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Netflix, Shah Rukh Khan Partner on Indian Original ‘Bard of Blood’

Streaming giant Netflix is teaming up with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment to produce eight-episode political espionage series “Bard of Blood.”

Based on the bestselling 2015 book of the same name by Bilal Siddiqi, the multilingual series, in Urdu, English, Hindi and other languages, is set in the Indian subcontinent. It will follow Kabir Anand, an expelled spy who is recalled from his new life as a Shakespeare professor to save his country and his long-lost love. The series will feature intricate, highly stylized action sequences.

“We have always tried to create world-class content and entertainment from India,” Khan said. “Netflix has shown that Indian stories have a global audience, and we would love to use this platform and its reach to tell more stories.”

“We believe in the global vision of Red Chillies to create groundbreaking content out of India,” added Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings. “It’s exciting to deepen our relationship with Red Chillies and expand our slate of originals in India. We are thrilled to work with a brilliant, young writer like Bilal Siddiqi and take his gripping, inventive storytelling to Netflix members worldwide.”

Netflix has an existing output deal with Red Chillies for library and future feature films.

The company’s entry into the Indian original series market has largely been via literary adaptations. Commissioned series include “Sacred Games,” based on Vikram Chandra’s bestseller, and “Selection Day”, based on a novel by Booker Prize-winning author Arvind Adiga. The other commissioned Netflix Indian original series is “Again,” by “Quantico” writer Marisha Mukerjee.

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