Films like Baahubali 2 and Kick 2 will bring in franchise culture in Telugu filmdom, feels actor Ravi Teja whose action comedy Kick 2 releases worldwide on Friday. "I'm confident that Baahubali 2 and Kick 2 will pave way to more franchise-based films. This is just the beginning of the trend," said Ravi. He strongly feels the success of films in a franchise rests on the shoulders of a good writer.
"It's a misconception that you make a second film in a franchise because the first one was successful. A writer has a very important role in building a successful franchise, and one of the reasons why Kick 2 even happened is because of our writer Vamsi," he said. Kick 2 has been written by Vakkantham Vamsi, who was also associated with Kick and several other hits such as Yevadu, Race Gurram and Temper.
"We ended Kick with the thought of making a sequel, but we never got back to it. Then our writer Vamsi pitched this idea and we felt it could be linked to the Kick franchise. Kick 2 is not a sequel, but an extension of the franchise," Ravi clarified. Without revealing much, Ravi said that Kick 2 will take everything audiences experienced in Kick to the next level.
"When people will come to watch Kick 2, they expect it to be bigger and they won't be disappointed. This will be even more entertaining and commercial. In Kick, there was hardly much action and it didn't even feature a villain. This time, the action has been taken a notch higher and there are villains," he said. Explaining why Kick 2 isn't a sequel to Kick, Teja said: "These are two different stories with characters that are poles apart. I play the son of the lead character from Kick, and unlike my urge to get a kick out of everything I do, this time I'm after comfort."
Directed by Surender Reddy, Kick 2 also features Rakul Preet Singh, Ravi Kishan, Rajpal Yadav and Kabir Duhan Singh. Ravi feels a lot has changed about his director since Kick, which released in 2009. "The Surender I worked with in Kick is a lot of different now. He feels my company has changed him. It's probably my entertaining spirit that has made him funnier. Post Kick, his films have become entertaining. They aren't serious like his earlier films," he said, and added that he has rubbed off his funny nature to a lot of people he has worked with.
Fondly called as Mass Maharaja by his fans, Ravi loves his sobriquet and swears by it. Is that the reason why he prefers doing commercial films? "It's not that I haven't experimented. But whenever I did, the result has not been satisfying. I'd rather concentrate on doing films that entertain scores of people. I've got to admit that they are responsible for my successful career," said Ravi, who feels it's safer to do films that work.
Kick 2 was slated to release much earlier and though the exact reason for its delay is unknown, rumour has it that the makers waited for the Baahubali storm to settle. "The delay was also because of some post-production work. We decided to give Baahubali an interrupted run as we felt it deserved it. Look what its success has done to Telugu cinema. It has become the pride of Indian cinema," he said.
Ravi also said that the success of Baahubali shouldn't add pressure on filmmakers. "We shouldn't compete with Baahubali or any film for that matter. We need to learn from its success that films too can generate a lot of revenue. We need to understand that the success of Baahubali and Srimanthudu will only benefit the industry in the long run," he added.
Ravi's next release will be Telugu actioner Bengal Tiger. He also has plans to remake Hindi hit Special 26. "The discussion regarding Special 26 remake has been happening for a year now. I plan to co-produce it but it will take a while before the project materialises. I want to concentrate on wrapping up Bengal Tiger first. There are two more projects in offing," he said.