Netflix is looking to build its presence in the Indian market, and with an order for two seasons of “Baahubali: Before the Beginning”, the video-on-demand leader is buying into the most successful franchise in Indian cinema.
Two years after the streaming platform’s rollout in India, Netflix is gearing up investment to attract new subscribers in the country.
In collaboration with the production company Arka MediaWorks and director SS Rajamouli (“Yamadonga”, “Eega”) who signed off on the two films of the Telugu-language saga (“Baahubali: The Beginning”, and “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion”), Netflix plans to produce a TV series in the same fictional world.
The series will tell the tale of a war in the ancient kingdom of Mahishmati. In the course of the first season’s nine episodes, it will follow the rise of Queen Sivagami and her quest to transform her city-state into a magnificent empire.
Netflix appears to be intent on competing with its rival Amazon Prime Video, which, in collaboration with Graphic India and Arka MediaWorks, aired an animated series based on SS Rajamouli’s fictional world, “Baahubali: The Lost Legends”, last year.
For Netflix, which is already streaming the two feature films of the saga, the creation of a prequel series will leverage its presence in a growing market. The wildly successful franchise, which has garnered 47 awards, will play a key role in attracting new subscribers.
Netflix recently began its campaign to court Indian subscribers with “Sacred Games”, its first original Indian series which launched in July. On August 24, the service is due to release another Indian production, the horror miniseries “Ghoul”. In 2019, the streaming giant will release “The Bard of Blood”, produced by highly-influential Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan and starring Emraan Hashmi (“Murder”) as a spy battling to save his country.