The trailer launch of 2.0, easily the most anticipated film of the year, was a landmark unto itself. Ahead of Rajinikanth's arrival at Chennai's Satyam theatre to unveil the promo, a large crowd gathered outside the cinema, bursting with enthusiasm to meet their cine idol. The untimely rains did not dampen their excitement either as they danced to the Thalaivar's songs, only to break into an uproar when the megastar made a grand entry.

The upbeat mood extended to Rajinikanth himself, who declared to a cheering audience, "Mark my words. This film will be super duper hit. I am saying this not because the film is made on a budget of Rs 600 crore. It's simply because some movies have magic and others don't. This one belongs to the former category."

A still from the film
A still from the film

Having delivered two blockbusters — including Robot (2010), the prequel to 2.0 — with Shankar in the past, the superstar took the opportunity to reiterate his faith in the director's vision. "Shankar rarely fails his producers. He has been growing as a director over the last 25 years. He is a showman, a magician; to me, he is India's Steven Spielberg and James Cameron."

Knowing too well that a hero is only as good as his villain, the makers found an able antagonist in Akshay Kumar to Rajinikanth's all-powerful robot, Chitti. If Kumar has intrigued the audience with his quirky look in the film, he impressed the Thalaivar with his dedication to the craft. Heaping praise on his co-star, Rajinikanth said, "Akshay's make-up would require four hours, but not once did he complain. Hats off to him! No other actor would have as much patience as he does."

Rajinikanth admitted that the shoot was so cumbersome that he considered bowing out of the project. "I had to wear body suits that weighed 10-15 kilograms. I was unable to do it as I wasn't keeping well. I told the director that I won't be able to do justice to the role and promised to return the advance. It was Subaskaran [producer] who held my hand and saw me through."

Rs 600cr
The reported budget of Shankar's 2.0

Also Read: Akshay Kumar on 2.0: Wore more make-up than entire film career

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