Rajinikanth Image Credit: IANS

Is Tamil superstar Rajinikanth planning to bid goodbye to the film industry after his 171st movie, which is to be helmed by Lokesh Kanagaraj.

The speculations have been doing the rounds in industry circles after Tamil filmmaker Mysskin said in an interview that Rajinikanth's proposed movie with young maverick director Lokesh Kangaaraj may be the last movie of the superstar's film career.

The director's comment went viral on various social media platforms. The revelation has taken the social media by storm with several die hard fans of Rajninkanth refusing to believe it. Mysskin, who is acting in Kanagaraj's movie 'Leo', added a twist by mentioning that 'Thalaivar 171' may be the last movie in Rajini's career that spanned nearly five decades. He, however, said he is not 100 per cent sure about it.

Rajini's fans say that rumours about his retirement from films are not new. The talk has been going on since 'Kaala' (2018) but the veteran actor continued signing new movies. They hope that the superstar will not stop entertaining them.

The 72-year-old superstar's next movie to hit the screen will be 'Jailer'. Directed by Nelson, it is scheduled for release on August 10. The next in the line will be 'Lal Salaam' directed by Rajinikanth's daughter Aishwarya.

Rajinikanth's 170th film tentatively titled 'Thalaivar 170' will be directed by TJ Gnanavel. This will be followed by 'Thalaivar 171' which will be helmed by Lokesh Kanagaraj. It is likely to be produced by Sun Pictures.

Director Mysskin revealed that Rajinikanth will be teaming up with Vikram and Kanagaraj for his 171st film. According to Mysskin, Rajinikanth himself had approached Kanagaraj and evinced interest in collaborating with him.

The actor rules the hearts of millions of fans not just in Tamil Nadu and the rest of South India but also across the country. His film release is celebrated like a festival by his fans.

Who is Rajinikanth?

The actor whose real name is Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, was born to a Maharashtrian mother in Bengaluru on December 12, 1950.

Coming from a humble middle-class family, he struggled hard in his early days of life. He worked as a porter and also as a carpenter before becoming a bus conductor with Bangalore Transport Service. It was during this period that he started taking interest in acting.

Speaking at birth centenary celebrations of legendary Telugu actor and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister NT Rama Rao at Vijayawada last month, Rajinikanth had revealed that he was greatly impressed by the role of Duryodhana played by NTR in the Telugu epic 'Srikrishna Pandaviyam'.

"When I was working as a bus conductor, at a function, I enacted the role of Duryodhana played by NTR, and because of the appreciation I received, I started taking interest in acting," the superstar said.

Rajinikanth began his acting career with 'Apoorva Raagangal' (1975) directed by K Balachander. He had a supporting role in the movie starring Kamal Haasan in the lead. In the early part of his career, he played supporting roles but after establishing himself as an actor and never looked back.

He has done films in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam. He enjoys a cult following among his fans who affectionately call him 'Thalaivar'.

Like many popular actors of Tamil cinema, he too had plans to enter politics. However, he dropped his plans in 2021, citing his frail health.