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Varun Dhawan to Lead Indian Version of Russo Brothers ‘Citadel’ Series Franchise

Prime Video espionage series has U.S. and Italian adaptations in the works.

Varun Dhawan
Prime Video

Bollywood star Varun Dhawan has been confirmed as leading the cast of the Indian instalment of “Citadel,” an espionage action series created by the Russo brothers’ AGBO for Amazon’s Prime Video.

Hailing from a film industry dynasty, Dhawan launched his movie career as an assistant director to Karan Johar on “My Name is Khan” and began acting in Johar’s “Student of the Year.” He subsequently starred in films including “Dilwale,” “Dishoom,” “Badlapur” and “October.” Among his 2022 efforts is family comedy “Jugjugg Jeeyo.”

The untitled Indian series will start production in January 2023. The production is led by renowned creator duo Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK (together known as Raj & DK), who are the showrunners, directors and executive producers of the series. The screenplay is written by Sita R. Menon,along with Raj & DK.

The series is produced by Raj & DK’s D2R Films and Amazon Studios, with AGBO’s Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, Mike Larocca, Angela Russo-Otstot, Scott Nemes, and David Weil (“Hunters”) overseeing production on the Indian original and all series within the global “Citadel” universe. Josh Applebaum, André Nemec, Jeff Pinkner, and Scott Rosenberg serve as executive producers for Midnight Radio on the untitled Indian original and all series within the “Citadel” universe.

Richard Madden (“Bodyguard”), Priyanka Chopra Jonas (“Quantico”) and Stanley Tucci have previously been announced as starring in the first-to-launch series within the “Citadel” universe. The show comes from AGBO and Weil and is set to premiere in 2023.

Additional local-language “Citadel” productions are also in the works, including an Italian original series starring Matilda De Angelis (“The Undoing”).

“We’ve worked very hard collaborating with the other international teams to bring a unique interwoven universe to our audiences,” said Raj & DK.

Los Angeles-based AGBO was founded by the Russo brothers and Larocca in 2017. It has credits including “Extraction,” “The Gray Man” and hit indie film “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

D2R Films has credits including “The Family Man” series created and directed by the duo, “Go Goa Gone,” “Shor in the City,” “99” and the film “Stree.”

“The ‘Citadel’ universe [..] is a truly innovative and ambitious approach to storytelling, and we are super excited to begin production on the Indian chapter early next year in January 2023.

“With this ground-breaking global-event series with multiple chapters, we are building on our mission of borderless entertainment to produce local original content that can be enjoyed by audiences across the world, where language is no longer a barrier.

“ ‘Citadel’ is a truly global franchise, with local productions, across countries, that build back to an inter-connected storyline—a first-of-its-kind innovation in storytelling.

“We have a steady pipeline of over 70 projects in various stages of development and production in the country,” said Gaurav Gandhi, VP, Prime Video India.