The series will be directed and showrun by Rensil D’Silva (“24: India”), whose thriller “Dial 100,” starring Manoj Bajpayee, Neena Gupta and Sakshi Tanwar and produced by Sony Pictures Films India and Alchemy Films, is debuting Aug. 6 on streamer ZEE5.
“Panthers” explores the India-Pakistan spy games of the late 1960s and early 1970s and is set amid Indian intelligence agency RAW. A highlight of the series is the conspiracy surrounding the hijack of a plane flown by pilot Rajiv Gandhi, son of the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, in 1971. Rajiv Gandhi would later become Prime Minister after the assassination of his mother in 1984.
This is the third time RSVP and Blue Monkey are collaborating after thriller “A Thursday” and hockey biopic “Dhyanchand.”
“‘Panthers’ is the story of India’s burgeoning spy agency against a politically volatile setting,” said Screwvala. “It is as eye opening as it is gripping and boasts of the right balance of realism and entertainment, making it the perfect project for us at RSVP to get behind. Rensil is the right man at the helm of this one.”
D’Silva said: “The nation is embracing true stories like never before. All the covert operations mentioned in ‘Panthers’ have taken place in real life. This series is a tribute to the daring feats of the RAW agency before it ascended to legendary status.”
“The series is all about cloak and dagger games played between nations,” said producer Mukesh Radha Krishna Tak. “It is the saga of our faceless men and women, living and dying in the shadows with courage, determination and valor.”
Rajagopalan added: “We at Blue Monkey Films are excited to further our association with Ronnie and RSVP as they have long been associated with clutter breaking and riveting content.”
The series will commence production in the first quarter of 2022.
RSVP is also producing a series on the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, based on Dominique Lapierre and Javier Moro’s 1997 book, “Five Past Midnight in Bhopal: The Epic Story of the World’s Deadliest Industrial Disaster.” Richie Mehta (“Delhi Crime”) will write, showrun and direct.
As is standard practice at RSVP, the outfit will develop the series’ first and then bring on a streaming or broadcast partner at a later stage.