Movies

Embracing a new medium

Anil Kapoor

Anil Kapoor  

Anil Kapoor will play a pivotal role in Amazon Global Original’s forthcoming sci-fi web series

Not one to shy away from a challenge, actor Anil Kapoor will make his debut in the digital space with the Amazon global original show based on the bestseller, The Book Of Strange New Things, by Micheal Faber. The web show will trace the setting up of a new colony in space, Oasis, where Kapoor plays the role of Vikram Danesh, who is the head of the settlement.

On being queried on the role, the 59-year-old actor plays it discreet by saying, “It is too early to reveal much about the role. However, I’m very excited to be a part of such a project and it’s the first of its kind.” Talking about the digital medium he is venturing into, “That’s the future of how people are going to consume content all over the world. I was always keen to work on a web show and since this opportunity came along, I decided to take it.”

Amazon India announced the pilot for The Book Of Strange New Things on November 22, creating a fair amount of buzz owing to the stellar cast and crew. Kapoor will be sharing screen space with Richard Madden, who was previously seen in the HBO series Game of Thrones. Written by Matt Charman, writer of Bridge of Spies (2015), Kevin MacDonald (The Last King of Scotland, 2006) has directed the pilot, which will be ready early next year. The future of the show will be based on the response to the pilot and Kapoor, aware of the possibility of things going sideways, says, “We never know what the future will be. At least I had the experience of working with such a talented team.”

Kapoor is clearly excited about the potential of digital platforms like Amazon Prime. Aware of the restrictions that a theatrical release or a television show imposes on mobility, Kapoor says, “You can travel with this content; watch great content on your phone or laptop, that too without any ads or censorship. It doesn’t get better than this for consumers.” As far as content creation goes, Kapoor predicts a greater influx of younger talent from every sphere, be it films or television, into the web space. “The amount of artistic freedom that filmmakers and artistes get is amazing,” shares Kapoor, hinting at the kind of shows Amazon Prime will stream: a mix of global and Indian content.

Would he be willing to work on a film that is set to release only online? “Yes, why not? It depends on the role, the script and who is making it,” he says. Being sympathetic to aspirations for artistic liberty, he says, “With the censorship rules and regulations, there are young filmmakers who want to tell stories in their own language and about themselves. They want that creative freedom.”

Is content on television undergoing a change to compete with global platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime? “I see a shift in the internal working of production houses. The change is slow but it’s coming,” says Kapoor. He believes that there is a demand for all kinds of content. “There should be all kinds of shows, and it is happening slowly,” he says.

Kapoor seems happy to be part of the winds of change that have touched T.V. and he hopes it will continue evolving. The Indian version of the T.V. show, 24 (season one and two), were produced and acted in by him, and he confirms that a third season is in the works. He’s also bought the rights to make Indian versions of hit shows like Modern Family and Prison Break, both of which are in the developmental stage at the moment.

The writer is an intern at The Hindu

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 11:52:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/Embracing-a-new-medium/article16690098.ece

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