NEW DELHI:Netflix is ready with a slate of 17 new titles as part of its strategy in a post-covid world where it says entertainment has emerged as a coping mechanism. The ₹3,000 crore investment figure for a period of two years quoted by founder Reed Hastings during his last India visit, the company says, proves its commitment to the country.
The video-on-demand platform has acquired a clutch of Bollywood films for direct-to-digital release as theatres remain shut indefinitely. These include comedy drama Ludo featuring Abhishek Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapur and Rajkummar Rao; Torbaaz a drama starring Sanjay Dutt; mystery thriller Raat Akeli Hai featuring Radhika Apte and Nawazuddin Siddiqui; satirical comedy Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare starring Konkana Sensharma and Bhumi Pednekar, Yami Gautam and Vikrant Massey-starrer Ginny Weds Sunny and an animation flick titled Bombay Rose.
Then there are a bunch of web series in the pipeline. Mira Nair’s adaptation of A Suitable Boystarring Ishaan Khatter and Tabu will premiere on the service as will Mismatched, a romantic comedy starring Prajakta Koli and Rohit Saraf. These will join the slate of show announcements made earlier including Masaba Masaba starring Masaba Gupta and Neena Gupta as themselves, fictional drama Bombay Begums featuring Amruta Subhash, Pooja Bhatt and Shahana Goswami and Bhaag Beanie Bhaag with Swara Bhasker and Ravi Patel.
Other films to soon be available on the service include Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl starring Janhvi Kapoor; family drama Tribhanga: Tedhi Meri Crazy featuring Kajol; horror flick Kaali Khuhi featuring Shabana Azmi; character drama Serious Men starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui; cop drama Class of ‘83 featuring Bobby Deol and a dark comedy called AK vs AK starring Anil Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap.
“We have definitely seen a surge in consumption (during the covid-19 induced lockdown) and are mindful of the fact that we can help the customer in escaping from the discomfort in their lives and that is what we want to do especially for the next few weeks and months," Monika Shergill, vice-president, content, Netflix India said.
Shergill added that Indian audiences have discovered several old and new stories over these four months in both Hindi and the original language of production—local web shows such as Jamtara- Sabka Number Ayega and She, original films like Guilty, Chokedand Bulbul have been big hits during the lockdown, as have foreign titles such as Extraction, The Old Guard, Money Heist, Never Have I Ever and a host of Korean, Spanish and Japanese content.
While the company has witnessed severe challenges with all original production halted since March, Shergill said the service plans in advance and all the titles mentioned above are either ready or in various stages of post-production.
“It is a tough phase for all of us but we’re here for the long run," Shergill said. “Unlike other countries, India hasn’t really seen this kind of premium storytelling and is a new and nascent market. We want to create Indian stories for Indian and global audiences."