Bollywood Star Saif Ali Khan to Headline Netflix's First Indian Series

Saif Ali Khan - Getty - H 2017

The crime drama ‘Sacred Games’ is planned as a Hindi- and English-language series for the streaming video giant worldwide.

Netflix is banking on some Bollywood star power for its first Indian original series, Sacred Games, which stars actor Saif Ali Khan. Khan’s upcoming projects include the Bollywood remake of Jon Favreau’s Chef, slated for release later this year.

Following its India launch last year, the streaming giant announced Sacred Games as its foray into Indian content production. While a release date is not yet given, Sacred Games is based on a best-selling novel by Vikram Chandra and will be a bilingual series in Hindi and English. When the project was first announced, a plot description stated that the Mumbai-set drama “delves into the city’s intricate web of organized crime, corruption, politics and espionage that lie beneath India’s economic renaissance.”

The series is a co-production with Phantom Films whose founders include acclaimed director Anurag Kashyap, director Vikramaditya Motwane and producer Madhu Mantena. Netflix's partnership with Phantom builds upon its earlier relationship with Kashyap, whose 2012 two-part epic Gangs of Wasseypur was streamed as an eight-part series on the video giant's U.S service in 2015.

Netflix made the Khan announcement via a Twitter post. In a career spanning over two decades Khan, 46, has delivered such hits as 2001’s Dil Chahta Hai and starred in the successful Race action franchise. He has also produced titles via his Illimunati banner including 2012 romantic caper Cocktail in which he also starred along with top actress Deepika Padukone (xXx: Return of Xander Cage).

In terms of other Indian content, Netflix recently premiered its first Indian comedy special, by Vir Das, which will be followed by another special by female comedian Aditi Mittal, premiering on July 18.