to — a stylish, thrilling and action-packed ride.
Did you know: The film is also known as John Wick 3: Parabellum and Keanu Reeves has dropped hints that he wants it to be the concluding film in the franchise.
Godzilla: King Of The Monsters
Cast: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Sally Hawkins, Ken Watanabe, Zhang Ziyi
Releases: May 31
The sequel to the 2014 film Godzilla will see crypto-zoological agency Monarch face grave danger as it faces off against an array of god-sized monsters, including Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and the three-headed King Ghidorah. Expect a no-holds-barred monster fest, for director Michael Dougherty has revealed that he will “definitely take the gloves off for this film. No holding back”.
Did you know: Millie Bobby Brown — Eleven from Stranger Things — makes her feature film debut here.
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska, Sam Claflin
Releases: September 27
Not a true sequel but a reboot of the 2000 action comedy based on the 1970s TV series, not much is known about this film, but we are hoping that the original ‘Charlie’s Angels’ — Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu — pop in for an appearance.
Did you know: Heart-throb Noah Centineo plays a pivotal role.
It — Chapter Two
Cast: Bill Skarsgard, James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Jay Ryan, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, James Ransone, Andy Bean
Releases: September 6
The first film gave us the chills. It — Chapter Two promises to dial up the horror. Set 27 years after the first film, The Losers’ Club is forced to return to their hometown of Derry after ‘It’ returns. Bill Skarsgard reprises his role as Pennywise/ It, with James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Jay Ryan, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, James Ransone and Andy Bean portraying the adult versions of The Losers Club.
Did you know: It — Chapter Two was filmed over 86 days under the pseudonym “Largo”.
Other sequels in 2019: The Secret Life of Pets 2, Lego Movie 2, Toy Story 4, Terminator 6