Karan Johar’s banner Dharma Productions will produce a series of horror films under the title “Bhoot”, he announced on Monday. The franchise will kick off with Bhoot – Part One: The Haunted Ship, directed by Bhanu Pratap Singh and starring Vicky Kaushal. The movie is scheduled to be released on November 15.

In a press release, Johar said that he had acquired permission for the use of the “Bhoot” title from Ram Gopal Varma, whose Bhoot (2003) is counted as one of the best Indian horror films ever made. Varma also directed a sequel, Bhoot 2, in 2012.

Vicky Kaushal in Bhoot – Part One: The Haunted Ship (2019). Courtesy Dharma Productions.

“I made an unreasonable request to Ramu, asking him for his franchise title BHOOT and he graciously and magnanimously agreed to give it to us without even blinking an eyelid,” Johar said in the press release. “All of us at Dharma are blown away by his generosity and are eternally grateful to him. We aspire to make sure the title is in the right hands of horror.”

Bhoot – Part One: The Haunted Ship will be produced by Shashank Khaitan, who most recently directed Dhadak (2018) for Dharma Productions. Bhoot has been shot at “some lesser-explored locations in Gujarat”, the press release added.

Dharma Productions is associated with the romance and drama genres. Its only foray into horror was Kaal, which was made in 2005 in collaboration with Red Chillies Entertainment.