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Akshay Kumar in 'Bell Bottom'. Image Credit: Supplied

Theatre owners in India are heaving a sigh of relief with the first big Bollywood production locking in a theatrical release following the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that has hit the country.

Akshay Kumar’s spy thriller ‘Bell Bottom’ has been scheduled for July 27 release in India, with news confirmed by the Bollywood actor himself through a video he posted on his social media accounts.

“I know you have patiently waited for the release of #Bellbottom. Couldn’t be happier to finally announce the release of our film. Arriving on the big screens worldwide #BellBottomOn27July,” Kumar captioned the video.

A UAE date for the film has yet to be announced, but it appears the project will release after the Eid Al Adha weekend.

The film was earlier scheduled to release in April but the release had to be pushed following the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Directed by Ranjit M. Tewari, ‘Bell Bottom’ also stars Vaani Kapoor, Huma Qureshi, Lara Dutta and Jackky Bhagnani. Set in the 80s, the film reportedly sees Kumar play a secret agent and is centred around plane hijacking. Dutta plays former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi in the film.

‘Bell Bottom’ has been in the news this week after Kumar refuted a claim by an entertainment portal that he had taken a pay cut for the film at the behest of its producer, Vashu Bhagnani. Confirming the same in a tweet the actor wrote: “What waking up to FAKE Scoops feels like!” while sharing a link of the article that carried the alleged news.

The news report quoted an industry source claiming that the ‘Bell Bottom’ producer will now spend Rs300 million lesser than the actor’s original fee after Bhagnani cited financial constraints on account of the pandemic. The producer also refuted the claim in a separate interview of his own with a news portal.

Akshay Kumar in 'Sooryavanshi'
Akshay Kumar in 'Sooryavanshi'. Image Credit: Reliance Entertainment

Last month, there was chatter that fans could be seeing a Kumar double bill at the cinemas on India’s Independence Day weekend citing ‘Bell Bottom’ and ‘Sooryavanshi’, which has been directed by Rohit Shetty. The latter film has been postponed a number of times over the past one year following the lockdown that hit India in 2020. The Reliance Entertainment release was rescheduled for a cinematic outing earlier this year, but had to kill its plans once again when the second wave hit.

With the rumour mill in overdrive, Kumar put out a statement at the time, assuring his fans that they are working on concrete plans. “I’m humbled at the excitement and eagerness of my fans regarding the release of ‘Sooryavanshi’ and ‘Bell Bottom’, and want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for all their love,” Kumar said in a statement. “However, at this point, it is purely speculative to say that both films will release on Independence Day. The producers of both films are working out the release dates and will make announcements at the right time.”

Fans are now eagerly awaiting the release date of ‘Sooryavanshi’, the latest instalment in Shetty’s cop universe, which also includes ‘Singham’ and ‘Simmba’. Lead stars Ajay Devgn and Ranveer Singh, who starred in the films, have a cameo in ‘Sooryavanshi’, while Katrina Kaif plays the female lead.