Sony Pictures Entertainment has bagged the Indian and global rights for R Balki’s Padman, Variety reported. The January 26, 2018, release stars Akshay Kumar as an inventor of low-cost sanitary pads. The movie has been inspired by Arunachalam Muruganantham and co-stars Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor. KriArj Entertainment and Mrs Funnybones Movies, Twinkle Khanna’s production company, have collaborated on the production.

Kumar has had two socially-themed hits in 2017, Jolly LLB 2 and Toilet Ek Prem Katha. “India is an important and growing market with rich content and dynamic stories that translate worldwide,” Laine Kline, EVP of business affairs, operations and SPE’s head of local film production, told Variety.

Sony Pictures’ association with Kumar rules out the possibility of the January 25, 2018, release of Shankar’s 2.0, starring Rajinikanth as the humanoid robot Chitti and Kumar as the antagonist. Shankar’s highly expensive sequel to Enthiran (2010) is reportedly eyeing an April release.