In news that not only disappoints Bollywood fans, but also proves to be a setback for the Indian film industry, it appears that Akshay Kumar’s ‘Bell Bottom’ has been delayed yet again.
The Bollywood spy thriller, which was finally scheduled to release in cinemas worldwide on July 27 after delays on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, is reportedly being held back due to the ongoing situation in India that has yet to improve.
Times of India quoted Raj Bansal, a leading film distributor from Rajasthan, who said: “Looking at the current situation I don’t think cinemas will fully open by July 27 so there is every chance ‘Bell Bottom’ may release on August 13.”
The makers of the film have yet to make an official statement, but the Indian daily quoted a source close to the production as saying: “There is no decision taken on ‘Bell Bottom’ yet as theatres are yet to open in the country.”
Last month, Kumar took to social media to announce the release date of the film after India started to ease restrictions nationwide. He shared a video of his character walking past the release date while writing: “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.”
The film was earlier scheduled to release in April but the release had to be pushed following the second wave of the 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 on a plane hijacking. Dutta plays former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the film.
In May, 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 also 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.