Mumbai (PTI) : The year 2009 is set to begin on an eventful note with big-budget movies like 'Chandni Chowk to China' and 'Luck By Chance' slated for release in January. 'Chandni Chowk to China', an action comedy flick starring Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone, will hit screens on January 16.
The film, produced by Hollywood studio Warner Brothers and Rohan Sippy, is about a simple cook from Chandni Chowk mistaken for a reincarnation of an ancient peasant warrior by residents of an oppressed Chinese village. Industry sources said a "heavy dose of comedy and breathtaking locales" like the Great Wall of China were the highlights of the film apart from the Kung Fu.
This will be Akshay's first film with Deepika after sharing screen space with Katrina Kaif for the last couple of his films. Filmmaker Farhan Akhtar, after a successful debut as an actor in 'Rock On!', will don the greasepaint again for his sister Zoya's directorial debut 'Luck By Chance' which releases on January 30.
The plot is centred around Bollywood and how people from different walks of life come to the "dream city" to make it big in an industry where luck clicks more than hard work. The movie, stars Farhan Akhtar, Juhi Chawla, Konkana Sen Sharma, Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia and Hrithik Roshan.
Shah Rukh Khan will be back again on screen in the first quarter of 2009 with 'Biloo Barber' which is slated for a March release. SRK's last film 'Rab Ne Ba di Jodi' that released in December last year did well at the box office.
COO of Big Pictures, the entertainment arm of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani (ADAG) Group, Mahesh Ramanathan said that the company will release 18 films in nine Indian languages this year.
"2009 should be a normal year and there is no cause for worry. A temporary liquidity crunch has been mistaken for recession in the film industry. But demand had not dried up. With inflation under control and interest rates coming down, there is no issue of recession at all," he said.
He said his company was eyeing the best directorial talent from across the country.
Vinay Shukla's 'Mirch', Vinod Pande's 'Chaalu Movie', Vikram's '13 B', Zoya Akhtar's 'Luck By Chance' and Sudhir Mishra's 'Sikander' are the Hindi movies being produced, marketed and distributed by Big Pictures, he said.
'Sikander', traversing lesser-explored territories, is a story dealing with loss of innocence in strife-torn Kashmir. Sanjay Suri and R Madhavan form part of the cast of the film produced by Sudhir Mishra and directed by Piyush Jha.
'13 B' is a super-natural bilingual (Hindi and Tamil) thriller.
Among regional films lined up for release this year are Malayalam film 'Kutty Srank' by Shahji Karun, Kannada film 'Ijjodu' by MS Sathyu, three Bengali films -- 'Kalponik' and 'Abohomann' by Rituparno Ghosh.
Other films that may kiss silver screen this year include Buddhadeb Dasgupta's 'Janala', Amol Palekar's 'Samantar' and Punjabi film 'Chak Jawana' directed by Simerjit Singh.