Rishi (Prabhas) is a happy-go-lucky son of Bhupathi (Krishnam Raju). Rishi is influenced by his father's ideals and grows up just like him. However, Bhupathi doesn't want his son to take up violence and make more enemies like him. He sends his son to Bangalore for studies and to learn music. There Rishi falls for Deepali (Deeksha Seth), an orphan, and brings her to his house in the disguise of his old music teacher as he wants his father to be happy that he doesn't take up the violence. During the festivals held in their village, Simhadri (Pradeep Rawat) sends 100 thugs to kill Bhupathi and his family. Rishi saves his father by eliminating all the thugs. Bhupathi's brother (Mukesh Rishi) joins hands with Simhadri, so they can kill Bhupathi, Bhupathi's wife, and Deepali in a temple. Simhadri tells Rishi that a local goon helped Bhupathi's brother kill Bhupathi and his family. Rishi wants to destroy Bhupathi's killers, but Simhadri kills himself. In a rage, Rishi stabs Simhadri's corpse more than once. Raju (Supreeth) is one of Bhupathi's bodyguards. Some of Bhupathi's bodyguards are still alive. Raju and the other bodyguards assist Rishi to get revenge.
Two years later, Rishi discovers that a Goon named Stephen (K.C. Shankar) was doing illegal business in Hyderabad for a very long time. Rishi also discovers that a man named Robert (also Mukesh Rishi) started working with Stephen right after Bhupathi's murder. Stephen and Robert became powerful underworld dons. Rishi suspects that his uncle's new identity is Robert. Rishi goes to Hyderabad. Rishi finds out that Stephen and Robert have an assistant, Nanu (Tej Sapru), who works in Bangkok. Nanu's daughter is Nandini (Tamannaah). Rishi and Nandini fall in love with each other. While drunk, Nanu shows his cell phone to Nandini because she wants to see the pictures of Stephen and Robert. Nanu falls asleep. Nandini calls Rishi's phone. Rishi sneaks into Nandini's room. When Rishi sees the pictures of Stephen and Robert, it's confirmed that Rishi's uncle's new identity is Robert. Since Simhadri told Rishi that a local goon helped Robert kill Bhupathi, that local goon must've been Stephen. Later, Raju tells Nandini about Rishi's tragic past. Nandini still wants to help Rishi locate Stephen and Robert. Rishi bribes Nanu's henchmen to stop protecting Nanu. Rishi tells his henchmen including Raju to take Nandini back to her home. Rishi tortures Nanu, until Nanu agrees to lure Stephen and Robert into a trap. Stephen and Robert arrive in a helicopter. It's revealed that Stephen and Robert sent 2 henchmen to disguise themselves as Stephen and Robert. Nanu and his henchmen didn't expect Stephen and Robert to fool Rishi. Nanu's glad that Stephen and Robert fooled Rishi. Rishi realizes that his bodyguards, including Raju and Nandini, got kidnapped by the bad guys. Robert calls Rishi's cell phone. Robert says, "My informer followed Nanu for these past 2 years just in case if you tried to locate me. My informer told me that you kidnapped Nanu and I sent my henchmen to kidnap Raju, Nandini, and your other bodyguards." Rishi gets taken to his old home. The rest of Rishi's bodyguards got killed. Nandini and Raju are still alive. Robert kills Raju. Rishi manages to kill Stephen, Robert, their henchmen and Robert's son. Rishi reunites with Nandini.Prabhas as Rishi / RebelTamannaah as NandiniDeeksha Seth as DeepaliKrishnam Raju as Bhupathi, Rishi's fatherVikram Singh as DavidBrahmanandam as Narasa RajuPrabha as Lakshmi, Rishi's motherRavi Nair as Sanjay, Nandini's brotherAli as Dance Master Kamal Haasan Shiv ShankarMukesh Rishi as Jairam / RobertBharath Reddy as Jairam's sonPradeep Rawat as SimhadriSupreeth as RajuK.C.Shankar as StephenJeevaM. S. Narayana as ShastriKovai SaralaVincent AsokanTej Sapru as NanuAnanth Babu as ShastriJunior Relangi as Junior ShastriSana
The film was officially launched at Annapurna Studios on 2 December 2010 with Anushka Shetty as the heroine opposite Prabhas. It was also announced that S. Thaman would compose the soundtrack of the film.
On 2 December 2010, the opening ceremony of the film took place in Hyderabad. At the event, it was announced that J. Bhagawan and J. Pullarao would produce the film, it would be directed by Raghava Lawrence and would star Prabhas and Anushka in lead roles. The main cast was also announced during the event, which included Brahmanandam, Mukesh Rishi, Kelly Dorjee, Sayaji Shinde, Ali, MS Narayana, Chalapathi Rao, Jayaprakash Reddy, Supreet and Jeeva. In February 2011, it was announced that Deeksha Seth would play the second lead in the film. The filming was delayed due to various reasons causing Anushka to opt out of the project. In August 2011, it was announced that Tamannaah had replaced Anushka. In January 2011, it was reported that Krishnam Raju would play a vital role in the film. It was later confirmed that he would be portraying a father character while popular Telugu actress Prabha would play the role of a mother.
After much delays, regular filming began on 21 May 2011. In the fifty days of working schedule, one action episode and a song were filmed. In October 2011, it was reported that the filming would take place in Bangkok, where action sequences would be shot. In December 2011, it was reported that the unit would go back to Bangkok to shoot some vital scenes and action sequences with Tamannah and Prabhas. After completing the Bangkok schedule, filming resumed at Shamshabad Temple near Hyderabad. It was reported that a special set worth ₹20 million was built at Shamshabad and filming took place in it with 100 fighters and over 1000 extras participating in the schedule. In March 2012, it was reported that another set had been built at Ramoji Film City, where the climax scenes with 30 Russian fighters were shot.
In June 2012, the unit went back to Bangkok for the third time to shoot two songs of the movie. After completing the schedule, the filming resumed at Pollachi where scenes on Prabhas and other lead cast were canned. The filming shifted to Pondicherry where action episodes involving Prabhas were shot. The last schedule of filming took at an aluminium factory in Hyderabad.
The film was postponed several times due to delays in post-production works. After much delay, the film was released worldwide on 28 September 2012 in over 950 screens worldwide.
On 7 August 2012 the first look posters of the film were launched. On 17 August 2012 a press conference was held at Hyderabad in which a thirty-second teaser was launched.
It was announced that 7 Seas, a premier entertainment company, purchased the overseas theatrical distribution rights of the film. The theatrical distribution rights for the Nizam region were bought by Dil Raju for ₹90 million. The rights for Vizag region were sold to Bellamkonda Suresh for ₹30.6 million. Distribution rights for ceded region were bought by NV Prasad and Bellary Sai for ₹57.5 million. Tamil Nadu theatrical distribution rights were sold for ₹3.3 million. The film made excellent business all over and is up amongst the best films in terms of pre-release revenues.
Sashidhar from The Times of India stated, "The film belongs to hard-core Prabhas fans as the movie is stylish and visually rich but not much in content". Purnima Ranawat from NDTV said, "Rebel serves up fare for the mass audience. The film will be definitely liked by Prabhas' fans. Watch it for the dancing talent of Tamannaah Bhatia and action skills of Prabhas." Radhika Rajamani from Rediff.com gave the movie one and half stars out of five and said, "Working with hardly any storyline, director Raghava Lawrence had made a film that is arduous to watch... Rebel is a movie for the masses and certainly not for the discerning audience."
Jeevi from Idlebrain.com gave the film a 3 out of 5 rating and stated, "Rebel is an revenge-based action film. Prabhas is known as one of the best mass stars of Telugu cinema. Lawrence's movies are known to appeal to the raw senses of mass movie lovers. Rebel is no exception. Interval block is really good. Rebel has decent commercial elements and targeted at masses. Masses will like it. A reviewer from OneIndia.com called the film "A treat for Prabhas fans" and gave it a 3 out of 5 rating.
The film collected ₹233.2 million worldwide in its first weekend and ₹243.7 million in its first week in India. It collected approximately ₹33.35 net crores in its first week worldwide.
The VCDs, DVDs and Blu-rays of the film were released on 22 January 2013 through Sri Balaji Video company.
Initially S. Thaman was revealed to be the composer but he opted out of the film; instead, Raghava Lawrence himself composed the music. The soundtrack of the film was released through Aditya Music Label on 14 September 2012 at Shilpakala Vedika in Hyderabad. The album consists of five songs. The lyrics for four songs were penned by Ramajogayya Sastry and one song was written by Bhaskarabhatla.