The digital streaming platform, Netflix announced the line-up of five new original series yesterday. The platform is churning out content which consists of various genres including thriller, comedy, young adult, drama and horror. With deadly zombies, scary gangsters and daring friends, these incredibly diverse Indian stories are for mainstream audiences in India and around the world.
Continuing Netflix’s investment in Indian content and long-term commitment to the Indian creative community, the five series will be developed in collaboration with leading Indian studios from Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment and Anushka Sharma and Karnesh Sharma’s Clean Slate Films to Mutant Films.
Here’s Netflix’s slate of upcoming series over the next year:
Bombay Begums: In contemporary urban India, five women, across generations, wrestle with desire, ethics, personal crises and vulnerabilities to own their ambition. And as each woman strives to find her own truth, they find in each other an unexpected understanding and the sliver of a bond. Bombay Begums is created, written and directed by Alankrita Shrivastava and executive produced by Chernin Entertainment and EndemolShine India.
Speaking about the development, Alankrita Shrivastava said, “Collaborating with Netflix has been extremely exciting and fulfilling because they see the urgency and value of women telling their own stories, through the female gaze. Bombay Begums is an attempt to tell a story about the lives of urban Indian women, as honestly as I can. I hope that women (and maybe some men!) can connect to this story, no matter what their background, because maybe we're all trying to find ourselves and our place in this world.”
Mai: Following a deep personal tragedy, the docile, 47-year-old wife-and-mother, Sheel, finds herself accidentally sucked into a rabbit hole of violence and power. Mai has Anushka Sharma and Karnesh Sharma's Clean Slate Films as the executive producers and is written by Atul Mongia along with Tamal Sen, Amita Vyas, with Sudip Sharma as a creative producer.
Talking about the show, Anushka Sharma said, “This is my second collaboration with Netflix after Bulbul and we are again looking to disrupt the kind of content audiences are consuming. We at Clean Slate Films have been dedicated to making clutter-breaking, powerful stories since our first production and we are looking forward to push the content envelope. The creative freedom to be able to translate these stories to screens that reach a global audience is exciting for us, which is why Netflix is such an important partner. Mai is an exciting work of fiction that tells the story of a middle-class Indian woman who leads a double-life of a don. At a time when audiences globally are appreciating differential content, Mai will hopefully intrigue them and entertain them thoroughly.”
Betaal: A remote village becomes the theatre of a breathless battle when a two-century-old Betaal, a British Indian Army officer, and his battalion of zombie redcoats are unleashed. Betaal is Red Chillies Entertainment’s second Netflix series, in collaboration with Ghoul’s Patrick Graham as the writer/director and showrunner, along with Nikhil Mahajan as the director and Suhani Kanwar as writer. It will be executive produced by Blumhouse, known to design some of the best horror content.
Elaborating on the development Patrick Graham said, “Indian legend is filled with tales that thrill, chill and bring the audience to the edge of their seat. It’s a pleasure working with Netflix again on Betaal and to be able to tap the narrative goldmine of Indian stories for a series that brings to life universal conflicts in the engaging and immersive zombie horror genre.”
Messy: Mumbai’s rising standup comic, Beanie, struggles to balance a career in comedy with pleasing a yuppie day-job boss, peculiar BFF, persistent parents, and proposal-popping boyfriend. Messy is her quest to find her own voice and get her life together in the midst of all the mayhem. American actor and director, Ravi Patel stars in the series which he has created and co-written with Neel Shah. The series is co-produced by The District's David Bernad and Ruben Fleischer and Mutant Films' Seher Aly Latif and Shivani Saran.
Speaking about the series Ravi Patel said, “I’m excited to work on a story of a strong female lead and voice as we go on this journey with Messy. This is a story about a girl finding herself and her place in the world while living in a big city, and we’re hoping to create a relatable and authentic story that has a universal resonance. The character is not unlike the average urban Indian woman, grappling with various social pressures while nurturing her sense of humour throughout. With Netflix, we have a partner and platform which supports absolute artistic freedom, and can help package this in an engaging manner while taking the story to women the world over.”
Masaba Masaba: This scripted series based on real-life moments from Masaba Gupta’s life follows her unique background, the diverse worlds she straddles across fashion and family, and her foray back into the dating world. Masaba’s life is a glorious mess, and she’s not afraid to show that to the world. The genre-bending series is created and produced by Ashvini Yardi’s Viniyard Films and will be directed by Sonam Nair.
Expressing her excitement Masaba Gupta said, “I’m a huge fan of Netflix and the kind of diverse content it houses. So when the makers approached me with the idea of a show inspired by my life, I was thrilled. It’s been a rollercoaster, honestly, and I feel that the moments I’ve experienced are both unique to my journey and relatable to people the world over. This series will be an amalgamation of my experiences, personally and professionally. I can’t wait for the audience to watch it.”
Talking about their new line-up, Bela Bajaria, VP, International Originals, Netflix, said, “India is home to some of the world’s greatest stories. It's been thrilling to watch these amazing storytellers embrace the artistic freedom possible at Netflix to create entertaining stories. Audiences everywhere will love these five inventive series set in stories of horror, drama and comedy.”