“Pathaan,” starring Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and John Abraham, is the biggest Indian hit of the year so far, grossing $130 million. The spy universe kicked off with the Tiger franchise, starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, beginning with “Ek Tha Tiger” (2012) and “Tiger Zinda Hai” (2017), and continued with “War” (2019), starring Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff. The four films have together grossed some $300 million.
The next film in the spy universe, “Tiger 3,” is due a release in November, over the Diwali festival holiday frame.
In the Tiger franchise, Salman Khan plays Avinash Singh Rathore, AKA Tiger, who belongs to Indian intelligence agency RAW and Kaif plays Zoya Humaini from Pakistan’s ISI. In “War,” Roshan is rogue RAW agent Kabir Dhaliwal and Shroff his protégé Khalid Rahmani. In “Pathaan,” Shah Rukh Khan plays exiled RAW agent Pathaan and Padukone ISI agent Rubina Mohsin.
Tiger has an extended cameo in “Pathaan” and the film also features Colonel Sunil Luthra (Ashutosh Rana), who first appeared in “War” and is expected to be in “Tiger 3” as well.
At the end of “Pathaan,” Tiger and Pathaan ruminate on their possible replacements without naming any names and come to the conclusion that they will have to carry on themselves as the task of saving the nation cannot be left to children.
Some 50% of Yash Raj Films’ upcoming theatrical slate is expected to consist of films from the spy universe.