khufiya: From ‘The Archies’ to ‘Khufiya’: Netflix announces new Hindi films

Streaming service Netflix unveiled its slate of films on Monday, which included titles like “The” directed by Zoya Akhtar, “Khufiya” by Vishal Bhardwaj and “Monica O My Darling” by Vasan Bala.

The lineup was announced as part of Netflix’s Films Day event here which was attended by an array of Indian film celebrities such as Bhardwaj, Tabu, Ali Abbas Zafar, Bala, Rajkummar Rao, Huma Qureshi, Radhika Apte, Sanya Malhotra , Yami Gautam, Sunny Kaushal, Babil Khan, Swastika Mukherjee, Amit Sial, Shefali Shah, Vijay Varma and ‘Darlings’ director Jasmeet K Reen.

Manish Paul and Mallika Dua were the hosts of the event.

Monika Shergill, VP of Content, Netflix India, said they are excited to release various movies on their platform.

“We look to the future with excitement as we bring an incredible variety of entertaining and diverse films to our audience in the months ahead.

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“Our feature films must tell stories, must watch stellar performances and powerful creators and storytellers who will take India and global audiences on a journey of drama, emotion, thrill, romance, mystery, comedy and much more,” Shergill said in a statement.

The event kicked off with a video message from Akhtar, “The Archies” director and CEO of Archie Comics, Jon Goldwater, followed by a live performance by singer and music supervisor Ankur Tewari on the track “Aao Kahani Suno”.

“The Archies”, the live-action musical film from Netflix, is based on the characters from the famous American comic books.

Akhtar said it was “a pleasure and an honor” for her to bring the Indian adaptation of the iconic comic to life.

“It’s such a thrill and an absolute honor to be asked to do the Indian adaptation of this very iconic comic. It’s very exciting to be able to take the characters and introduce them to a new generation, and at the same time, keeping that nostalgia and the essence of comics alive for people like me who grew up on them,” the filmmaker said.

The upcoming film marks the acting debut of superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter, Suhana Khan; superstar Sridevi and film producer Boney Kapoor’s daughter, Khushi Kapoor, and megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s grandson, Agastya Nanda. It also stars Mihir Ahuja, Dot, Yuvraj Menda and Vedang Raina.

“The Archies” is produced by Akhtar and his longtime collaborator Reema Kagti under their production house Tiger Baby, Graphic India and Archie Comics. It will be released in 2023.

Later, the streamer released the first look at his spy thriller “Khufiya.” It is headlined by Tabu and also features Ali Fazal, Wamiqa Gabbi and Ashish Vidyarthi.

“Khufiya” is inspired by real events and based on the popular spy novel “Escape to Nowhere” by Amar Bhushan.

Bhardwaj said he wanted to make a slow-burn spy thriller that revolved around an intelligence officer who spends his life secretly.

“The slow burn of an intelligence officer, like his life, how he has to stay in the shadows… It was very interesting to me,” Bhardwaj said.

In a video message, Bollywood star Anushka Sharma said her upcoming film ‘Chakda Xpress’, inspired by the life of former Indian cricket captain Jhulan Goswami, introduced her to the world of women’s cricket.

The streaming service has shared a behind-the-scenes video of the sports drama, directed by Prosit Roy.

Netflix has also released the trailer for the upcoming drama “Jogi”, directed by Zafar and starring Diljit Dosanjh. Set in Delhi in 1984, the film follows the story of resilient friendship and courage in times of adversity.

Dosanjh said “Jogi” holds a special place in his heart.

“As an actor, you want to grow with the character you play. Every role I play helps me grow. This is my first film on Netflix and the subject matter is very important to me,” said the actor in a press release.

Also with Kumud Mishra, Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub, Hiten Tejwani and Amyra Dastur, ‘Jogi’ is set to be released on September 16.

Netflix additionally premiered Bala’s crime drama thriller “Monica, O My Darling,” starring Rao, Qureshi, and Apte.

Bala said “Monica, O My Darling” was his dream project and he can’t wait to entertain everyone with this twisted crime comedy brimming with mystery and drama.

The streamer has officially announced the suspense thriller “Chor Nikal Ke Bhaga,” starring Yami Gautam and Sunny Kaushal. Directed by Ajay Singh, the film tells the story of a robbery that goes wrong when a plane is hijacked.

Netflix has also announced the release date for Riteish Deshmukh and Tamannaah Bhatia’s upcoming comedy ‘Plan A Plan B’. Directed by Shashanka Ghosh, the film will premiere on September 30.

A behind-the-scenes footage from Anvita Dutt’s ‘Qala’, featuring her ‘Bulbbul’ star Tripti Dimri and the late actor Irrfan Khan’s son Babil in his film debut, plus the premiere poster ‘Kathal’ look directed by Sanya Malhotra was also launched during the event.

Directed by newcomer Yashowardhan Mishra, the small-town film revolves around a local politician whose prized jackfruits (kathals) have gone missing and a young policeman named Mahima (Malhotra) is determined to solve this bizarre case to make his proofs.

According to a video shared by the streamer on social media, Reen’s “Darlings,” starring Alia Bhatt, Shah, Varma and Roshan Mathew, had become her “most-watched non-English Indian original of all time.”

“As an actor, it is extremely rewarding to see your hard work reaching millions and impacting people around the world. I am so happy that ‘Darlings’, my first venture as a co-producer, has been viewed for over 30 million hours and continues to receive love three weeks after launch,” Bhatt added in a statement.

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