Mumbai: Faced with the double onslaught of Covid and OTT, Bollywood needs a slew of immediate hits to reiterate its position as the nation's primary mode of entertainment. The fact is also complicated because, in the rapidly changing scenario of glamour, most of Bollywood's established big stars no longer automatically guarantee blockbuster returns. At the same time, the new and upcoming names are too fresh to be tested.
Producers announcing projects in the post-lockdown scenario are, therefore, going for a mix of old and new when it comes to pairing stars. So, Akshay Kumar is cast with a whole new set of actresses in his upcoming films -- from Sara Ali Khan in "Atrangi Re" to Vaani Kapoor in "Bell Bottom" to Manushi Chhillar in "Prithviraj". Deepika Padukone has been cast with Siddhant Chaturvedi in her untitled next while Katrina Kaif was signed up with Ishaan Khatter and Siddhant Chaturvedi in "Phone Bhooth". These are but just a few examples.
IANS lists a few such pairs that look interesting:
Akshay Kumar and Sara Ali Khan
Gen-Next star Sara Ali Khan is just three years old in the industry and is all set to star opposite superstar Akshay Kumar, who has been in Bollywood for 34 years. The two will be seen in "Atrangi Re", and this will be the first time the 25-year-old actress and the 53-year-old actor will be seen sharing screen space. "Atrangi Re" also stars Dhanush.
Farhan Akhtar and Mrunal Thakur
Mrunal, 28, is paired opposite Farhan, 47, in the upcoming sports drama "Toofan". In the film, directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Farhan will be seen playing a boxer.
Katrina Kaif with Ishaan Khatter and Siddhant Chaturvedi
Ishaan Khatter, 25 and Siddhant Chaturvedi, 27, join Katrina Kaif, 37, to spook the audience in their upcoming horror comedy "Phone Bhoot", which can be tagged as an Indian version of sorts of "Ghostbusters". This will be the first time Katrina will be seen with Ishaan and Siddhant.
Akshay Kumar and Manushi Chhillar
Former beauty queen Manushi Chhillar is cast as Sanyogita opposite Akshay Kumar's Prithviraj in the upcoming period drama. The 23-year-old Manushi will be seen playing the love interest of Akshay in the film directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi, which is slated to hit the screens on November 5.
Deepika Padukone with Siddhant Chaturvedi and Ananya Panday
Shakun Batra's upcoming and untitled film casts the seasoned superstar Deepika with Gen-Now actor Siddhant and Ananya. Details of the film, a relationship drama, are yet to be revealed.