New Delhi: The Mumbai underworld will soon be coming alive on Netflix in India, in the American video streaming service’s first original series in the country based on novelist Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games that dwells on small-time hustling to armed gang wars, of good men going to seed and the upward mobility of baddies.

Netflix on Monday said it has signed up Phantom Films, a film studio founded by Anurag Kashyap, Madhu Mantena, Vikramaditya Motwane and Vikas Bahl to produce the series.

“We are delighted to partner with creative powerhouse Phantom Films to bring Vikram Chandra’s epic novel to life with the best Indian and global film talent available today," said Erik Barmack, vice-president of international original series at Netflix. “Sacred Games reinforces our commitment to bring the authenticity of local stories to Netflix members across 190 countries worldwide."

Chandra said, “Over the last few years, I’ve watched with great excitement and pleasure as Netflix has transformed narrative television with its ground-breaking, genre-bending shows." He said he was confident that all the colour and vitality and music of the fictional world he has lived with for so long will come fully alive on the large-scale canvas provided by Netflix. “I’m thrilled to be working with Netflix and Phantom Films," added Chandra, whose novel is also a nostalgic look at lost innocence, those bygone days of Rimzim soda pops and honourable crooks.

Phantom Films, which has backed edgy money-spinners like Kangana Ranaut starrer Queen, has recently received a lot of flak for producing films like Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet and Bahl’s Shaandaar, both of which were box office disasters. “We are very happy to start this journey with Netflix by producing Vikram’s outstanding story set in Mumbai" said Madhu Mantena of Phantom Films. “And we are extremely confident that together, we will create some exciting and groundbreaking Television content from hereon."

In January, the company had also acquired rights for the movie Brahman Naman from the maverick Indian director Qaushiq Mukherjee, popularly known as ‘Q’. This was the company’s first distribution tie-up with an Indian director. The Indian nerd comedy movie starring Siddharth Mallya and Shashank Arora among others will soon be available on Netflix.

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