Hyderabad: Jaanu, starring Samantha Akkineni and Sharwanand, released in theatres in early February amidst high expectations. Samantha left no stone unturned in promoting the film across both the Telugu states. The film, a remake of the Tamil blockbuster 96, was expected to share a similar success at the box office. However, Jaanu did not live up to the audience’s expectations and ended up a box office dud. The film’s lead pair was slated to star together in another movie, Maha Samudram, to be directed by Ajay Bhupathi. The director is largely known for his smash hit debut, RX 100. He had written the script for Maha Samudram long ago but was struggling to sign the lead actors for the film. At long last, Samantha and Sharwanand were brought onboard.
However, the dismal performance of Jaanu seems to have had its impact and Samantha has reportedly decided to back out of Maha Samudram. Ajay Bhupathi is now trying to bring Aditi Rao Hydari as the female lead to replace Samantha.
This is Samantha’s low point after a streak of hits at the box office. Her releases from last year included Super Deluxe and Oh! Baby, both of which went on to become hits at the box office. In fact, Super Deluxe won accolades both in India and abroad, with Samantha bagging the Zee Cine Awards (Tamil) for best actress. Similarly, Oh! Baby, which was a remake of the South Korean film Miss Granny, saw Samantha essaying the lead role of a woman who is turned back to her 24-year-old self. The film was well received by both audiences and critics.