Home News ‘Annaatthe’ to ‘Doctor’: A peek into Tamil cinema’s exciting 2021 release calendar

‘Annaatthe’ to ‘Doctor’: A peek into Tamil cinema’s exciting 2021 release calendar


Packed with star power, Tamil cinema’s 2021 line-up is exciting. We look at a few of the films that are expected to release, and those that could still spring a box-office surprise

Master seems to have shown the way to the rest. Within a couple of weeks of the Vijay-starrer releasing in theatres, and its subsequent OTT release, Tamil cinema has woken up from the deep slumber it had been forced into due to the pandemic.

After a dry 2020, when Kollywood fans were digging into content on OTTs and re-visiting older classics, 2021 looks promising and exciting for film buffs.

Whether theatres will stage a grand comeback or if OTTs gain more ground remains to be seen, but the line-up for this year is packed with star power.

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It has been a while since we saw Rajinikanth go rural. Agreed, there was a little portion of it in Petta, but Annaatthe promises to be a full-fledged entertainer and on the lines of the Superstar’s earlier hits like Padayappa and Arunachalam.

That it also stars Nayanthara, Khushbu, Meena, Keerthy Suresh and Prakash Raj makes things more interesting. The film is directed by Siva, who proved that he had the formula for success with Ajith’s Viswasam. Can he repeat that with Annaatthe? The film is scheduled for a Deepavali 2021 release.


Poster for ‘Cobra’

Can math be cool? Vikram will give you answers to that in Cobra, directed by Ajay Gnanamuthu, in which the actor essays a mathematics genius in what promises to be a sci-fi mystery.

But that’s not all; he also plays seven other characters and each one has a different look. The big challenge will be for Vikram to pull this off but he already has experience, having played varied characters in Iru Mugan and Anniyan previously.

We are also keen to see cricketer Irfan Pathan on the big screen in this summer release.


Fans of Ajith have long been badgering the producer for updates on this film, and we hope that it will be worth the wait.

This action thriller sees the actor teaming up with H Vinoth, who helmed Ajith’s Nerkonda Paarvai as well. There is talk of a high-octane action sequence involving a motorbike in this film, which fans are eagerly waiting for.

Ajith-starrers in recent times have begun with V; examples being Vedalam, Veeram, Vivegam and Viswasam. Will the ‘V factor’ work for him this time around?

Nenjam Marappathillai

Director Selvaraghavan is among the most well-known names in Kollywood.

A still from ‘Nenjam Marappathillai’

Fans of the filmmaker have long been awaiting Nenjam Marappathillai, a horror-thriller starring SJ Suryah and Regina Cassandra. That long wait comes to an end soon with the film set to release in March.

Can the filmmaker, who gave us memorable outings in 7G Rainbow Colony and Kaadhal Kondein pull off the same magic again?


Pariyerum Perumal was one of the best films of the last decade, and Karnan marks the coming together of its filmmaker (Mari Selvaraj) with Dhanush.

Dhanush in ‘Karnan’

The title and making video, released by producer Kalaipuli Thanu a few months ago, was received well among the actor’s fans; the film is shot in locales near Tirunelveli. The still of Dhanush standing with a sword is almost a throwback to his earlier role in Asuran, and predictably, they can’t wait for this to hit the screens.

Karnan is set to release in April.

Jagame Thandhiram

We are not sure yet if this Karthik Subbaraj film, also starring Dhanush, will be a theatrical or an OTT release, but this action-thriller set in London surely has kicked up anticipation among movie buffs.

‘The Last Supper’-inspired setting that the makers used to reveal its first look has only enhanced expectations. Are you ready to groove to ‘Bujji’?


One of the anticipated films in Tamil, Doctor stars Sivakarthikeyan and newcomer Priyanka Mohan.

The film’s director, Nelson Dilipkumar, was in the news after being signed up by Sun Pictures to direct Vijay’s 65th film.

Sivakarthikeyan in ‘Doctor’

Nevertheless, Doctor made all the right noise with the release of its single ‘Chellamma’. Composed by Anirudh Ravichander, it was one of the top streamed tracks in 2020.

Scheduled for release in March, Doctor is touted to be an action-comedy and its promo visuals suggest that audiences may get to see Sivakarthikeyan in a different avatar.

The actor has already started filming for his next project, Don, which he is co-producing along with Lyca Productions. Priyanka Mohan is the female lead in Don as well.


Directed by Milind Rau, this Nayanthara-starred has caught the attention of movie buffs. For one, the ‘Lady Superstar’ plays a blind woman with a target on her back and a killer on the loose.

Nayanthara in ‘Netrikann’

The film produced by Vignesh Shivan under Rowdy Pictures banner promises to be a thriller; the title is the same as Rajinikanth’s 1981 thriller directed by SP Muthuraman. And knowing Milind Rau’s track record when it comes to thrillers (Aval), there is no doubt the fans are in for a ride.

However, what remains to be seen is whether Netrikann opts for a theatrical or a digital streaming release.

Suriya-Pandiraj untitled project

This untitled film with Pandiraj is what Suriya has to offer for his fans next, following his outing in Soorarai Pottru. Though Suriya dropped out of Hari’s Aruvaa — the filmmaker then roped in Arun Vijay to replace Suriya — the actor still has a handful of projects in his hand, chief among which is Vetri Maaran’s project titled Vaadivasal.

But Pandiraj, who collaborates with Suriya yet again after films like Pasanga 2 and Kadaikutty Singam (which the latter produced), is touted to have envisioned Suriya in a rural-themed plot. Priyanka Mohan of Doctor fame is the female lead in this film, which is speculated to release later this year.


The Karthi-starrer, which marks the Tamil debut of Rashmika Mandanna, is set for an April release.

Poster for ‘Sulthan’

Produced by Dream Warrior Pictures and directed by Bakkiyaraj Kannan, the action-drama’s teaser has got movie buffs speculating on the nature of its plot.

Whilst Sulthan contains all elements of a commercial film, the supporting cast which features several quality actors like Hareesh Peradi, Lal and Napoleon, who marks a return to Tamil cinema, promises to keep the audiences engaged.


Navarasa is perhaps the most anticipated web series that there has been in Tamil until this point. Put together by filmmaker Mani Ratnam under his Madras Talkies banner, the nine-episode web series is a take on the nine rasas or emotions, and features an ensemble cast.

Each episode is directed by a different mainstream filmmaker in Tamil cinema like Gautham Menon, Halitha Shameem, Karthik Subbaraj, KV Anand and Bejoy Nambiar to name a few. It also features an ensemble cast headlined by Suriya and Vijay Sethupathi. Navarasa is expected to stream on Netflix sometime in 2021.


Following many false starts, the film produced by Suresh Kamatchi is finally underway with Silambarasan in the lead. Directed by Venkat Prabhu, who is directing a short in the anthology film Kutty Story which release this week, Maanadu has Silambarasan in the role of Abdul Khaaliq. The film also stars Kalyani Priyadarshan, SJ Suryah and veterans Bharathiraja and SA Chandrasekhar.

Promo poster for ‘Maanadu’

The film’s teaser which was released recently drew comparisons, to even Venkat Prabhu’s surprise, with Christopher Nolan’s Tenet for it featured sequences being played backwards. Maanadu releases in multiple languages including Hindi as Rewind; maybe, there is a clue many missed. The wait for its big screen release continues meanwhile.

Also, these are a few other films to watch out for in 2021.

Vikram: Directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj, on the back of Master’s success, it stars Kamal Haasan.

Indian 2: Directed by S Shankar, the film stars an ensemble cast including Kamal Haasan, Kajal Aggarwal, Priya Bhavani Shankar, Rakul Preet Singh, Siddharth and others. A sequel of Shankar’s hit 1996 film, the filming schedule has been delayed due to Haasan’s foray into politics and the 2021 Tamil Nadu assembly elections.

Dhruva Natchathiram: Long-awaited, still eagerly anticipated… this Gautham Menon directorial stars Vikram as an elite spy out to seek revenge. The film features an ensemble cast, but its fate is still uncertain.

Kaathu Vaakula Rendu Kaadhal: Helmed by Vignesh Shivan, the film marks his return to the director’s seat after the 2018 Suriya-starrer, Thaanaa Serndha Koottam, notwithstanding the short he did for Netflix anthology, Paava Kadhaigal. The film stars Vijay Sethupathi, Samantha and Nayanthara.

Thalaivi: The film, a biopic of late former TN chief minister J Jayalalithaa, stars Kangana Ranaut and is directed by AL Vijay.

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