Five new Indian original series, a second season of Mirzapur and a Tamil version of stand-up comedy competition series Comicstaan are among 20 new and returning series that Amazon Prime Video has greenlit from across the world, the streaming giant announced in a press release on Thursday.
The second season of Mirzapur, a gangland drama starring Ali Fazal, Divyenndu and Pankaj Tripathi, will go into production this year, the press release said. Fazal and Farhan Akthar, whose Excel Entertainment has produced the series, had confirmed the new instalment last year, but this is the first official announcement by Amazon.
The new Indian originals include an untitled political drama by Sultan and Tiger Zinda Hai director Ali Abbas Zafar. The show will “explore the dark corners of Indian politics” and “powerful politicians...who sow chaos and manipulate others to control the country”, according to the press release. Production will begin in March 2019.
Also in the works is a romantic musical Bandish Bandits, directed by Anand Tiwari (Love Per Square Foot) and written by Amritpal Singh Bindra. The series will chronicle the romance between an Indian classical singer and a “free-spirited pop star”, according to the press release. The series will be premiered this year.
The third new Indian original is the crime thriller The Last Hour, created by Monsoon Shootout (2017) director Amit Kumar and executive produced by British filmmaker Asif Kapadia, whose Amy Winehouse documentary Amy won the Academy Award in 2016. The Last Hour is “a crime thriller with a supernatural twist set in a small picturesque hill station in the Himalayas”, the press release said. Production is underway.
An untitled investigative thriller, created by NH 10 and Udta Punjab screenwriter Sudip Sharma, has also been announced. The series, which will go into production this month, is a “scathing commentary of modern day Indian society and politics”, according to the media statement. Anushka Sharma’s Clean Slate Films is producing the series.
A fifth series is a “comedy talk-show hybrid” where celebrities will try their hand at stand-up comedy. The untitled reality show has been created and will be hosted by comedian Sapan Verma of the East India Comedy. In each episode, a stand-up comedian will team up with a celebrity and guide them in writing a comedy set.
Also in the works is a Tamil-language version of Comicstaan, a stand-up comedy reality competition series. Created and produced by Only Much Louder, the show will hunt for the next big Tamil stand-up comedian, the press release said. Like the English-Hindi version released last year, the series will feature a group of aspiring comedians who will be mentored by veterans in various comedy styles.
The other newly commissioned titles include projects from the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan and Mexico.
“We’re delighted to announce the commissioning of more than twenty new and returning series, to be produced in seven countries across three continents around the world,” Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios, said in a statement. “We’re excited and committed to amplifying the voices of storytellers from all over the world and to bring their visions to life for our viewers worldwide.”