Netflix on Friday announced 9 new Indian original films at the See What’s Next event in Singapore, the unveiling project from Priyanka Chopra, Madhuri Dixit, and Anushka Sharma, among others. Speaking at the event, Netflix chief content officer, Ted Sarandos said that Asia, and particularly India, maybe a territory of key importance in the streaming service’s future plans.
Firebrand, that will be produced by Priyanka Chopra and mother Madhu Chopra, is “a Marathi film that follows a self-made professional person, a sexual assault victim played by Usha Jadhav, as she tackles difficult family cases whereas conjointly dealing with the intimacy problems in her own marriage. Girish Kulkarni essays the role of her husband Madhav Patkar, an architect by profession. Sachin Khedekar and Rajeshwari Sachdev play a couple in the flick that is high on drama.”
Madhuri Dixit will produce a Marathi film called 15th August and is set in a chawl, a satire about the struggles of middle-class India.
Yet another project is Rajma Chawal, directed by Leena Yadav and starring Rishi Kapoor, who plays a single father who wants to reconnect together with his son. The film will be released in November 2018. Manav Kaul will play an emotionally troubled music teacher in Music Teacher, which will also star Neena Gupta and Divya Dutta.
Chopsticks, starring Abhay Deol and tiny Things’ Mithila Palkar is presently in production. It’s “about an under-confident however proficient woman sidestepped at every stage of her life, who seeks out an enigmatic con to help recover her stolen car from a goat-loving, crazy Mumbai gangster. She finds her confidence and place within the sun,” read a statement.
Bulbul, produced by Anushka Sharma and Karnesh Sharma’s Clean Slate Films, “is a period piece set in a vibrant atmosphere amidst age-old beliefs and superstitions.”
Hotel Mumbai, directed by Anthony Marras and starring an ensemble international cast of Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, and Jason Isaacs, will be released as a Netflix original in 2019. The film, regarding the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, premiered to positive reviews at the Toronto International Film festival.
Other films announced include the festival acquisition Soni, Upstarts, a bromance regarding three faculty roommates and Cobalt Blue, about a brother and sister who fall in love with the man.
In addition to the films, cast announcements were also made about Netflix’s Indian TV slate.
“Our initial foray was Sacred Games, that found an audience across the world. That was 2018, but today's we’re here to talk regarding 2019,” said Simran Sethi, the creative executive in charge of Indian content.
“Right now we’re shooting six originals in India, from Leh to Kerala,” she added. A new show to be announced was Typewriter, created by Sujoy Ghosh, director of Kahaani. The typewriter will be a haunted house story set in Goa.
Among the shows already in production are Leila, based on a novel by Prayaag Akbar, and Bard of Blood, starring Emraan Hashmi and produced by Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment.
“Leila will be a terribly powerful story about a mother’s quest to seek out her daughter in a dystopic future. It was important us to find a female director for this story. Deepa Mehta was a perfect choice,” said Sethi. “We’re shooting in Delhi right now,” she said, listing a cast that has Huma Qureshi and Sanjay Suri.
Curiously, Mehta directed a film adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s children, that conjointly incorporates a Netflix show within the pipeline. Mehta, in an exceeding video from the Delhi sets said that the show is a six-part series with a subject that’s really about to her heart, “about a woman who becomes strong and kicks a**.”
One of the bigger upcoming projects is a spin-off of SS Rajamouli’s blockbuster film series, Baahubali. “We’re excited that Baahubali will find a global audience just like the films did. I think the series gives us the freedom to explore the origins of Sivagami,” said Netflix VP of production, Todd Yellin.
“It’s a prequel to both films,” said producer Prasad Devineni. “It will take fans into the backstories of the characters from the films, and we’ll also be introducing new characters,” Prasad revealed that the epic finale action sequence in the series has been shot by Rajamouli.
Netflix has previously released Sacred Games, Ghoul, Brij Mohan Amar Rahe, Love Per Square Foot, Little Things and Brahman Naman from India.
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