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Netflix and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan will partner on an original Indian series, Bard of Blood. The espionage drama is based on the book of the same name by author Bilal Siddiqi and will be produced by Khan’s banner Red Chillies Entertainment.
The story revolves around expelled spy Kabir Anand, who is recalled from his new life as a Shakespeare professor “to save his country and long-lost love.” The eight-episode series, which will be streamed worldwide, will feature dialog in Hindi, Urdu, English and other languages.
Netflix already has a film output deal with Red Chillies.
“Netflix has shown that Indian stories have a global audience and we would love to use this platform and its reach to tell more stories,” said Khan.
“We believe in the global vision of Red Chillies to create groundbreaking content out of India,” said Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings. He added: “It’s exciting to deepen our relationship with Red Chillies and expand our slate of originals in India.”
Addressing a session in October at the Mumbai Film Festival, Netflix vp international originals Erik Barmack had said the company was targeting “at least five to six Indian originals a year.”
Netflix’s first Indian series, currently in production, is Sacred Games, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Anurag Kashyap (Gangs of Wasseypur) and Vikramaditya Motwane (Udaan), based on author Vikram Chandra’s book of the same name. It revolves around Mumbai’s web of organized crime, corruption, politics and espionage. The show will launch next year and will be streamed worldwide.
Netflix’s two other planned Indian originals are Selection Day and Again. Selection Day is based on the novel of the same name by best-selling author Aravind Adiga and revolves around cricket and corruption. The series will be co-produced with U.K.-based Seven Stories, which is part of All3Media, owned by Discovery Communications and Liberty Global, and backed by filmmakers Sharon Maguire (Bridget Jones’ Baby) and Anand Tucker (Leap Year).
Again is a female-led detective series set in the capital New Delhi and is written by Marisha Mukerjee, whose credits include Quantico and Justified. The series focuses on a female homicide detective who must put her career and life on the line when a recent murder connects to closed cases from her past, suggesting she has a serial killer on her hands.
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