Balm or bait? Kamal Haasan has released the first poster for his upcoming movie Vishwaroopam II. The actor and filmmaker, who has directed and co-produced the spy thriller, looks battered and saddened on the poster, but ready nevertheless to defend his country all the way. Vishwaroopam II doesn’t have a release date yet, although there was some chatter of an October landing.
With love my country and it's people pic.twitter.com/3zdir7u1Gh— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) May 2, 2017
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In the sequel to Vishwaroopam (2013), Haasan reprises his role as a Research and Analysis Wing agent with multiple identities and names. The character is reunited with several actors from the previous production, including Andrea Jeremiah, Rahul Bose and Pooja Kumar.
The first movie was mired in controversy over the title (why Sanskrit over Tamil?), anger over its distribution strategy (Haasan wanted to premiere the film on a direct-to-home platform alongside conventional theatrical distrubution) and protests over its contents (Muslim groups claimed that the film defamed the faith and demanded a ban). Vishwaroopam was banned by the Tamil Nadu government despite having the clearance of the Central Board of Film Certification and was finally released on February 2, 2013, after Haasan deleted five scenes.
The sequel has had its own share of trouble. It was supposed to have been out in 2015. After Haasan reworked and scaled up the script, the production was hit by a money crunch. Meanwhile, other controversies caught up with the outspoken Haasan, such as a television interview in which he critiqued the Mahabharata epic.
Haasan seems to be as weary of taking chances as his heroic spy. Vishwaroopam will also be released in Hindi as Vishwaroop. Haasan has another film in the pipeline, the equally delayed comedy Sabaash Naidu, which is a spin-off from Dasavathaaram (2008). Made in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, Sabaash Naidu also features Haasan as a RAW agent. That’s a lot of protecting and spying to do. No wonder he needs tricoloured insurance.