Hansal Mehta To Direct Gandhi Drama Collection For Applause Leisure – Deadline
EXCLUSIVE: In Could, we revealed Indian studio Applause Entertainment was deep in improvement on a big-budget drama sequence about independence hero Mahatma Gandhi, and the studio has now turned to a pair of acquainted faces to supercharge the venture.
Hansal Mehta, who helmed Applause’s SonyLIV drama Rip-off 1992, has been named director and showrunner of Gandhi (working title) and Siddhartha Basu, who labored with Applause CEO Sameer Nair on the primary seasons of India’s model of Who Needs to Be a Millionaire? (titled Kaun Banega Crorepat), has joined as historic marketing consultant, factual advisor and inventive marketing consultant.
Gandhi will likely be interval drama set throughout the Indian Independence battle and is billed as epic in scale, with a number of characters and places from the Mahatma’s life featured. It’s being tailored from historian and writer Ramachandra Guha’s books Gandhi Earlier than India and Gandhi — The Years That Modified the World — a pair of biographies which can be among the many most full ever written in regards to the iconic freedom fighter.
Applause takes a function movie finance-style strategy to its TV sequence — working up scripts, hiring solid, crew and creatives and capturing earlier than promoting the manufacturing to Indian streaming providers. That’s very a lot the strategy right here, with Mehta and Basu becoming a member of Pratik Gandhi, who landed the lead position of his namesake two months in the past, as we revealed at the time.
Mehta is called certainly one of Hindi cinema and TV’s main administrators, recognized for movies similar to Shahid, Metropolis Lights and Simran. He will creatively lead Gandhi, which is deliberate to run for a number of seasons and can element Gandhi’s life and relationships with associates, colleagues and enemies akin to how The Crown has explored the British royal household. Notably, Mehta directed Gandhi lead Pratik Gandhi in Rip-off 1992, which is certainly one of India’s highest-profile streaming hits.
Mehta informed Deadline he has dedicated to the venture for its entire run, having initially contacted Nair to “shamelessly pitch” himself as director upon studying our report on the venture.
“There comes a time in your life the place you discover a story that you just need to inform that’s one thing you understand will likely be part of India’s storytelling historical past,” he mentioned. “How might I steer clear of the best character of recent India — the daddy of the nation — and Ramanchadra’s books which can be so intricately researched with a lot wealthy materials? This my likelihood to discover the character and his world and inform a deep, private story.”
“I’ve to inform the complete story,” he added. “There may be no better alternative in a filmmaker’s life and I can’t simply inform half the story and let anyone else inform the remaining.”
“We at Applause are honored to have this chance to inform this vital story of India and to carry alive the wealthy historical past of the Indian freedom battle in a deeply layered multi-season drama sequence,” mentioned Nair. “A narrative of this magnitude wants a filmmaker of equal stature and in Hansal we now have discovered our good storyteller. Collaborating as soon as once more with Hansal and Pratik makes this all of the extra thrilling.”
Basu, recognized domestically as ‘the Father of Indian tv quizzing,’ has hosted a number of gameshow similar to Quiz Time, Mastermind India and College Problem and was the unique director-producer of Kaun Banega Crorepat by way of his BIG Synergy manufacturing automobile. He’s reuniting with Nair after 22 years — the Applause CEO commissioned the sequence in 2000 when he was program director at Star India.
‘An emotional expertise’
“The making of Gandhi will likely be an emotional expertise, and when a sequence of this magnitude and significance is made, it wants individuals who really imagine in its import. With Hansal’s directorial imaginative and prescient, Pratik’s delicately nuanced efficiency and Siddhartha Basu becoming a member of the inventive course of, we’re excited to carry Gandhi’s, and India’s, journey to a worldwide viewers,” mentioned Nair.
The sequence will transfer from from Gandhi’s earliest days to his actions as a lawyer in South Africa to the independence battle in India, telling the lesser recognized tales of his life that performed an vital position in shaping him right into a Mahatma (a revered particular person in South East Asia). It is going to additionally inform the tales of all his compatriots and contemporaries of the liberty motion, who performed integral elements in shaping what turned free and trendy India.
The manufacturing will shoot in India a number of worldwide places, together with London and South Africa, it’s understood. Native crews and actors will likely be employed for the abroad parts of manufacturing.