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‘A socio-fantasy and sci-fi actioner’: Shankar’s ‘2.0’ takes flight in Dubai

Rajinikanth, AR Rahman and Akshay Kumar share the stage to launch the soundtrack of the January 2018 release.

The music of Shankar’s 2.0 was launched at a lavishly organised event at Dubai’s Burj Park on October 27. The film features Rajnikanth in the lead role, with Akshay Kumar playing the antagonist and Amy Jackson playing the female lead. Composer AR Rahman performed a 30-minute set with 125 symphony artists at the event, where two songs from 2.0, Endhira Logathu, and Raajali Nee Gaali were launched.

Three skydivers leapt out of a plane carrying the poster of the audio launch to mark the beginning of the event. The launch was hosted by director Karan Johar in Hindi, Baahubali actor Rana Daggubati in Telugu and RJ Balaji in Tamil. Kumar and Jackson performed at the music launch. The event also included a dance performance choreographed by Bosco Martis. The music launch itself had a reported budget of Rs 20 crores, with producer Lyca Productions flying several journalists and film programmers to the event.

The Burj Khalifa was lit with projected images of the characters played by Rajnikanth and Akshay Kumar ahead of the event. Apart from the cast and crew, the event was attended by several prominent personalities, including the Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Made by Lyca Productions on a reported budget of Rs 400 crores, 2.0 is the second most expensive Asian film ever produced. At a press meet on Thursday, director Shankar said that the film, which is a sequel to Enthiran, is not an extension of the 2010 blockbuster. “2.0 has a new format, a unique premise and a new message,” the filmmaker said. “The film has been made on international standards. It will not look like an ordinary Indian action movie. It’s a socio-fantasy, sci-fi actioner.”

Shankar added that he wanted 2.0, which will reportedly be released in 15 languages, to be viewed as an Indian film instead of a Tamil movie.

The director also revealed that Arnold Schwarzenegger had initially been approached to play Akshay Kumar’s role. “Akshay Kumar is not just an antagonist in the film,” Shankar said. “There are a lot of shades to his character. He has performed very well, and you can see a very different Akshay Kumar in the film.”

Kumar said that he was inspired by Rajnikanth during the course of the shoot. “He has guts and puts his money in places which he trusts,” Kumar said. “He has instincts, and it has worked all his life.”

Rajinikanth declared that 2.0 would be India’s most prestigious film. “It will not only attract Indian audiences but will also equally appeal to all overseas film buffs,” he said.

2.0 featurette.
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