Netflix has been increasing its international presence by picking up a number of original series from countries around the world, including Suburra from Italy, 3% from Brazil, and, from Spain, a yet-to-be-named period piece from the director and producers of Velvet and Gran Hotel. The latest, Sacred Games, hails from India.
Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Indian author Vikram Chandra, the series will be set in Mumbai (and indeed, filmed on location in India), and follows organized crime, corruption, politics, and espionage within the economy. “It is an epic masterwork of exceptional richness and power that interweaves the lives of the privileged, the famous, the wretched, and the bloodthirsty,” says Netflix.
Produced in Hindi-English in partnership with Phantom Films, the series, once complete, will be available to Netflix subscribers globally. There’s no confirmed release date yet.
Chandra, who will be involved in the project, says he is “confident that all the color and vitality and music of the fictional world I’ve lived with for so long will come fully alive on the large-scale canvas provided by Netflix. I’m thrilled to be working with Netflix and Phantom Films.”
While no casting details were confirmed, Erik Barmack, vice president of international original series at Netflix, says the television adaptation of the novel will feature the “best Indian and global film talent available today.”
Created by four young men — Vikas Bahl, Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena — Phantom Films was formed in 2011. The company has 10 releases to its credit to date, including Masaan, which won the Fipresci Award in the Un Certain Regard category at Cannes last year. Udta Punjab, its latest film, will be released worldwide later this month. Additionally, Phantom will be producing a number of horror films for worldwide release through a partnership with Blumhouse Productions and Ivanhoe Pictures.
Published in 2006, Sacred Games — the novel — received positive reviews, but didn’t quite sell as well as hoped, reportedly losing more than half of its original advance. Part of the reason could have been its massive size: the book was over 900 pages long. Hopefully Netflix’s on-screen version will generate more positive results with viewers.