Netflix, Yash Raj Films Launch Creative Partnership



Netflix and leading Indian studio Yash Raj Films (YRF) have set a multi-year creative partnership.

The two entities will “collaborate to create films and series to bring defining stories to audiences in India and across the world,” they said in a statement.

The partnership will kick off with four-part thriller series “The Railway Men,” a previously-announced tribute to the unsung heroes of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy. A cloud of toxic gas escaped from an American pesticide plant, in 1984, in the central Indian city of Bhopal. It killed and injured thousands of people. The protagonists of “The Railway Men” are workers at the Bhopal railway station who saved thousands of lives. It is the first production from YRF Entertainment, the studio’s streaming production arm.

The cast is led by R. Madhavan (“Rocketry”), Kay Kay Menon (“Bambai Meri Jaan”), Divyenndu Sharma (“Mirzapur”) and emerging talent Babil Khan (“Friday Night Plan”). The series marks the directorial debut of Shiv Rawail, who has had previous stints as assistant director on Yash Raj Films productions “Dhoom 3,” starring Aamir Khan, and “Fan,” starring Shah Rukh Khan. Rawail was first AD on “Befikre,” starring Ranveer Singh, which was directed by Yash Raj Films’ chair and MD Aditya Chopra.

The second project under the partnership is also a period piece inspired by true events. Set in the 1800s, film “Maharaj” is a David vs Goliath story about how a regular man, journalist by profession, takes on a powerful role-model of society, hailed by many as a messiah for the masses. The fearless reporter uncovers a series of incidents that shake the very foundation of society. The film marks the debut of actor Junaid Khan, the son of Aamir Khan, and also stars Jaideep Ahlawat (“Jaane Jaan”), Sharvari (“Bunty Aur Babli 2”) and Shalini Pandey (“Jayeshbhai Jordaar”). The film is directed by Siddharth P. Malhotra, whose last film “Hichki” was a global hit.

YRF is on a roll in 2023. The studio’s “Pathaan,” starring Shah Rukh Khan, released in January and is the biggest Indian box office hit of the year. Khan’s “Jawan,” distributed internationally by YRF, released last week and is the third-biggest hit of the year.

Netflix series “The Romantics,” about YRF founder Yash Chopra, was a hit for the service.

Monika Shergill, VP, content, Netflix India, said: “We are passionate about serving our broad audiences with series and films that they connect with and love, and we want to do more of this. Yash Raj Films have defined the essence of Indian film-making. They are one of the most respected storytellers in the industry. From ‘Kabhi Kabhie’ to ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge,’ ‘War’ to ‘Pathaan,’ their signature stories have been part of our lives and continue to fuel the zeitgeist. Together, we are confident that we can entertain the world with quality films and series like never before.”

Akshaye Widhani, CEO, Yash Raj Films added: “YRF’s mission is to create entertaining, inspiring and extraordinary stories from India for the world. Netflix is the biggest streamer in the world and offers us an opportunity to tell our stories in over 190 countries. Their belief in the content-first approach, is noteworthy and synergistic with our ethos. This partnership will certainly push YRF as a storyteller to new audiences and allow them to consume Indian stories in their own languages too. India is a young and aspirational country. We have 1.4 billion stories to tell the world. We want to showcase our content, as well as provide a platform for our brilliant homegrown talent to a global audience.”


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