One film that left the entire talking in 2022 was the Kannada blockbuster Kantara, which came out as a grand pan-Indian release and went on to be hailed by fans and critics alike. Rishab Shetty played the lead role apart from serving as the director and screenwriter of the action thriller film, which was produced by Vijay Kiragandur's Hombale Films banner. That being said, Vijay Kiragandur has now in an interview with Deadline revealed that Kantara 2 is indeed a go and will see Rishab Shetty returning to direct the film, which will be a prequel exploring the backstory of the folklore that was featured in the first film.
Vijay Kiragandur was quoted saying, "Rishab is writing the story now and has gone to the forests of coastal Karnataka with his writing associates for two months to conduct research for the film." He further revealed, "He (Rishab) plans to start shooting in June, as a portion of the shoot requires the rainy season, and our intention is to give the film a pan-India release in April or May next year." Vijay Kiragandur had announced sometime back several projects across the four South Indian languages to be coming out under the Hombale Films banner going forward, with plans to invest over Rs. 3000 crores.
Kantara revolved around a group of villagers in the midst of a conflict after their land, which is under a local deity's protection, is attempted to be claimed by the forestry department for the government. The upcoming prequel will tell the backstory of the deity and a pact set with a troubled king with the intention of offering protection for the villagers and the nature around them. Speaking about the budget for the prequel Kantara 2, Vijay Kiragandur revealed it will be bigger than the first film. He said, "Kantara was so successful that whatever we do next has to be big, as expectations are high. We’ll add a few names to the cast but we want to keep it authentic and similar in style and substance to the first film." Kantara released last September earned more than 400 crores and is one of the highest-grossing Kannada films to date. The film, which was also released on the big screen in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam languages, received widespread critical acclaim and premiered on Amazon Prime Video post its theatrical outing.