- Lokesh Kanagaraj narrated the script to Vijay in May 2019, and after his acceptance, the film was launched under in August 2019. Kanagaraj wrote the script, screenplay and dialogues with Rathna Kumar and Pon Parthiban being credited as the co-writer.
- The principal photography commenced in October 2019 and ended in February 2020; the entire film was shot across Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Karnataka within 129 working days.
- Originally launched under the tentative title Thalapathy 64, the official title Master was announced on 31 December 2019.
- The film was initially planned for a theatrical release on 9 April 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in India. The makers preferred to wait for a theatrical release, rather than releasing it on any over-the-top media service.
- After being delayed for several months, the film finally was released in theatres on 13 January 2021, a day before Pongal. In addition, the film was simultaneously dubbed and released in Telugu, Kannada and Hindi (titled Vijay the Master) languages.
- Master was released on 13 January 2021, a day before Pongal, in over 1000 theatres in Tamil Nadu. The film was originally scheduled for a theatrical release on 9 April 2020, but as the Tamil Nadu government led by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami announced for a closure of theatres so as to curb COVID-19 pandemic spread, the film was postponed indefinitely. The film’s director, producer and other technical crew members assured the plans of theatrical release, as the film is made for a “big-screen experience”. The film was rumoured to be released on Diwali (14 November 2020), after the Tamil Nadu government permitted reopening of theatres, four days before the festival, on 10 November, which did not happen. It is for the first time, Vijay did not have a release in a calendar year. On 28 November 2020, the producers released a press statement, refuting rumours of releasing the film on any over-the-top (OTT) media service, and also reiterating plans for a theatrical release, as this decision was crucial for the revival of the film industry, which had suffered unprecedented losses due to the pandemic.
- In December 2020, the makers officially announced that the film will be released on 13 January 2021. Additionally, dubbed versions of the film would also release simultaneously in Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. However, the Malayalam version do not released theatrically. The Telugu version of Master was released across 600 theatres in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. In Kerala the film opened in 200 theatres, was considered to be the first release in Kerala, as theatres reopened on that date. It is mostly due to the theatre owners strike against the Kerala government demanding relief package and tax exemption, delayed the reopening of theatres, although the central government permitted to resume the operation of theatres and multiplexes in mid-October 2020. The advance bookings of the film started from 7 January in limited theatres across Tamil Nadu, and generated record number of ticket sales for the opening weekend.
- Due to the demand of the film’s dubbed version in North India, the filmmakers officially announced a release of its Hindi version titled as Vijay The Master, which was scheduled for a release on 14 January 2021, across North Indian theatres. The film received an additional 500 screens in Central India, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab, for the film’s Tamil, Telugu and Hindi versions, irrespective of being released in 2000 screens. The film was not released in the United Kingdom and Canada due to COVID-19 restrictions.
- The film’s digital rights were acquired by Amazon Prime Video for ₹51.5 crores, and was premiered on 29 January 2021, 16 days after the film’s theatrical release. The satellite rights of the film were purchased by Sun TV Network for ₹32 crore (US$4.0 million). The film’s television premiere took place on Sun TV on 14 April 2021. The digital and satellite rights of the Hindi-dubbed version were acquired by Zee Network. Vijay The Master, premiered on 15 March 2021 through the ZEE5 platform, whilst its television premiere took place on Zee Cinema on 30 May 2021 and fetched record viewership.
- Master received mixed to positive reviews from critics, with praise for the cast’s performances, direction, story, cinematography, soundtrack, background score and action sequences, but criticised the predictability and lengthy runtime.
- It was the first Indian film to have occupied the first position in the global box office at the time of release. Irrespective of the fragmented theatrical release, and the early digital premiere, the film grossed around ₹220–300 crore, thus becoming one of the highest-grossing Tamil films of all time.
- Many trade analysts and exhibitors praised the film’s team for the revival of the theatrical business in Tamil Nadu which suffered heavy losses due to the pandemic. The film was released in Malaysia after its original release date.
- A day after the film’s release, a Hindi remake was announced after some of the North Indian distributors were impressed with the film’s output. The film’s Hindi remake rights were bought by Endemol Shine India and Murad Khetani. The remake will be produced by Endemol Shine in association with Cine1 Studios and Seven Screen Studio which also co-produced and distributed the original film.
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