NEW DELHI: Amid increasing reports of films looking at direct-to-digital releases on streaming platforms as cinemas remain shut, the makers of Telugu star Ravi Teja’s latest movie Khiladi have confirmed they will wait for theatres to reopen. They have unveiled a new poster this week though.

Khiladi is an action thriller film written and directed by Ramesh Varma and co-produced by Satyanarayana Koneru and Varma under the banner of A Studios LLP. The film stars Teja in a dual role alongside Arjun Sarja, Unni Mukundan, Meenakshi Chaudhary, and Dimple Hayathi. Initially scheduled to be released on 28 May 2021, it has been indefinitely postponed due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Incidentally, Teja had notched up a hit, Krack, this January, which was released in cinemas for Pongal.

To be sure, the southern film industry, which had held on better to business than Bollywood after cinemas had re-opened and the covid cases were on a decline, is now in as dismal a state as the Hindi movie industry. After a few successful films such as Master, Telugu offerings such as Krack, Jathi Ratnalu and Vakeel Saab, Kannada action drama Yuvarathnaa and Malayalam horror mystery The Priest, the southern states have seen theatrical closures, just like in north India.

Other than Khiladi, other films, too, have been delayed. Telugu studios Suresh Productions and Konidela Pro Company had announced that they were pushing ahead the date of their Venkatesh-starrer Narappa and action drama Acharya featuring Chiranjeevi. Both these were initially scheduled for Eid in May. The other Eid release, Mohanlal’s epic historical war film Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham, will now arrive on 12 August 2021, the actor said on social media.

Big southern titles such as Dhanush-starrer Karnan and Pawan Kalyan’s Vakeel Saab had gone ahead with theatrical release in April even as Bollywood pushed films such as Sooryavanshi, Bunty Aur Babli 2 and Chehre witnessed cinema shutdowns in key states such as Maharashtra and Delhi.

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