It was going to be the clash of the titans this Pongal, with the phenomenal Shankar versus the critically acclaimed Gautam Menon, and Ajith vs Vikram. Much to the disappointment of movie buffs, Gautham Menon backed out of the race.
Also in the fray was the Sivakarthikeyan-starrer Kaaki Sattai. However, this film too opted out of the Pongal race.
But two other films are vying for screens this festive season: popular director Sundar C's Aambala and music composer G V Prakash's debut film, Darling.
Here is a brief look at the three Pongal releases this year.
Cast: Vikram, Amy Jackson
After a wait of three long years, the biggest showman of the South, director Shankar is ready with his latest venture, a romantic thriller called I.
His last film, Nanban (2012), a remake of 3 Idiots was also a Pongal release.
Vikram and Amy Jackson play the lead roles in I. Vikram plays a body builder and this inspired Shankar and the producer, Aascar Films’s Ravichandran, to invite Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger for an extravagant audio launch in Chennai.
Amy Jackson from the UK plays an international super model in the film.
Shankar's long and memorable association with A R Rahman continues in I. The songs have received a terrific response with Mersalaayiten and Ennodu Nee Irundhal becoming all the rage.
The cinematographer is P C Sreeram and make-up and props are by Weta Workshop, New Zealand, which has provided the prosthetic make-up for Vikram's beast get-up. The film is expected to be a visually stunning experience.
I is one of the most expensive Tamil films to date. It will be released in over 3000 screens worldwide. The film is being simultaneously released in Telugu and Hindi.
Director: Sundar C
Cast: Vishal, Hansika Motwani, Vaibhav Reddy, Prabhu, Ramya Krishnan
Less than six months after the release of Aranmanai, director Sundar C is back with an action masala entertainer, titled Aambala.
Regarded as one of the quickest and most successful commercial directors of Tamil cinema, Sundar C has had a string of hits since 2012. Kalakalappu, Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru and Aranmanai have all set the cash registers ringing.
Both the lead actors, Vishal and Hansika have previously worked with the director. While Vishal starrer Madha Gaja Raja is yet to see the light of day due to some financial issues, Aambala is Hansika's third outing with Sundar C.
The film boasts an ensemble cast with a horde of former stars. Besides Prabhu, Ramya Krishnan, Aishwarya and Kiran Rathod, the film also features Vaibhav Reddy and Telugu actresses Madhuurima and Maadhavi Latha in significant roles.
Hiphop Tamizha Adhi, who is already a huge sensation on the internet with his popular independent albums, makes his debut as music director in the film.
The film is produced by Vishal under his home banner Vishal Film Factories
Director: Sam Anton
Cast: G V Prakash Kumar, Nikki Galrani, Srushti Dange
Young music composer G V Prakash of Aadukalam and Madrasapattinam fame makes his acting debut with a horror comedy titled Darling. He has also composed the music.
The film is a remake of Telugu super hit, Prema Katha Chitram, which released in 2013.
Veteran producer Allu Aravind and K E Gnanavel Raja of Studio Green have jointly produced the film.
The film is directed by debutant filmmaker, Sam Anton.
The usual clean-shaven G V Prakash sports a rugged look in the film.
Nikki Galrani plays the female lead supported by Srushti Dange, Naan Kadavul Rajendran, Karunas and Bala Saravanan.