The trailer for Vijay Deverakonda and Ananya Panday’s upcoming sports drama, Liger, has just dropped. Vijay plays an MMA fighter whose stage name is ‘Liger’, because he is a cross between a lion and a tiger. Along the way, we’re told that he also has a speech impediment, and he channels his frustrations in the ring.
The trailer is filled with a lot of yelling, punching, raging and Ananya Panday looking glamorous without really telling us what she’s bringing to the story. Vijay seems to have channeled his Arjun Reddy avatar (yet again) for the film, and so has everyone else clearly, going by the endless shouting — in short, this feels like a bit of an assault on the senses. The trailer also reveals Ramya Krishnan as Liger’s wise-cracking mother, who supports her son from the sidelines, and ends with a quick glimpse at a cackling Mike Tyson, who arrives looking like a rodeo cowboy, and appears to be playing some kind of villain.
Leading up to the trailer release, a song titled “Akdi Pakdi” was released on July 11.
Earlier this month, Vijay Deverakonda had spoken about how drained the film had left him. He’d written in a social media post, “A film that took my everything. As a performance, mentally, physically my most challenging role. I give you everything! Coming soon. #Liger.”
He also shared a poster, which boldly features the tagline ‘Saala crossbreed’. While Vijay shot to fame with his Telugu films Arjun Reddy, Geetha Govindam and Dear Comrade, Ananya Panday made her film debut in 2019 with Student of the Year 2, and has starred in films such as Khali Peeli, Gehraiyaan and Pati, Patni Aur Woh.
Directed by Puri Jagannadh and co-produced by Karan Johar, Liger has been simultaneously filmed in Hindi and Telugu. It’s being touted both as a pan-India film and as Vijay’s Bollywood debut. The film also stars Ronit Roy and Makarand Deshpande in supporting roles, and is set to release on August 25 this year.