Netflix used the second night of its See What’s Next: Asia content gathering in Singapore to unveil eight new original films for its India market, including a regional release for Bleecker Street and ShivHans Pictures’ long-gestating Hotel Mumbai, which the streaming giant has rights to in the South and Southeast Asian territories.
The film, directed by Anthony Maras and starring Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi, Anupam Kher and Jason Isaacs, had been in limbo as part of The Weinstein Company bankruptcy. A 2019 U.S. release date is likely for the movie, which depicts the events of the 2008 terrorist attacks on the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
Other films in the works include Firebrand, a Marathi Film directed by Aurna Raje and produced by Priyanka Chopra that follows a successful lawyer (Usha Jadhav), a sexual assault victim, as she tackles difficult family cases while also dealing with intimacy issues in her own marriage.
Netflix’s presentation, which included CEO Reed Hastings and chief content officer Ted Sarandos, also gave updates on four Indian original series already announced including revealing the cast of upcoming series Baahubali: Before the Beginning, based on the lucrative film franchise, and Leila, produced by Deepa Mehta. The streaming giant also announced a fifth original series, Typewriter, about a haunted house and a haunted book that stir the imagination of a group of young, wannabe ghost hunters in Goa.
Here’s the latest on the three already announced series, per Netflix:
— Showed a trailer for Rajma Chawal, a humorous family drama set in Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, which is set to release globally on Netflix on November 30, 2018. Rishi Kapoor, Amyra Dastur, Aparshakti Khurana and Anirudh Tanwar act in the film, directed by Leena Yadav.
— Showed a teaser trailer for Selection Day, a series based on Aravind Adiga’s book. Produced by Anil Kapoor Film Company and Seven Stories Ltd, Selection Day is a coming-of-age drama about two brothers who are raised by their strict, obsessive father to be star cricket players.
— Revealed the cast of upcoming series Baahubali: Before the Beginning, with Mrunal Thakur as Sivagami, Rahul Bose as Skandadasa, Atul Kulkarni, Vaquar Shaikh, Jameel Khan, Siddharth Arora and Anup Soni.
— Revealed the cast of Leila, a dystopian fiction series produced by Deepa Mehta, including Huma Qureshi in the title role and Siddharth Suryanarayan.
For the eight movies, again per Netflix:
— Chopsticks is about an under-confident but talented girl, 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. In the process, she finds her confidence and place in the sun. Along with Mithila Palkar who won hearts in Netflix series Little Things 02, Abhay Deol and Vijay Raaz will act in the film. Chopsticks is produced by Ashvini Yardi of Vineyard Productions and directed by Sachin Yardi.
— 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. Satya and his brother’s child bride, Bulbul, were inseparable until he was sent to England for his education. On his return, he finds Bulbul has been abandoned by his brother and now lives a solitary existence as the enigmatic lady-of-the-palace, dedicating herself to the welfare of the people. But their ancestral village is plagued by mysterious deaths and stories of a haunting by a woman who lives in the trees. Satya must find the truth behind the lore and save his village from the evil “chudail with the inverted feet”.
— Upstarts is a bromance about three college graduates from small-town India, captivated by the startup mania sweeping the country. As they enter the rollercoaster startup ecosystem of big dreams, big money and bigger sharks, they are faced with a big choice – their dreams, or their friendship. Directed by Udai Singh Pawar, Upstarts is produced by Raja Menon, Janani Ravichandran and Jawahar Sharma of Bandra West Productions. This film is supported by real-life heroes from the startup world in Bengaluru.
— Cobalt Blue, based on the best-selling novel of the same name, is the story of a brother and sister who fall in love with the same man, and how a traditional Marathi family is shattered by the ensuing events. This story brings out the pain and the beauty of forbidden love, and is written and directed by Sachin Kundalkar.
— 15th August, produced by Madhuri Dixit, is set in a Mumbai chawl, and follows the course of a single day as its residents prepare for the flag-hoisting ceremony. This Marathi film is about the struggles of middle-class India and in a soaring climax, it is about how love sets us free.
— Music Teacher, directed by Sarthak Dasgupta, is a story about an emotionally troubled music teacher, essayed by Manav Kaul, who gets a chance to come to terms with his bitterness with an estranged student, now a renowned celebrity singer of Bollywood. The music teacher vows to get back everything he lost in the past risking all his achievements in the present day.
— Hotel Mumbai tells the astonishing true story of the victims and survivors of the devastating attacks on Mumbai in 2008. The film directed by Anthony Maras stars Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi, Anupam Kher, Jason Isaacs. This film is available on Netflix in the SAARC region only.
— Firebrand, directed by Aruna Raje and produced by Priyanka Chopra, Firebrand is a Marathi Film that follows a successful lawyer, a sexual assault victim played by Usha Jadhav, as she tackles difficult family cases while also dealing with intimacy issues 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 movie which is high on drama.