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Samantha Akkineni: The Mahanati actor set to dominate the box office in 2018

The year 2018 is going to be an interesting one for actor Samantha Akkineni, who turned a year older on Saturday, in terms of her career.

In 2017, she was nearly a no-show at the box office, despite being one of the busiest leading woman actors in the south Indian film industry. She appeared in a cameo in Telugu horror-comedy Raju Gari Gadhi 2, which had her star father-in-law in the lead role. And her role in Mersal, starring actor Vijay, also felt like a guest appearance.

While she missed making a mark at the box office, the past year was significant for Samantha nonetheless. She got hitched to her long-time boyfriend Naga Chaitanya in a dreamy wedding in Goa.

She has started the new year already on a solid note with Rangasthalam. Her performance as a dynamic village girl won her unanimous appreciation from the critics and fans. It also became one of the top-grossing films in Telugu this year so far.

But, Rangasthalam was just the beginning.

Samantha is set to rule the box office down south as she has at least four more films that are gearing up to hit the screens at frequent intervals this year.

Samantha married her long-time beau Naga Chaitanya in 2017.

She has an interesting mix of films in the pipeline. While in some she shares screen space with other leading actors, she also has a solo film in the making too.

Here is Samantha’s lineup for 2018:

Samantha’s second biggest release this year will be the bilingual biopic Mahanati, which is Nadigaiyar Thilagam in Tamil. She plays a journalist called Madhuravani, who along with Vijay Deverakonda’s Vijay Antony, set out on a journey to piece together the life story of legendary actor Savitri (Keerty Suresh). The film is set to hit the screens on May 9.

Just two days after the release of Mahanati, her Tamil film Irumbu Thirai, will hit the screens on May 11. She plays the female lead in the science fiction thriller, which has Vishal and Arjun in the lead roles.

She has completed shooting for director Ponram’s Seema Raja. It is said to be a romantic comedy set in a rural backdrop. She even took lessons on Silambam, which is Tamil Nadu’s weapon-based ancient art form, in preparation for her role. The film stars Sivakarthikeyan in the lead.

Samantha Prabhu practicing Silambam, a martial art form.

Super Deluxe is one of the highly-anticipated films in Tamil this year. It boasts of an ensemble cast, including Samantha, Vijay Sethupathi, Mysskin, Ramya Krishnan among others. Directed by Thiagarajan Kumararaja, it is said to be a crime thriller. The teaser giving a sneak peek into Samantha’s character has already ramped up the expectations for her performance.

And she is leading the cast in U Turn, which is the official remake of Kannada hit of the same name. The film will be made in Telugu and Tamil. The remake of the 2016 thriller, follows the woman journalist, who investigates the mystery behind deaths of traffic offenders. Director Pawan Kumar, who directed the original film with Shraddha Srinath, is also helming the remake. The shooting for this film is in progress.

Samantha recently signed a new Telugu film, which will be helmed by Shiva Nirvana of Ninnu Kori fame. What’s interesting about this project is, she will be sharing screen space with her husband Naga Chaitanya after a long time.

Samantha is on a roll, indeed.