Chennai, Oct 15 (IANS) It's a rarity but a treat for movie buffs to see real life film families working together on the big screen. In the Telugu film industry, three such family multi-starrers are getting ready for release.
The most awaited of these is Telugu comedy-drama "Manam", featuring three generations of actors of the Akkineni lineage.
The film, which is being directed by Vikram Kumar, stars Akkineni Nageswara Rao, his son Nagarjuna and grandson Naga Chaitanya in key roles.
Nagarjuna says it's an opportunity he couldn't let go of.
"We always wanted to do a film as a family. Dad and I have worked together earlier, but since Chaitanya entered the industry, we were keen to team up again. When Vikram narrated the script, we immediately fell in love with it and agreed to work together. I just couldn't let go of the opportunity," Nagarjuna had earlier told IANS.
The "Manam" director said the idea was not to cash in on their popularity.
"It was a conscious decision to cast them. I'm definitely honoured to work with actors from three generations of the Akkineni clan, but I didn't cast them because they're popular," Vikram said.
Nageswara Rao and Nagarjuna have earlier worked together in films such as "Collector Gari Abbai" and "Sri Ramadasu".
Family multi-starrers are definitely crowdpullers, says trade analyst Trinath.
"Filmmakers may or may not realise it, but family multi-starrers can draw audiences in large numbers to cinemas. Both Nageswara Rao and Nagarjuna are popular actors and have a large fan base, while Chaitanya has an equally strong fan base amongst youngsters. One can imagine what will happen when they act together," Trinath told IANS.
Another highly anticipated film, which is yet-untitled, features the Manchu family.
Currently on floors, this project features Manchu Mohan Babu and his sons Vishnu and Manoj. This is the first time the trio is coming together.
Vishnu, who plays one of the leads in the film, says the idea for their film was conceived even before the Akkineni multi-starrer was announced.
"We always wanted to do a family multi-starrer for years now. This project was initiated much before the Akkineni family project was announced. Apparently, dad was supposed to play the lead in this film; I was to produce it.
"But since I was happy with the script, I requested the writers to make some changes in it because dad was playing lead after several years. After some changes were made to the script, I was requested to join the cast along with my brother.
"When I went through the script, I was convinced that all three of us were suitable for the film. So, we agreed to work together," he said.
This project is touted to be the biggest multi-starrer in Telugu filmdom. Besides the Manchu clan, it also features Varun Sandesh, Tanish, Hansika Motwani, Praneetha and Raveena Tandon in vital roles.
While "Manam" and the Manchu family project are on floors, and are expected to hit the theatres next year, the third film in the lineup is likely to feature cousins Akkineni Naga Chaitanya and Rana Daggubati.
"There are talks about this project, which will likely feature Chaitanya and Rana. A leading director has expressed interest to cast these two actors together in another multi-starrer. Nothing has been confirmed so far, but the official announcement is likely to be made soon," said Trinath.