Streaming service Netflix on Monday unveiled its film slate, which included titles like the Zoya Akhtar-directed “The Archies”, Vishal Bhardwaj's “Khufiya” and "Monica O My Darling” by Vasan Bala.
The line-up was announced as part of the Netflix's Films Day event, which was attended by an array of Indian film celebrities such as Bhardwaj, Tabu, Ali Abbas Zafar, Bala, Rajkummar Rao, Huma Qureshi, Radhika Apte, Sanya Malhotra, Yami Gautam, Sunny Kaushal, Babil Khan, Swastika Mukherjee, Amit Sial, Shefali Shah, Vijay Varma, and “Darlings” director Jasmeet K. Reen.
Manish Paul and Mallika Dua were the hosts for the event.
Monika Shergill, VP- Content, Netflix India, said they are excited to release diverse films on their platform.
“We are looking ahead with excitement as we bring an incredible variety of entertaining and diverse films to our audiences in the coming months.
"Our film slate features must tell stories, must watch stellar performances and powerhouse creators and storytellers who will take India and the world audiences on a ride of high drama, emotion, thrill, romance, mystery, comedy and much more,” Shergill said in a statement.
The event kickstarted with a video message from Akhtar, the director of “The Archies”, and CEO of Archie Comics, Jon Goldwater followed by a live performance by singer and music supervisor Ankur Tewari on the track "Aao Kahani Suno".
"The Archies", Netflix's live-action musical film, is based on the characters of the popular American comics. Akhtar said it is a "pleasure and honour" for her to bring the Indian adaptation of the iconic comic to life.
"It's such a pleasure and an absolute honour to be asked to make the Indian adaptation for this very iconic comic. It's very exciting to be able to take the characters and introduce them to a new generation, and at the same time, keep that nostalgia and the essence of the comic alive for people like me that grew up on it," the filmmaker said.
The upcoming movie marks the acting debut of superstar Shah Rukh Khan's daughter Suhana Khan; superstar Sridevi and film producer Boney Kapoor's daughter Khushi Kapoor, and megastar Amitabh Bachchan's grandson Agastya Nanda. It also stars Mihir Ahuja, Dot, Yuvraj Menda and Vedang Raina.
“The Archies" is produced by Akhtar and her longtime collaborator Reema Kagti under their production house Tiger Baby, Graphic India and Archie Comics. It will be released in 2023.
Later, the streamer released the first-look teaser of its spy thriller “Khufiya”. It is headlined by Tabu and also features Ali Fazal, Wamiqa Gabbi and Ashish Vidyarthi.
"Khufiya" is inspired by true events and based on the popular espionage novel “Escape to Nowhere” by Amar Bhushan.
Bhardwaj said he wanted to make a slow-burn spy thriller which revolved around an intelligence officer who spends their life covertly.
"The slow burning of an intelligence officer, like how their life is, how they have to stay in the shadows... That was very interesting for me," Bhardwaj said.
In a video message, Bollywood star Anushka Sharma said her upcoming movie "Chakda Xpress", inspired by the life of former Indian cricket captain Jhulan Goswami, introduced her to the world of women's cricket.
The streaming service shared a behind-the-scenes video of the sports drama, which is directed by Prosit Roy.
Netflix also released the trailer of upcoming drama “Jogi”, directed by Zafar and featuring Diljit Dosanjh. Set in Delhi in 1984, the film follows the story of a resilient friendship and courage in the times of adversity.
Dosanjh said “Jogi” holds a special place in his heart.
“As an actor you want to grow with the character you play. Each role I play helps me grow. This is my first film on Netflix and the subject is very important to me,” the actor said in a statement.
Also featuring Kumud Mishra, Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub, Hiten Tejwani and Amyra Dastur, “Jogi” is set to be released on September 16.
Netflix further presented Bala's crime-drama thriller “Monica, O My Darling”, starring Rao, Qureshi and Apte.
Bala said “Monica, O My Darling” is his dream project and he cannot wait to entertain everyone with this twisted crime comedy brimming with mystery and drama.
The streamer officially announced the suspense thriller film “Chor Nikal Ke Bhaga”, featuring Yami Gautam and Sunny Kaushal. Directed by Ajay Singh, the movie traces the story of a heist that goes wrong when a plane gets hijacked.
Netflix also announced the release date of Riteish Deshmukh and Tamannaah Bhatia's upcoming comedy movie “Plan A Plan B”. Directed by Shashanka Ghosh, the film will premiere on September 30.
A behind-the-scenes footage of Anvita Dutt's "Qala", starring her "Bulbbul" star Tripti Dimri and late actor Irrfan Khan’s son Babil’s in his film debut, as well as the first-look poster of Sanya Malhotra-led “Kathal” was also launched at the event.
Directed by newcomer Yashowardhan Mishra, the small town-set film revolves around a local politician whose prized jackfruits (kathals) go missing and a young police officer named Mahima (Malhotra) is adamant to solve this bizarre case to prove herself.
According to a video shared by the streamer on social media, Reen's “Darlings”, starring Alia Bhatt, Shah, Varma, and Roshan Mathew, had become its "most watched non-English Indian original ever".
“As an actor it is extremely fulfilling to watch your hard work reach millions and impact people worldwide. I am so happy that ‘Darlings’, my maiden venture as a co-producer, has been seen for over 30 million hours and continues to receive love three weeks after launch,” added Bhatt in a statement.