The two entities will collaborate on a range of Hindi-language films, which are in various stages of production and are expected to release over the next 18 – 24 months.
Films under the deal include “Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani,” starring Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt, directed by Johar; “JugJugg Jeeyo,” starring Anil Kapoor, Neetu Singh Kapoor, Varun Dhawan and Kiara Advani, directed by Raj Mehta; Shakun Batra’s untitled film starring Deepika Padukone, Ananya Panday, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Dhairya Karwa, as well as Shashank Khaitan’s next venture featuring Vicky Kaushal, Kiara Advani and Bhumi Pednekar.
Ajit Andhare, COO, Viacom18 Studios, said: “As Viacom18 Studios scales up and begins a new chapter, we are looking at key partnerships with creators who shape mainstream entertainment. Collaborating to build a slate of films further strengthens our long-term association with Karan and Dharma Productions.”
Karan Johar said: “In Viacom18 Studios and Ajit, we have a partner who not only shares our vision in storytelling but also has our approach to differentiated cinema. Dharma Productions has been committed to entertaining movie-goers world over with every film and this partnership will further enable it.”
Apoorva Mehta, CEO, Dharma Productions said: “The partnership with Viacom18 Studios is a significant step for Dharma as together we gear up to bring back the best of Hindi cinema to theatrical audiences. We believe that strategic alliances are the way forward for the film industry and this partnership is the stepping-stone to a long-term alliance.”
The alliance comes in the wake of Dharma’s digital arm Dharmatic Entertainment exiting a partnership signed in 2019 with Netflix. While the exclusive partnership has ended, freeing up the outfit to work with others in the market, Dharmatic will continue to produce content for the streamer including new series “Finding Anamika,” subsequent seasons of “Fabulous Lives Of Bollywood Wives” and upcoming film “Meenakshi Sundareshwar.”
Most of Dharma’s films are currently streaming on Amazon and a further deal is expected imminently.
Viacom18 is a joint venture between TV18 and U.S. conglomerate Viacom, of which billionaire Mukesh Ambani acquired a controlling stake in 2018.