Sacred Games’ marks Netflix debut into Indian original series


REUTERS – Netflix’s first Indian original series makes its debut on Friday (July 6), the first of a slate of new shows aimed at the vast Bollywood entertainment market.

“Sacred Games,” based on the 2006 novel by Vikram Chandra, is a thriller set in Mumbai with a cast of police officers, politicians and spies, and stars some of Bollywood’s biggest personalities: Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and Radhika Apte.

The eight-episode series, in Hindi and with English subtitles, is the first of seven original Indian series for Netflix, including a new adaptation announced last week of Salman Rushdie’s 1981 epic novel “Midnight’s Children.”

Netflix now has more than 125 million subscribers around the world and has said it expects a large chunk of future growth to come from India.

Cheap data has spurred the rise of streaming video usage in India, the world’s fastest-growing Web services market, and turned it into a battleground for content wars between global giants such as Amazon.com Inc and Netflix as they look for growth beyond a saturated U.S. home market.

India’s media and entertainment market are expected to grow to more than $31 billion in two years, from $22.7 billion in 2017.

Netflix, which launched in India in 2016, has also said it is developing a multilingual espionage series “Bard of Blood,” female-led supernatural series “Again” and “Election Day,” a story of cricket and corruption.

Other Netflix series in the works include “Leila,” about an Indian woman searching for her lost daughter; “Ghoul,” a horror series based on Arabic folklore and set in a covert detention center; and young adult murder mystery “Crocodile.”