Bollywood producers bet big on digital platforms

Bollywood’s been bitten by the digital bug as more and more actors and producers are taking a fancy to the medium. As a large section of the online audience gets hooked on original content on platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, Bollywood wants to claim its share of the pie. The tech-savvy King Khan is among the latest to show interest in digital platforms and his production house, Red Chillies Entertainment, has cut a deal with streaming the behemoth, Netflix. He will be producing an original series based on author Bilal Siddiqi’s Bard of Blood. Also coming soon on Netflix is Phantom Films’ web series Sacred Games, a crime thriller based on the work of author Vikram Chandra. The series will also mark the digital directorial debuts of Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane.

Another big mainstream production house, Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions has reportedly inked a deal with Netflix for a show featuring a major female actor in the lead. Director Kabir Khan will also be venturing into the digital space with the original series The Forgotten Army revolving around Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army. Anil Kapoor too has joined the online content bandwagon and will be producing a series for Netflix. Based on the book Selection Day by Aravind Adiga, the series promises to give peek into the world of cricket and corruption.

Interestingly, the first Indian original series on Amazon Prime Video ‘Inside Edge’ also explored the nexus between cricket and corruption. Produced in collaboration with Farhan Akhtar’s production house Excel Entertainment, the first season of the series made waves and it is all set to roll out its second season. Touted as the medium of the future, the digital platform is giving producers the chance to come up with original content that is truly out of the box. Not governed by the vagaries of the box office, the digital space could very well be Bollywood’s next frontier.