Disney+ Hotstar has unveiled 18 Hotstar Specials and Multiplex titles for the next 12 months, which will more than double the local-language originals on the Disney-owned streaming service, Disney+ Hotstar president and chief Sunil Rayan said at a virtual event on Tuesday. The 18 new Hotstar Specials are brimming with big stars from across India — we have Ajay Devgn, Sushmita Sen, Shabana Azmi, Jacqueline Fernandez, Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha, Saif Ali Khan, Kay Kay Menon, Shefali Shah, Kirti Kulhari, Dino Morea, Siddharth, Sathyaraj, Sarath Kumar, Tisca Chopra, Arjun Kapoor, Richa Chadha, Pankaj Tripathi, Yami Gautam, Kunal Kapoor, Javed Jaffrey, Shashank Arora, Rajesh Tailang, and Pratik Gandhi among others.
Behind the scenes, the new bunch of Disney+ Hotstar originals come from directors and showrunners such as Nikkhil Advani, Neeraj Pandey, Ram Madhvani, Vipul Shah, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Habib Faisal, Nagesh Kukonoor, Rajesh Mapuskar, Siddharth Kumar Tewary, Mitakshara Kumar, and Vikrant Pawar. As you can tell from the talent involved, Disney+ Hotstar is further pushing into regional offerings, something Rayan acknowledged, that they will begin with Tamil and Telugu before venturing beyond.
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In a prepared statement, Rayan added: “The content slate demonstrates our relentless pursuit of bringing original and locally relevant stories to our consumers. With our fresh slate of movies and shows, we are proud that India's top stars and industry stalwarts have chosen to debut with us to present stories that are genre-defining clubbed with high-quality production that makes Har Watch, Top Notch.”
Star India president for Hindi and English entertainment Gaurav Banerjee added: “At Disney Star, we believe in the power of great storytelling. We have always challenged conventions and been at the forefront of content creation with powerful and category-defining stories ranging from strong women-centric narratives, mythology to history and contemporary tales. We're thrilled to expand our offering on Disney+ Hotstar by adding an incredible array of blockbuster movies and multilingual original series in Telugu and Tamil.”
Here's how the 18 new originals pan out: there are two Disney+ Hotstar Multiplex movies, and 16 Hotstar Specials series, with 15 scripted ones and one reality TV show. We've known about some of them for a while though, going back to last year's Disney+ Hotstar Multiplex announcement. Scroll down / swipe up to learn more.
Hotstar Specials 15 new series
The Empire (releasing August) — a period action-drama series from Nikkhil Advani and starring Kunal Kapoor, Dino Morea, Shabana Azmi, and Drashti Dhami
Rudra – The Edge of Darkness — Indian take on BBC's Idris Elba-led Luther with Ajay Devgn and Esha Deol
Devgn said in a prepared statement: “Today, the quality of entertainment being delivered via digital platforms is remarkable and has opened up avenues for filmmakers to experiment and scale-up. The sheer scale of production of these projects has multiplied significantly in the last few years. My upcoming series Rudra – The Edge of Darkness is bigger than anything I've done before. As an actor, I have always believed in reinventing myself with diverse roles to provide an entertaining experience to the audience and, I am thrilled to embrace a new form of storytelling with Disney+ Hotstar.”
Aarya season 2 — family crime drama starring Sushmita Sen
Human — medical drama starring Shefali Shah and Kirti Kulhari
Shah said: “Digital streaming platforms have opened the horizons for all creative people. It's given actors, the opportunity to portray a variety of real and resilient characters. Bold, flawed, broken or whole. I choose stories that leave something back for me and for the viewers. Characters that leave an impact or touch their hearts or disturb their comfort zone. As much as mine. ‘Human' is all of it and more. It's about the underbelly of the medical world. Raw, real, gritty. I am thrilled to be part of this journey, not only because this is a new genre for me, but I'm playing a character I've never ever played before. She's unlike anyone I've ever met or even heard of. And believe me when I say this, it's the exact reaction of all the people who have heard or read of her Gauri Nath (character) is someone you'd never guess.”
Six Suspects — murder mystery starring Pratik Gandhi, Richa Chadha and Ashutosh Rana
Gandhi said: “Whether it's lean-back content or complex storylines, digital platforms have explored multiple formats to relay stories in exciting new ways. As an actor, this has allowed me to expand my horizons and work on stories and roles that challenge and teach me. Tigmanshu Dhulia has created some of my favourite movies. It is an absolute honour to work with a stalwart like him on Six Suspects.”
City of Dreams season 2 — political drama starring Priya Bapat, Atul Kulkarni, Eijaz Khan, and Sachin Pilgaonkar
Escaype Live — tech-thriller starring Siddharth, Javed Jaffrey, and Ritvik Sahor
Fear 1.0 — supernatural thriller starring Tisca Chopra, Saurabh Shukla, and Rajesh Tailang
Gharshana — crime drama starring Naveen Chandra, Sarath Kumar, and Jagapathi Babu
My Perfect Husband — family drama starring Sathyaraj
Family Matters — mystery thriller starring Murali Sharma, Nandu, Akshara Gowda, and Sonia Agarwal
Those Pricey Thakur Girls — romantic comedy starring Akshay Oberoi, Saher Bamba, Raj Babbar, and Poonam Dhillon
The Legend of Hanuman season 2 — live animation series voiced by Sharad Kelkar
Criminal Justice season 3 — crime drama series starring Pankaj Tripathi
Special Ops 1.5 — espionage thriller starring Kay Kay Menon
Hotstar Specials new reality TV show
Dance+ — dance reality series with Remo D'souza
Disney+ Hotstar Multiplex 2 new movies
Bhuj: The Pride of India (August 13) — war epic starring Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha, Sanjay Dutt, and Nora Fatehi
Bhoot Police (September 17) — horror comedy starring Saif Ali Khan, Arjun Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, and Yami Gautam
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