Streaming giant Netflix on Tuesday unveiled their new slate of original series with superstar Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma attached as producers on two different projects. According to Netflix, Shah Rukh’s Red Chillies Entertainment will produce zombie horror Betaal, while Anushka and Karnesh Sharma’s Clean Slate Films will serve as executive producers on Mai.
“This is my second collaboration with Netflix after Bulbul and we are again looking to disrupt the kind of content audiences are consuming. We at Clean Slate Films have been dedicated to making clutter-breaking, powerful stories since our first production and we are looking forward to push the content envelope. The creative freedom to be able to translate these stories to screens that reach a global audience is exciting for us, which is why Netflix is such an important partner,” Anushka said in a statement.
Mai revolves around 47-year-old wife-and-mother, Sheel, who finds herself accidentally sucked into a rabbit hole of violence and power, following a personal tragedy. The series is penned by Atul Mongia along with Tamal Sen, Amita Vyas, with Sudip Sharma as a creative producer.Shah Rukh Khan’s Betaal, which also marks the actor’s second collaboration with Netflix, is based in a remote village, visited by two-century-old Betaal, a British Indian Army officer, and his battalion of zombies.
“With Indian police pitted against the undead army, hapless villagers are trapped in a horrific, edge-of-your-seat conflict,” the plot line read. Patrick Graham is attached as writer/director and showrunner, along with Nikhil Mahajan as the director and Suhani Kanwar as writer. The Original will be executive produced by Blumhouse, known to design some of the best horror content, and Ivanhoe.
Apart from this, Netflix is coming up with Masaba Masaba, a scripted series based on real-life moments from fashion designer Masaba Gupta’s life. It follows her unique background, the diverse worlds she straddles across fashion and family, and her foray back into the dating world. The series will star Masaba along side her mother, veteran actor Neena Gupta, as themselves. The genre-bending show is created and produced by Ashvini Yardi’s Viniyard Films and will be directed by Sonam Nair.
Expressing her excitement, Masaba said in a press statement, “I’m a huge fan of Netflix and the kind of diverse content it houses. So when the makers approached me with the idea of a show inspired by my life, I was thrilled. It’s been a rollercoaster, honestly, and I feel that the moments I’ve experienced are both unique to my journey and relatable to people the world over. This series will be an amalgamation of my experiences, personally and professionally. I can’t wait for the audience to watch it.”
Alankrita Shrivastava’s Bombay Begums and American actor and director, Ravi Patel’s Messy, are also part of the streaming platform’s list of upcoming series. Bela Bajaria, VP, International Originals, Netflix, said they are excited to present these entertaining India-based stories. “India is home to some of the world’s greatest stories. It’s been thrilling to watch these amazing storytellers embrace the artistic freedom possible at Netflix to create entertaining stories.Audiences everywhere will love these five inventive series set in stories of horror, drama and comedy,” Bajaria said.
Bombay Begums revolves around five women from different generations and their lives in contemporary urban India. Created, written and directed by Alankrita, the show has Chernin Entertainment and Endemolshine India attached as executive producers. Speaking about the development, Alankrita said in a statement, “Collaborating with Netflix has been extremely exciting and fulfilling because they see the urgency and value of women telling their own stories, through the female gaze. Bombay Begums is an attempt to tell a story about the lives of urban Indian women, as honestly as I can. I hope that women (and maybe some men!) can connect to this story, no matter what their background, because maybe we’re all trying to find ourselves and our place in this world.”
Messy focuses on Mumbai’s rising stand-up comic, Beanie, who struggles to balance a career in comedy with pleasing a yuppie day-job boss, peculiar best friends forever, persistent parents, and proposal-popping boyfriend. Patel has co-written the series with Neel Shah. It is co-produced by The District’s David Bernad and Ruben Fleischer and Mutant Films Seher Aly Latif and Shivani Saran.