Last Updated: 10.55 AM, Mar 06, 2023
Sidharth Malhotra will be seen in a new Amazon Prime Video original titled Indian Police Force to be directed by Rohit Shetty. The show will be an extension of Shetty’s cop universe comprising films like Singham, Simmba and Sooryavanshi.
A growing number of mainstream Bollywood actors are making their digital debuts, with celebrities known for mass-market movies taking up offers to act in original web series.
Apart from Malhotra, Shahid Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur and Kareena Kapoor Khan have already signed on projects, and there’s a buzz that Varun Dhawan will also make a web foray.
Studio executives and media experts say actors are lured by fat fees on a par with feature films for big stars, and meaty roles they are unlikely to come by in non-web films.
In the coming months, Anushka Sharma and Kareena Kapoor Khan will make their streaming debut with Netflix originals. In 2021, 22 actors and 20 directors made their streaming debut on the service, including Kartik Aaryan, whose thriller, Dhamaka, featured in the global top 10 list for non-English films on Netflix.
With Hindi films being challenged by Hollywood and regional language films for their share of the box office, it is natural for stars to explore alternatives where they can find audience appreciation. Platforms with aggressive growth plans like to cast film stars to help in building a subscriber base and ensure marketability of content. Further, most big stars are looking at making a debut with global OTT giants who can afford their fee and a production budget that ensures scale for the show.
Their remuneration would be the same, given that shooting for a six to eight-episode show is similar to shooting for a full-length film and they will definitely not commit without a hefty fee, say media experts. Plus, while the overseas market is still growing for Indian films, these platforms ensure global reach and an uptick to overall brand value.