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Shaitan on OTT: This Disney+Hotstar Telugu web series inspired by this Kannada film series?

Disney+Hotstar's upcoming Telugu web series Shaitan echoes the influences of the popular Kannada film series Dandupalya. 

Shaitan on OTT: This Disney+Hotstar Telugu web series inspired by this Kannada film series?
Shaitan is created by Disney+Hotstar.
  • Manoj Kumar R

Last Updated: 03.02 AM, Jun 03, 2023


Filmmaker Mahi V Raghav has caught the imagination of fans of the web series with his upcoming project Shaitan. Backed by Disney+Hotstar, the first-look posters of the web series were released recently and it has generated considerable interest among the public. 

The posters offer a compelling glimpse into the dark and gritty world of the underworld. With a group of individuals drenched in blood, seated nonchalantly beside a lifeless body, their faces devoid of remorse, fear, or guilt, the posters effectively convey the ruthlessness and brutality that define their existence. The imagery skillfully establishes that these characters embrace violence as a routine aspect of their lives, casually resorting to acts such as driving a colossal nail into someone's forehead, making it appear as just another mundane Wednesday for them.

“What you call crime, they call survival. This is my take on a very tried and tested crime genre. This genre is something which I am not too fond of or very comfortable with! As a storyteller it has been quite an experience living in their world and bringing these characters alive,” Mahi V Raghav tweeted, while unveiling the show's first-look poster. 

The look and feel of the show and its characters have some uncanny similarities with a popular Kannada film series. The Dandupalya film franchise is based on the crimes and activities of the notorious dacoit Dandupalya gang. The series follows the gang's criminal activities, their modus operandi, and the subsequent police investigation and capture of the gang members.

The Dandupalya film series became hugely popular for the unflinching and uncompromising portrayal of violence. These movies struck a chord with the masses primarily due to their shocking and provocative nature. Featuring explicit depictions of violence and sexual content, as well as police investigations that sometimes pushed the boundaries of human rights, these films were far from being light entertainment. Yet, they managed to find a lot of takers at the box office in Karnataka. 

The first movie in the series, titled Dandupalya was released in 2012 and was directed by Srinivas Raju. It centred around the criminal activities of the notorious gang, highlighting their brutal nature and the profound impact they had on society. However, the film sparked considerable controversy owing to its content, themes, and distinct style, which challenged conventional norms and sensibilities.

Following the success of the first film, several sequels were released, including Dandupalya 2 in 2017 and Dandupalya 3 in 2018. These movies continued the story of the gang's activities and the efforts of the police to apprehend them. The sequels further explored the characters of the gang members and delved into their motives and psychological makeup.


At this moment, however, it's unclear what's the source material for Mahi V Raghav's Shaitan. Is it inspired by the Dandupalya gang or other real-life criminal gangs? Perhaps, the trailer could give the answers we are looking for. 

Shaitan is due to arrive on Disney+Hotstar on June 15.