An Indian web series on serial killer Charles Sobhraj is being developed by the Los Angeles-headquartered Invar Studios Global, Variety reported on Wednesday. Titled Snake, the series will be released on ZEE5, the streaming service of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited.
British author Farrukh Dhondy will serve as the series showrunner. The script will be based on Dhondy’s research on and interviews with Sobhraj, who is currently in prison in Nepal, Variety said. Dhondy has authored the fictional The Bikini Murders (2008), which was loosely inspired by Sobhraj’s crimes. According to Variety, Invar Global will work on three seasons of the Hindi-English bilingual series.
Sobhraj, who has half Indian and half Vietnamese and spent much of his life in France, was dubbed the “bikini killer” by sections of the media as he was accused of murdering Western backpackers across Asia in the 1970s. He was also nicknamed “The Serpent”.
Convicted for two murders in 2004, Sobhraj is currently serving a life sentence in a Kathmandu jail. Before that, he was imprisoned in India between 1976 to 1997, briefly making a dramatic escape from the Tihar jail in 1986 before being recaptured.
Sobhraj’s prison break was the subject of Prawaal Raman’s Hindi film Main Aur Charles (2015), starring Randeep Hooda. The 1989 mini-series Shadow of the Cobra was also based on his life and crimes, as are several books, including Thomas Thompson’s Serpentine (1979).