After Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment took the plunge with Netflix India last year, his long-time collaborator Karan Johar is following suit. Having set up Dharmatic — the web content vertical of Dharma Productions — the multi-hyphenate Johar has reportedly entered into a ‘long-term partnership’ with Netflix. Johar took to Twitter to confirm the news, where he said the two partners will be delving into a variety of fiction & non-fiction films/shows, which he described will be P.H.A.T (Pretty Hot And Tempting, for those who have forgotten Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham).
.@NetflixIndia is about to get @Dharmatic_ ! So excited about our exclusive collaboration with NETFLIX! We are creatively aligned to produce original feature films & series (fiction & nonfiction)…it’s going to be P.H.A.T! @apoorvamehta18 @NotSoSnob @aneeshabaig @DharmaMovies pic.twitter.com/cASar5Ycbr
— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) September 11, 2019
Johar has already worked with the platform on Lust Stories, and he’s slated to direct a short in the upcoming anthology, Ghost Stories. Dharmatic had also announced a film called Guilty, starring Kiara Advani, where the actor can be seen trying her best to do justice to Lisbeth Salander’s punk style. There are also reports suggesting that Johar will host a show called What The Love, based on a dating format.
Netflix India’s Bela Bajaria seems especially excited about this partnership, considering Johar’s clout at the box office. “I am incredibly excited about our partnership with Karan Johar – one of India’s greatest modern storytellers. Johar and Dharmatic Entertainment will have all the creative freedom and support they need to create pioneering dramas and unscripted series – as well as films – for our members all over the world,” she was quoted as saying.
Presenting the first look of the rockstar @Advani_Kiara in #Guilty, an upcoming @NetflixIndia original film directed by the very talented @ruchinarain18 and produced by @Dharmatic_! @apoorvamehta18 @DharmaMovies pic.twitter.com/JOz3WgeTRI
— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) June 25, 2019
Apoorva Mehta, CEO, Dharma Productions, is optimistic about this partnership, saying, “with Netflix as the new storytelling home for Dharmatic Entertainment, I have the highest hopes for what we can do together. Our vision is to create differentiated stories across diverse genres and we can’t wait to craft and usher many more remarkable series and films into the world with Netflix.”
Netflix India has carefully forged its relationships in India, starting with its collaboration with the former-Phantom team for the adaptation of Sacred Games. Phantom was also involved in Ghoul, which was moderately successful. Catching the early bird, Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies was one of the first to commit to developing content specifically for Netflix, starting with Bard of Blood, which comes out in a couple of weeks. Vishal Bhardwaj has been in talks with Netflix India for Midnight’s Children, but there hasn’t been any news around it for a while.
With veterans like Martin Scorsese, Alfonso Cuaron moving to Netflix for their seamless distribution across 190 countries, it will be interesting to see how Hindi and regional filmmakers respond to Netflix in the near future. The audience has absolutely nothing to lose, and it can only mean better films/shows.