Rajni on high, hopes 'Robot' will be smash hit

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Chennai, Jan 12 (UNI) Years 2006 and 2007 were special for Tamil cinema's arguably the most popular superstar, Rajnikant, after his miserable flop 'Babaa' in 2002, in which he starred opposite Bollywood actor Manisha Koirala.

The film performed miserably and Rajnikant was nearly written off.

However, the bus conductor-turned-actor bounced back to where he belonged after a four year holiday.

In 2006 his next release, 'Chandramukhi', remake of a Malayalam film, broke an existing record for the longest running flick. In May 2007, 'Sivaji' a tyical Rajni action flick from the famous AVM banner went on to celebrate a jubilee run.

And just when his lakhs of fans are asking for more, Rajnikant is already on a high with a science fiction film, another Malayalam remake and an animation film ''Sultan the Warrior' to be produced by his daughter. Rajnikant will be lendinghis voice in the film.

'Robot' the next venture of 'Sivaji' director Shankar is most eagerly being looked forward to. However, 'Robot' seemed to be a lame duck soon after Shankar announced the ambitious project in Hindi with none other than Bollywood 'King (Sharukh) Khan'.

The film was to be produced under Shahrunkh Khan's 'Red Chillies Entertainment'.

But even before the excitement cold die down, Shahrukh called it off and pulled out.

However, 'Robot' is back on its feet. Rajni, during the jubilee celebration function of 'Sivaji' last night said he was excited about the project, which would be the last of his two forthcoming films to hit the threatres.

''I hope 'Robot' will be a bigger success than our first film together, Rajni said.

And Shankar, who is normally secretive about his projects, opened up a bit at the function and said he had originally decided to make Robot in HIndi as the budget required for it would not fit into the ways of Kollywood. ''But due to some reasons, the originial idea did not come through. And then following the success of 'Sivaji'', I thought with stalwarts Rajnikant and A R Rahman with me, why not make it in Tamil itself and here we are.'' The budget for the high-tech film has been currently estimated at Rs 100 crore. 'Robot' will be produced jointly by London based Ayngaran in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu and other languages.

International Eros Multimedia.

The one obvious question now is: will Rajni's gain be Shahrukh Khan's loss or just a case of sour grapes for both. Only Rajni fans can provide the answer! UNI VV SJ AKJ RN1738

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