Delhi Belly (DB) director Abhinay Deo is knee-deep in his new project, the Indian version of the popular American series 24.
An excited Deo says, “The show will change Indian television. Rensil D’Silva and Bhavani Iyer are rewriting the script with me. Indianising such a show is a Herculean task. We have to script 24 one-hour long episodes, which, excluding the commercial time, is around 18 hours of footage, equivalent to the size of seven feature films.”
They plan to lock the script by mid-June and begin shooting in September. “We aren’t translating the American show 24, but rewriting it. So you can expect major surprises. The political and social milieu in America and India are extremely different, and so is our story, which will be as per the tastes of Indian audiences,” says Deo.
Casting for the show will commence once the script is locked, but, he adds, “Anil (Kapoor) will be playing the lead (the role that Keifer Sutherland played in 24). We aren’t sure whether we will retain the title 24 or change it.”
Not only is Deo co-writing the show, he is also co-producing it with actor Anil Kapoor. “I will also be designing and heading the entire show. There will be a director for most of the episodes, but I’ll direct the key ones myself,” says Deo.
Talking about his other movie projects, he says, “After DB’s release, I have read 41 scripts and started work on three films. But I can’t disclose the names of the producers right now, as I don’t know which film would be first on the floor.”
Continuing his journey with his debut directorial DB, Deo recently visited the Harvard Business School to discuss the changing face of Indian cinema. His film received a lot of appreciation at the Los Angeles Film Festival too. Talking about it, Deo says, “The language and the boldness in the film made the students at Harvard and audiences in LA look at Indian cinema in a different light.”