RRR 2 has finally been confirmed to be in development, but the sequel needs to do these five things if it wants to achieve similar success.
When 2022 ends in just a few short weeks, cinema fans around the world will contemplate their Top 5 best movies of the year and for millions of people, RRR will certainly take a place on their lists.
The legend of SS Rajamouli’s feature film is almost as impressive as the legend of Komaram Bheem and Alluri Sitarama Raju itself, having become the fourth highest-grossing Indian film of all time with a global box office earning exceeding $140 million.
Whilst fans will be delighted to hear that an RRR 2 movie has just been confirmed to be in production, the sequel needs to achieve five specific things if is to emulate the first film’s success.
RRR sequel confirmed to be in early development
Excellent news for fans of the first RRR movie, it has just been confirmed that a sequel is in the early stages of development. Speaking to Variety, SS Rajamouli confirmed that his father, screenwriter Vijayendra Prasad, is currently working on the story for RRR2.
“My father is the story writer for all my films. We discussed a bit about [RRR 2] and he’s working on the story [for the sequel].” – SS Rajamouli, via Variety.
Variety would note how “It’s too premature for any additional details about the project” to be shared – indicating that the movie is only in the initial early stages of development.
“I’ve used the word franchise thinking, hoping that there would be another world of ‘RRR’ again. Sometimes [if] you just hope and you say a few words hoping it would happen, it will happen. It’s just a way of positive thinking, wanting for more.” – NT Rama Rao Jr, via Variety.
Fans should note that production for RRR 2 will have to wait until SS Rajamouli completes his work on his upcoming action-adventure movie with Mahesh Babu. This film does not yet have a title and is set to start production in 2023, but will reportedly take two years to film – pushing the potential release date for the RRR sequel into 2025 or 2026, at the earliest.
That being said, there are five things that we think RRR 2 needs to accomplish if the sequel movie is to reach the heights that the first film achieved, see below.
Five things that RRR 2 must accomplish to succeed
An Extremely Long Duration: The RRR sequel needs to maintain an extremely long length, having already proven that a saga such as this deserves the time needed to build an epic crescendo.
Prior to the first premiere, there was some concern that the RRR movie would be far too long to retain viewers’ attention as at a ridiculous 182 minutes (over three hours in length), the SS Rajamouli feature would be one of the longest movies of 2022.
This led many would-be critics to theorize that the story would have a ‘flat’ section or potentially even fall off around the halfway mark – something that many domestic Indian productions have struggled with in recent times.
Thankfully, in contrast to the pre-premiere worries, RRR gave us one of the most exciting three-hour experiences of the entire year; never falling flat, never feigning interest, and never pausing to allow us to catch a breath.
In HITC’s early review of RRR, we noted how the movie may have benefitted from being split up into two separate parts at around the point of Bheem’s capture. This was based on the incredible box office performance that the production was experiencing at the time and that with two parts, released within a month or two of each other, the franchise could have broken even more records worldwide.
Now, after several rewatches and countless hours covering RRR’s success, there is a new view that the three-hour duration is exactly what drove the movie to such critical acclaim…RRR is an ‘Epic’ film; not just in its resonance with fans but also in the genre of storytelling.
Epics are large-scale filmmaking, with sweeping scopes and a focus on spectacle whether that be in terms of lavish costumes, slow-motion cinematography, or expansive musical scores. However, the very best Epics need time to develop to the point of immense crescendos and in modern filmmaking, three hours appears to be exactly the right length that SS Rajamouli to build the RRR sequel’s story to an ending that meets our expectations.
Whilst it will require more time and money to produce, as well as more time for fans to sit through, the RRR 2 sequel movie needs to have a similarly extreme duration; two-and-a-half hours at a minimum.
More Song And Dance Sequences: The RRR sequel Naacho Naacho-needs more songs, dance sequences and, character performances.
The musical score in RRR is outstanding; however, the feature song of the entire film was one that captivated audiences worldwide, Naacho Naacho. Whilst we indeed want playlist-worthy tracks to feature in RRR 2, there is a far more important reason why we need more song and dance performances in the sequel movie; accessibility.
Naacho Naacho is currently sitting at an incredible 185 million views on the T-Series YouTube channel and whilst the significant majority of users will have watched RRR before finding the song online, how many found the song first?
Even if just 10% of the YouTube views accumulated were fans who subsequently went on to watch the film after finding the song, that’s still over 18 million new fans who may not have ever watched the movie before!
Songs and dance sequences are a fantastic way to develop new fans of a franchise or genre, especially if those specific scenes are uploaded to YouTube as special preview clips like Naacho Naacho.
If RRR 2 is to succeed, we need as many chart-toppers as possible to be released online so that the music can act as an advertisement for the sequel movie itself.
Don’t Imitate, But Extend The RRR Universe: The RRR sequel needs to build on its themes and not try to imitate the first film.
Very few sequels are ever able to match the success of their predecessors and productions can often look to imitate what made the first movie so successful, instead of developing new ideas.
Whilst we aren’t saying that RRR 2 should throw out the original storyboard and start from scratch, it should certainly steer clear of using the exact same tropes, sequences, and themes from the first.
For example, RRR 2 should keep the ‘Bromance’, i.e., the relationship building between the two lead characters, but it would be underwhelming if the sequel featured a similar montage sequence of two best-buds working out together, riding bikes vs horses, and taking long hikes into the hills.
RRR 2 needs to identify which aspects of the film resonated with fans and look to develop them individually, rather than simply copying them into the sequel.
Maintain Visuals And Production Quality: The RRR sequel needs to have a similar, if not larger, budget than the first movie.
One of the most talked-about aspects of RRR was the enormous budget of Rs 550 Crore (around $66 million), which resulted in arguably the best-looking Indian movie of all time. This extreme budget went into the costume design, set pieces, and most importantly, the cinematography.
Say what you like about the scenes of Bheem walking slow-motion for minutes at a time, but the entire shot features some of the clearest, cleanest video resolutions that you can possibly find.
If RRR 2 wants to emulate the first film and blow fans away with its visuals, it needs the budget to do so – immerse viewers to the point once again so they feel like they are in an IMAX theatre, even when watching through a phone screen.
Go Harder On The Villains: The RRR sequel needs bigger, badder, and more ferocious villains to surpass the colonizing British.
The nature of Bheem and Raju’s victory against the British colonizers is evermore sweeter because they are such brutal and arrogant villains to begin with; the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
From kidnapping small children to public torture and executions, British Governor Scott Buxton was the perfect villain for RRR to focus on but he is well-and-truly dead by the film’s conclusion.
That means that a new villain must now enter the fray, this villain has to be scarier and more powerful than Scott but will likely again be a member of the British military if the main storyline is to continue.
Whether it be a higher-ranked military man or even a group of would-be mercenaries hunting Bheem and Raju, the villain for RRR 2 needs to be imposing beyond the wildest imaginations of the local people in 1920.
As RRR ended with the freedom of the people and the defeat of a supervillain, it makes sense that the sequel should have higher stakes and consequently, a more menacing villain.
If RRR 2 can maintain and improve on these five factors, the sequel movie will be one of the biggest films in Indian cinema history…Now go listen to Naacho Naacho again.
By Tom Llewellyn – [email protected]
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