It’s true that Pathaan was the movie that announced the existence of the YRF Spy Universe, but it was actually Ek Tha Tiger that started it all. It was a rather simple love story about two agents from two rivaling nations falling for each other and then deciding to only return to their respective countries when spy agencies become a thing of the past. That was followed up by Tiger Zinda Hai, which was, strangely enough, based on the abduction of Indian nurses in Iraq, and it saw Tiger and Zoya working together to fight the ISC and then going back into hiding. War featured a rogue agent named Kabir being hunted by his student, Khalid, for illegally taking down officials who were jeopardizing the security of the country. Then there was Pathaan, where the titular character fought a former RAW agent, Jim, who was ready to launch a deadly virus in his country for a large sum of money. Now, Avinash Rathore is back in Tiger 3 to fight for his family and his nation, while paving the way for the future of the franchise.
Did ‘Tiger 3’ Set Up ‘Tiger Vs. Pathaan’?
Pathaan’s cameo in Tiger 3 was already teased in Pathaan. It was like a “You scratch my back, and I will scratch yours” kind of situation, but the film didn’t give us any specifics regarding how Pathaan was going to show up in Tiger’s adventure. Actually, it wasn’t until the second half of Tiger 3 that we got a sign that Pathaan was on his way to save Tiger from a prison in Pakistan. The Morse code message through the flickering light bulbs mirrored the way in which Pathaan was informed about Tiger’s arrival when he was being transported to a Russian prison. And then Pathaan rescued Tiger from a sticky situation, after playing “Jhoome Jo Pathaan.” On their way to safety with the help of a singular parachute, Pathaan talked about partying with Zoya and Tiger, which meant that Zoya was the one who sent Pathaan to help Tiger. But Tiger refused the proposal as he had unfinished business.
So, Tiger dropped into the river, and Pathaan flew away with the parachute. Now, that didn’t look like grounds for a potential rivalry. So, as of now, it’s not clear why Tiger will go up against Pathaan in the recently announced Tiger vs. Pathaan film. Tiger 3 has shown that a character’s allegiances can change if someone they love is in danger. Since both Tiger and Pathaan have people who are close to them, those individuals can be held hostage to force the heroes to fight each other. The dynamic duo has the reputation of being invincible. Hence, it’s totally possible for a smart villain to make them cancel each other out instead of risking their own life. That said, I’m sure the whole Tiger vs. Pathaan won’t be a real rivalry, and, by the end, the heroes will solve their issues and kill the villain. If they don’t, I will be quite surprised. Just to be clear, no, there’s no hint regarding what’s going to happen in Tiger vs. Pathaan. The movie is supposed to begin its 5-month-long pre-production process soon. All we can do is hope that Siddharth Anand gives us a proper reunion of Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan—none of this cameo business—after Karan Arjun, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, and Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam.
What Can We Expect From ‘War 2’?
During the post-credits scene of Tiger 3, we saw Colonel Luthra telling Kabir to take care of a nameless, faceless, and extremely violent individual. Even though it was unfair to ask Kabir to employ techniques that were considered illegal, Luthra advised Kabir to do anything and everything to stop this person. However, he warned Kabir not to lose himself in the process because he believed that one could turn into the literal manifestation of evil while searching for the devil. It’s impossible to say at which stage of his mission Kabir is during the post-credits scene. But, by the looks of it and the flickering “Hell Here” sign behind him, Kabir has gone deep and become somewhat of a killing machine.
The moment had echoes of Hawkeye’s transformation into Ronin during Avengers: Endgame, and it’s possible that Kabir is going to lose all sense of humanity before finding himself again. So for the uninitiated, this is a tease for War 2, which is set to be directed by Ayan Mukerji, and the nameless, faceless, and extremely violent individual is none other than NTR Jr. It won’t be the first time that Kabir will be forced to go down a dark path. We’ve seen him lose his sanity in War, and while he managed to come back to his senses by the end of that film, it’s possible that NTR Jr.’s character will force Kabir to go beyond the point of no return in terms of his moral and mental stability. Apparently, War 2 has already been set in motion, and NTR Jr. is supposed to join the process in 2024. The movie is also going to feature Kiara Advani, but it’s uncertain if her character will be siding with Kabir or NTR Jr.’s character. Hrithik Roshan and NTR Jr. will be sharing screen space for the first time, and, much like War, it’ll be interesting to see how their on-screen rivalry unfolds.
Did ‘Tiger 3’ Hint At The Big Bad Of The Female-Led Spy Universe Film?
There’s no doubt that War 2 and Tiger vs. Pathaan are happening. But everything about the female-led spy universe film is based on rumors only. Katrina Kaif’s Zoya is a well-established character in the YRF Spy Universe. Deepika Padukone’s Rubina has managed to make quite the mark with her appearance in Pathaan. Now, there are reports that Sharvari Wagh and one of the most profitable stars in the business, Alia Bhatt, have been roped in. So, it’s quite possible that all four of them, or at least two of them, are going to show up in this alleged female-led film. Who will they be going up against? Well, I think Tiger 3 has the answer to that. During the opening moments of the film, we are forced to believe that Zoya’s father has died. Here’s the thing, though: We don’t actually see him die in the movie, and the golden rule of entertainment is that until and unless you see a character die, you should not assume that they are dead.
We know that Rehan Nazar was a good friend of Aatish prior to his “death.” And Aatish didn’t exactly say what, who, or why Nazar was killed. We accept the narrative that Nazar was pro-democracy, so someone who was pro-dictatorship killed him. But, to be honest, it could’ve been an elaborate ruse by Aatish to get Zoya under his umbrella and work for the ISI, which was something that Nazar didn’t want Zoya to do at such a young age. Zoya has toiled all her life to uphold Nazar’s pro-democratic image, and if she learns that her father is still alive and is being held captive by a villain, possibly a secret accomplice of Aatish, it’s going to impact her emotionally and make her susceptible to any kind of manipulation. On the flip side, Nazar can reveal himself to be the villain of this female-led Spy Universe film, thereby prompting Rubina to come to Zoya’s aid. All of these YRF Spy Universe films have been helmed by men. Hence, for a change, I’d love to see a female director take the reins, e.g., Farah Khan.