‘Bunty Aur Babli 2’ theatrical release postponed amid surge in COVID-19 cases

The second instalment of the "Bunty Aur Babli" franchise, which was initially scheduled for April 23, 2021, has been postponed amid the rise in coronavirus cases.

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh took to Twitter and informed that Yash Raj Films will announce the new release date later.

The Abhishek Bachchan-Rani Mukheji starter "Bunty Aur Babli" was a huge hit in 2005, and the sequel stars Rani with Saif Ali Khan, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Sharvari.

According to a trade source, Aditya Chopra, Chairman and Managing Director of Yash Raj Films (YRF), wants to hold the release of "Bunty Aur Babli 2" so that masses can watch the film in cinema halls at a more opportune time when COVID-19 cases are in control.

"Aditya Chopra is playing the big game of making theatricals make a huge comeback and he is extremely confident that 'Bunty Aur Babli 2' will entertain the whole of India. The film is a popcorn entertainer that the entire family can watch and enjoy.

"He wants to hold the film and not release it at a time when the country is experiencing a huge spike of COVID-19 cases. He wants to keep an eye on the vaccination drive and see how India controls the virus spread in the days to come," the insider said.

Mumbai, home to the Hindi film industry, on Wednesday reported its highest one-day rise in COVID-19 cases so far with 5,185 new infections coming to light, which took the caseload in the country's financial capital to 3,74,611.

Chopra is hopeful that the movie will be able to draw masses to the theatres which will be a boon to the struggling film and exhibition industry, the source added.

"Big films will pull people in the theatre post the pandemic and one needs to be careful about their release dates because films like 'Bunty Aur Babli 2' will greatly contribute towards restarting the industry," the source further stated.

Produced by Aditya Chopra, "Bunty Aur Babli 2" is being directed by debutant Varun V. Sharma, who worked as an Assistant Director in YRF's "Sultan" and "Tiger Zinda Hai".

Sharma had earlier spoken about shooting with a small crew amid the pandemic.

"We worked with a small crew than what we are used to during normal times, but that in a way increased individual productivity because people were just happy to be back on set after months of lockdown and were willing to help out wherever they could," said Sharma.

India reported 53,476 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, highest single-day spike since October taking the total tally to 1,17,87,534 on Thursday.

According to the Health Ministry, Maharashtra and Punjab are turning out to be a major cause of worry. Cases have been increasing over the last two weeks.

On October 22 last year, India recorded a single-day spike of 54,366 infections.

The central government is closely monitoring and actively engaging with states and union territories over the resurge.

With death of 251 people in the last 24 hours, the toll has reached 1,60,692 in India. The active caseload in the country has mounted to 3,95,192.

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Free Press Journal