The big screen is up for a big treat, as actors Kajol, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Lara Dutta and Pooja Bhatt - once top Bollywood stars - are making their grand comeback this year.
Their films ­promise to be much more than ­regular Friday releases owing to their large ­fan-following and the ­anticipation around their ­projects, say experts.
"Aishwarya, Kajol, Lara... fans have been missing them for a few years and are eagerly ­waiting ­for them to return," says trade analyst Atul Mohan.
While Aishwarya has started shooting for Sanjay Gupta's Jazbaa with Irrfan, buzz was that Kajol is making her comeback in a home production. Finally, after names including Katrina Kaif and Aishwarya did the rounds for Rohit Shetty's next, Dilwale, it was recently confirmed that Kajol has been finalised for the role.
"The film has Shah Rukh Khan with Kajol," Shetty was quoted as saying. Meanwhile, Bhatt has been roped in for Reema Kagti's next and Lara will be seen in Abhishek Kapoor's adaptation of Great Expectations.
Film distributor Rajesh Thadani says that while the subject will ultimately decide their fate, the curiosity will give it an extra edge. "The curiosity does help the initial opening ­figures," he says.
Where were they:
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: She took a sabbatical after the birth of her daughter Aaradhya in 2011, before which she was seen in Guzaarish (2010). Up for her second innings, her next release is Sanjay Gupta's Jazbaa. She has also been roped in for Karan Johar's Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.
From L to R: Kajol will be next seen in a home production while Pooja Bhatt will feature in Reema Kagti's next
Kajol: Last seen five years ago in My Name is Khan, the chirpy mum of two has now been cast ­alongside one of her most popular ­co-stars, Shah Rukh Khan, in Rohit Shetty's Dilwale. The SRK-Kajol jodi has resulted in hits such as Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998).
Pooja Bhatt: After a break of 14 years, the 43-year-old actor-filmmaker will be back to face the camera with Reema Kagti's film, Mr Chaalu! where she plays a detective. Pooja was last seen in Everybody Says I'm Fine (2001).
Lara Dutta: While she was last seen in David (2013), the 36-year-old will be seen in many releases this year, including Singh Is Bling, Abhi Nahi Toh Kabhi Nahin and Chalo China. Mom to a three-year-old daughter, her next is Abhishek Kapoor's Fitoor.