We have plans to do a few more chapters

Vijay Kiragandur of Hombale Films talks about KGF Chapter 2 and its clash with Vijay’s Beast: ‘We are confident that there are enough screens in India. Both films can be accommodated’

Ahead of the release of KGF: Chapter 2, producer Vijay Kiragandur talks about how international markets were picked for the Yash-starrer, and plans to continue with the franchise.

As fans of the KGF franchise are lining up to buy tickets for the second chapter, producer Vijay Kiragandur shares what makes the action movie the perfect pan-India film.

On 14 April, KGF: Chapter 2 will hit the big screens in about 70 countries in Kannada, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. Among those countries is Greece, which isn’t a conventional market for films made in South India.

“There was a lot of interest from Greece. We got lots of messages on social media from Greece, so our distributors reached out to the concerned people there. In fact, there is a lot of interest in most parts of the world. It’s not like we chose the country, but it’s the people who chose the film. They wanted to watch it,” Kiragandur, founder of Hombale Films tells Firstpost.

The makers of the film started working on the list of markets about a year ago.

“We started doing our homework after we dropped the teaser. It got more than 250 million views across the world,” he shares.

His team did an analysis on where the viewership was coming from and then they reached out to distributors in those regions.

The makers are clearly targeting people from different parts of the globe. It’s something that could have been achieved by taking the OTT route, which had become the norm during the coronavirus pandemic.

Explaining why KGF: Chapter 2 wasn’t released on an OTT platform, the producer says, “The experience of watching the movie in a theatre is entirely different from what you see on OTT. Our movie is meant for the big screen experience. We had to wait for almost two years to release it in theatres. We got offers from different OTT platforms, but we didn’t give it to them.”

They have a proper theatrical window, after which the movie will come on OTT.

Fans are also eager to watch the much-awaited film in theatres and tickets are getting sold like hotcakes.

Talking about advance bookings, he shares, “About one lakh tickets were sold from three chains — PVR, Inox and Cinepolis within first few hours. It’s a massive number. It is one of the most anticipated films. We are expecting it to be one of the biggest releases in recent times.”

To keep the admirers hooked to the franchise, the film’s makers also entered the virtual world with KGFVerse. The digital avatar-based metaverse gives an opportunity to fans to build games and virtual environments.

If Yash and KGF have a strong fan base, superstar Vijay’s supporters are also doing everything to make his film Beast a hit. But Kiragandur doesn’t fear that Beast, which will release on 13 April, will eat up his film’s business.

It seems like he doesn’t have to worry much about the film’s success as it has many ingredients to make it a blockbuster. One of the things that piqued the interest of viewers is the clash between Yash and Sanjay Dutt’s characters that’s bound to happen in the film.

“When we started working on KGF 1, we had Sanjay Dutt in mind for the character. When we finalised the script, we wanted two actors — one was Yash and the other was Sanjay.

“I think from the director’s (Prashanth Neel) perspective, he wanted someone who was well known in the industry and had also done some scary villainous roles,” he laughs while talking about casting the Agneepath actor in the film.

While the sequel to the 2018 film KGF: Chapter 1 is yet to hit the screens, Kiragandur is already thinking of working on more parts.

“We have plans to do a few more chapters. I think it will get bigger and better,” he says.

Hombale Films has another pan-India film titled Salaar, with a cast led by Baahubali star Prabhas.

“We have completed 30 percent of the film’s shooting. It is also being directed by Prashanth. The shooting will resume from May. We are planning to complete the shooting by October or November, and release it by March or April next year,” shares the producer.

His company will announce one more pan-India movie in the next couple of months.

On how he decides which movie should get a pan-India release, he says, “First we select the content that will be absorbed by everyone in India. With Baahubali and action movies, fantasy movies or those made on a large scale, we noticed that those kinds of films are taken well by people in north India as well.”

As much as fresh content is needed, the star cast is also important to pull the audience to theatres.

“Once the script is ready and we decide whether to go with pan-India release or not, we choose actors accordingly. We try to include actors from different languages like Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi. If there is a mix of actors then we have more chances of reaching out to people,” he says.