That the digital platform has a growing market is evident from the fact that several cinema stars are now trying their hand in web-series, a format that is now competing with television shows.
This year saw the release of several Indian web-series featuring popular faces from cinema. Inside Edge, a web-series based on the IPL scandal, features Vivek Oberoi, Richa Chadha, Angad Bedi and others, released this year and is even planning its second season soon.
Maari director Balaji Mohan’s As I’m Suffering from Kadhal also made its debut on Hotstar this year and won praises for his portrayal of modern love and different couples and their equation.
Now, there are Bollywood and even Kollywood celebrities are investing in web-series. Given that there’s more freedom on the Internet, without having to worry about the censor board’s cuts and caveats, here’s a quick list of all those who will soon venture into this form of storytelling.
Earlier this month, the actor spoke of how he had been working on a web-series two years ago but had to shift focus due to VIP 2. However, now that the film has been released, he plans on resuming his work on the web-series next year. He will be bankrolling this one through his Wunderbar Films, but isn’t acting in it for the time being. He plans on expanding it region by region.
This month, Rana Daggubati, too, showed an interest in venturing towards the web-series space. According to The Indian Express, the actor will be doing a web-series for Viu. Titled Social, the thriller will revolve around social media and the impact it has on millennials. He is already doing a chat show for Viu titled No. 1 Yaari. Rated as one of the most-watched shows on the web, the actor for the first time will be seen doing a fiction drama on the digital platform starring alongside TVF’s Pitchers fame Naveen Kasturia.
Alt Balaji takes on the mystery behind Subhash Chandra Bose’s sudden, unexpected death in a plane crash as inspiration for its new web-series, Bose Dead Or Alive. Rajkummar Rao plays the fiery leader who wanted Indians to be proactive in their quest for Independence. The trailer was released on August 18 and shows how Rao plays the strong-willed, fierce leader with quiet conviction, explaining early on in the trailer the difference between a revolutionary and a slave.
Reshu Nath writes the series, while Hansal Mehta is the creative producer. Patralekhaa Paul, Edward Sonnenblick have pivotal roles in this series that is yet to get a release date.
Saif Ali Khan
Saif Ali Khan will play the lead in a Netflix original series titled Sacred Games, based on Vikram Chandra’s 2006 novel of the same name. He will play the character of Sartaj Singh, a Mumbai Police officer. The series will be shot across India, and will be produced by Phantom Films and Netflix jointly. While it isn’t confirmed when the series will be aired, Saif is all praises for the medium.
“Content in the digital space is taking over the existing dynamics at a rapid pace – the crown in the digital empire lies with Netflix, and it’s extremely satisfying to partner and participate in the first original series from India to be showcased on Netflix,” he told The Indian Express.
Early this year, news of Madhavan joining a web-series did the rounds. This was when he was still filming for Pushkar-Gayatri’s Vikram Vedha and had a packed schedule. Now that the film is released, one can only wait and watch till this takes place.
According to The Times of India report from January this year, the web-series, a thriller, would be called Breath. “The series by Vikram Malhotra has been titled Breath and will be directed by Mayank. Amit Sadh of Kai Po Che fame will be seen along with Madhavan. Both of them will play the lead roles in it. It is an intense thriller which is said to have an engaging script,” the report states.
Actress Aishwarya Rajesh, who has an array of films including Vikram’s Dhruva Natchathiram and Dhanush’s Vada Chennai, recently signed on to act in a web-series titled G-Spot. The actress has already started shooting for the series, which is directed by Vijay and bankrolled by SS Music.
Speaking to Silverscreen, she said that she will be playing a social activist in this web-series. The series also has Priyamani and Aari in pivotal roles.
Priyanka Chopra will soon produce a web-series. It was reported in July that the actress will bankroll the series through her production house Purple Pebble Pictures.
Priyanka’s mother Madhu Chopra, who is the co-owner of the production house told IANS in July that since the newly approved GST is affecting the entertainment business, movies might be difficult but they are venturing towards digital entertainment like web-series since it is the future. The web-series is likely to take off once they get more clarity on the whole GST on entertainment.
Rohit Shetty, who currently hosts the reality show, Khatron Ke Khiladi, will make a web-series after Golmaal Again, which is scheduled to release this Diwali.
The director is planning on directing one but feels there’s still enough time for it. “We are planning something big on the web-series front. There’s still time for that so I won’t divulge too many details. But there’s something we are working on,” he told DNA India in June this year.
Riya Sen has reportedly been roped in to play the lead in a web-series based on the psychological erotic thriller Ragini MMS 2, which starred Sunny Leone. The series will be titled Ragini MMS 2.2 and will air on Ekta Kapoor’s series portal ALT Balaji.
According to The Times of India report from June, Sen has already begun preparing for the role, and shooting is likely to begin soon.
Filmmakers Zoya Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani and Reema Kagti are venturing into the digital space with their production company called Tiger Baby, and Excel Media and Entertainment . It will be a web-series called Made In Heaven, a series about wedding planners for Amazon Prime.
The series began shooting in this month, especially when Sidhwani uploaded a photo of him, James Farrell, Zoya Akhtar and Vijay Subramaniam shooting in New Delhi.
— Ritesh Sidhwani (@ritesh_sid) August 18, 2017