Akshay Kumar is easily the busiest A-lister actor in town with already six films under wraps, and yet there is no stopping him signing up new assignments. He has already announced the two-hero starrer Selfiee, that brings him back into Dharma productions after Kesari, Good Newwz and Sooryavanshi. Selfiee is helmed by Good Newwz director Raj Mehta, and also stars Emraan Hashmi as the second lead. Both Akshay and Emraan recently starred in a promotional song video to announce the shoot of the film. Selfiee: Akshay Kumar and Emraan Hashmi Announce Their Collaboration for Driving Licence’s Official Remake Through a Song Promo!
For the unvitiated, Selfiee is the official remake of the 2019 Malayalam film, Driving License. The movie starred Prithviraj Sukumaran (also one of the producers for Selfiee) and Suraj Venjaramoodu. Prithviraj plays a popular movie star and Suraj a driving inspector who is an ardent fan of the star, and the movie is about their battle of egoes after an episode of misunderstanding. Driving License was a hit at the box office, and was also warmly received by the critics.
Now with Selfiee ready to go on floors, let’s look at all Malayalam remakes that Akshay Kumar has been part of, and how they fared at the box office. PS: Not all are directed by Priyadarshan.
Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar and Suniel Shetty in Hera Pheri
Remake of: Ramji Rao Speaking
Hera Pheri, considered as one of the best comedies in Bollywood, was a huge hit at the box office and gave us cult characters in Akshay’s Raju, Suniel Shetty’s Shyam and of course, Paresh Rawal’s Baburao Ganpatrao Apte.
Waqt: The Race Against Time
Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar in Waqt: The Race Against Time
Remake of: (Semblance actually) Veendum Chila Veetukaryangal
Vipul Amrutlal Shah had adapted a Gujarati drama for this family entertainer, starring Akshay, Priyanka Chopra and Amitabh Bachchan, but the plotline feels familiar to the 1999 Malayalam film, directed by Sathyan Anthikkad and starring Thilakan, Jayaram and Samyuktha Menon in the lead. Waqt was a hit at the box office.
Akshay Kumar and John Abraham in Garam Masala
Remake of: Boeing Boeing
Interestingly, Boeing Boeing is the remake of a Hollywood comedy by the same name. Also interesting is that the Hindi remake, starring Akshay and John Abraham in the lead, came out on the same day as Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor’s Kyon Ki, and it trumped over the latter at the box office. Even more interesting tidbit? Priyadarshan had directed both the movies, and he had also directed both the Malayalam films that inspired these movies. Did You Know Akshay Kumar Had His Own Bizarre Version of Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’ in the ’90s?
Govinda and Akshay Kumar in Bhagam Bhag
Remake of: Mannar Mathai Speaking
Mannar Mathai Speaking is the sequel to the aforementioned Ramji Rao Speaking, though it wasn’t as big a hit at the box office. That didn’t deter Priyadarshan from remaking the movie in Hindi, albeit not as a sequel to Hera Pheri. The comedy entertainer, which also starred Lara Dutta, Govinda and Paresh Rawal, also had elements of two other Malayalam films, Nadodikattu and Rakilipattu (remake of Marathi film Bindhaast). At the box office, Bhagam Bhag was decent.
Akshay Kumar in Bhool Bhulaiyaa
Remake of: Manichitrathazhu
Fazil’s Manichitrathazhu, starring Mohanlal, Shobana and Suresh Gopi, is considered as one of Malayalam Cinema’s ATBB’s. Priyadarshan’s remake in Hindi may not be good as the original, but it was a big hit at the box office. The movie also starred Vidya Balan, Shiney Ahuja, and Ameesha Patel.
De Dana Dan
Katrina Kaif and Akshay Kumar in De Dana Dan
Remake of: Vettam
Okay, like most of Priyadarshan’s film, even Vettam is a remake of Blame it on the Bellboy with elements of French Kiss in it. What’s more even De Dana Dan, co-starring Katrina Kaif and Suniel Shetty, also shares plot elements from the 2000 American comedy Screwed. At the box office, De Dana Dan was average at the box office. Before Salman Khan, 8 More Pics of Akshay Kumar, Shah Rukh Khan and Other Bollywood Stars Paying ‘Respect to All Farmers’ by Rolling in the Mud!
John Abraham and Akshay Kumar in Housefull 2
Remake of: Mattupetty Machan
Another Malayalam movie remake that had Akshay Kumar step into actor Mukesh’s shoes after Ramji Rao Speaking and Mannar Mathai Speaking. Housefull 2 was a blockbuster success.
Akshay Kumar in Khatta Meetha
Remake of: Vellanakalude Nadu
Priyadarshan remade his own 1988 Malayalam classic with Akshay Kumar and Trisha Krishnan (in her Bollywood lead debut). Khatta Meetha, however, was a flop at the box office.
Akshay Kumar in Boss
Remake of: Pokkiri Raja
The remake of the Malayalam blockbuster is also the first Malayalam movie of Prithviraj that got an Akshay Kumar touch, though he played Mammootty’s role and Shiv Pandit took Prithviraj’s. Boss didn’t work at the box office.
PS: At the time of writing this article, there are murmurs that Sefliee is aiming for a direct OTT release on Disney+ Hotstar. Watch this space for more updates on this.
(The above story first appeared on Onhike on Jan 13, 2022 06:02 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website onhike.com).