20 Indian OTT Originals to Look Forward To in 2020
The Indian OTT space is getting crowded each year, with some of the major OTT platforms like Hotstar, Netflix, Amazon Prime, ZEE5, Alt Balaji and Eros, among several others, green lighting a huge range of Indian originals in the last couple of years. And a lot of them are set to drop in 2020.
The first web original to release this year was the horror anthology film Ghost Stories, helmed by the likes of Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Karan Johar, which premiered to mix reviews on 1 January.
But there are tons of more web shows and films coming our way this year, and here are our top 20 picks, to help you choose what you want to watch amidst the plethora of content.
1. Baahubali: Before the Beginning
The series is based on Anand Neelakantan's 2017 novel The Rise of Sivagami, and acts as a prequel to Baahubali: The Beginning. It follows the journey of Sivagami’s rise to power as the wise queen of Mahishmati kingdom from being defiant and resentful young girl. Directed by Deva Katta and Praveen Sattaru, and produced by SS Rajamouli and Arka Media Works the nine-episode season will see Mrunal Thakur as Sivagami.
The series also stars Rahul Bose, Atul Kulkarni, Jameel Khan, Vaquar Shaikh, Siddharth Arora and Anup Soni.
2. Jamtara - Sabka Number Aayega
This series is a story based on true events around the phishing scams that take place in the city of Jamtara in Jharkhand. A group of young men scam people across the country over simple phone calls. The series has an ensemble cast of Amit Sial, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Aksha Pardasany, Sparsh Srivastav and Monika Panwar, among others.
RELEASE DATE: 10 January
3. The White Tiger
Fahrenheit 451 director Ramin Bahrani helms this screen adaptation of Man Booker-winning novel by Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger. The show stars Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Rajkummar Rao, along with newcomer Adarsh Gourav.
The show follows the extraordinary journey of a self-made man from a tea-shop worker in a village to a successful entrepreneur in a big city. And murder, love and deceit are the ultimate price for ambition.
While Mukul Deora has produced the show, Chopra is executive producer.
4. What The Love! With Karan Johar
Netflix will come up with its first original Indian reality TV show in the form of What The Love! With Karan Johar. The series will see KJo mentor six singletons through their personal struggles as they look for love, with help from celebrity guests and a glam squad.
RELEASE DATE: 30 January
5. Class of 83
Produced by Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment and directed by Atul Sabharwal, the Netflix original film tells the story of an upright police officer turned police instructor, played by Bobby Deol, whose students grapple with the complexities of honour, morals and devotion towards their nation. This is SRK’s second collaboration with Netflix after Bard of Blood.
The film also stars Shriya Saran, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Amrita Puri, Anup Soni and Zakir Hussain.
Produced by Anushka Sharma and brother Karnesh Sharma’s Clean Slate Films, Bulbul is a horror period-drama set in a vibrant background and deals with old belief and superstitions. The film will star Avinash Tiwary, who recently starred in Karan Johar’s short film in Ghost Stories, and c, who were previously seen in Imtiaz Ali’s Laila Majnu, along with Rahul Bose.
Satya and his brother’s child bride, Bulbul, were inseparable until he was sent to England for his education. On his return, he finds Bulbul has been abandoned by his brother and now lives a solitary existence. On the other hand, their ancestral village is plagued by mysterious deaths and stories of a haunting by a woman who lives in the trees.
RELEASE DATE: End of 2019
7. The Forgotten Army
Directed by Kabir Khan, The Forgotten Army - Azaadi ke Liye, is a series based on an outline of the filmmaker’s 1999 documentary.
Giving every scene a realistic and authentic touch, the series has extensively been shot in Singapore, Thailand, and India. Interestingly, some of the places were recreated using old blueprints in order to retain the real look and feel.
RELEASE DATE: 26 January
8. Breathe 2
Making his digital debut with this psychological thriller, Abhishek Bachchan will be seen in season two of Breathe. The first season, which starred R Madhavan, impressed the audience and we just can’t wait to see junior Bachchan on the digital screen. Amit Tandon will be reprising his role in the second season, and other pivotal characters will be played by Nithya Menen and Saiyami Kher.
9. Bandish Bandits
One of the first musicals in the Indian web series space, Bandish Bandits will be a story about an Indian classical singer Radhe and a pop star Tamanna. The two’s love story will be portrayed through a clash between the two forms of music. It will be directed by Anand Tiwari, who previously helmed Netflix’s Love Per Square Foot. The musical’s highlight will be its music composed by Shankar Ehsaan Loy.
10. Mirzapur Season 2
Starring Ali Fazal, Shweta Tripathi, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Vikrant Massey, Pankaj Tripathi, Divyendu and Rasika Dugal, Mirzapur gained a lot of fans with its twisted and dark storyline. Recently, a teaser of the second season of the crime thriller, was shared by Excel Entertainment.
11. Made in Heaven 2
Directed by Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti, Alankrita Shrivastava, Nitya Mehra, and Prashant Nair, the nine-episode first season received equal love from critics and the audience when it premiered early last year. In April 2019, Zoya announced season 2 of the successful show as she began writing for the new season.
Made in Heaven chronicles the lives of Tara and Karan, two wedding planners in Delhi running an agency named Made in Heaven. Set against the backdrop of the big fat Indian wedding, the series portrays today’s India where tradition jostles with modern aspirations.
Though there is no release date on the show, we are expecting it to drop by the end of the year or early next year.
12. Four More Shots Please! Season 2
Four More Shots Please! revolved around the lives of four modern Indian women who live life on their own terms and are unapologetic about it. The first season, starring Maanvi Gagroo, Sayani Gupta, Kirti Kulhari and Bani J was loved by the fans. The four best friends will be returning in the second season, which will be directed y Nupur Asthana.
13. Hostages Season 2
Hostages is a crime thriller web-series directed by Sudhir Mishra, The Season 2 will have a brand new case and intriguing story narrative.
Season one starred Ronit Roy, Tisca Chopra, Parvin Dabas and Aashim Gulati, and narrated the story of the surgeon Dr Mira Anand who gets trapped in a no-win situation. News coming in is that this popular Applause Entertainment series produced by Banijay Asia will soon start work on Season 2.
The shoot for the new season began in November 2019, and it is expected to premiere later this year.
14. Special Ops
Special 26 director Neeraj Pandey will helm the show about the dreaded terrorist Masood Azhar and revolve around the 2001 Indian Parliament Attack by his Pakistan-based terrorist organization, Jaish-E-Mohammed. Actors like Paresh Rawal, Jimmy Sheirgill and Meher Vij, will be in the lead roles.
ZEE5 & ALT Balaji
15. Code M
Actor Jennifer Winget takes on the role of a fearless army lawyer in the drama-thriller Code M, a ZEE5 original, produced by Ekta Kapoor’s Alt Balaji. The story follows Monica (Jennifer Winget), as she is roped in to investigate an open-and-shut encounter case in which two militants and an army officer are killed.
The series also stars Tanuj Virwani, Rajat Kapoor and Seema Biswas.
RELEASE DATE: 15 January
Karisma Kapoor will make her digital debut with this lighthearted series, revolving around mothers manoeuvring their way through unreasonable expectations society has from them when it comes to raising children. Episodes will deal with themes like multitasking, constant worrying and guilt from a mother’s point of view. Sanjay Suri will Karisma’s husband.
The series also stars Shilpa Shukla, Sandhya Mridul, Tillotama Shome, Shruti Seth, Dino Morea and Sanjay Suri amongst others.
17. A State Of Siege 26/11
Starring Arjan Bajwa, Tara-Alisha Berry, Arjun Bijlani, the web series is based on Sandip Unnithan’s book Black Tornado: The Three Sieges of Mumbai 26/11. It is a retelling of the infamous 2008 Mumbai terror attacks from the NSG’s perspective.
RELEASE DATE: 24 January
18. India Strikes - 10 Days
Starring Amit Sadh in the lead, India Strikes - 10 Days, is a gritty and dramatic recounting of the recent Uri terror attacks. The mini series has been produced by Samar Khan of Irada Entertainment and directed by Raj Acharya, who has previously made The Battle Of Saragarhi.
19. Scam 1992
Produced by Applause Entertainment and directed by Hansal Mehta, the series is based on Sucheta Dalal’s book ‘The Scam: From Harshad Mehta to Ketan Parekh’. The series will look into some of the scams that shook the country’s financial system and stock markets in the 1990s. The first season will focus on the infamous securities scam helmed by stockbroker Harshad Mehta.
Hasmukh is a dark comedy, starring Vir as a rural man, who is a stand-up comic by day and a serial killer at night. Produced under Vir’s comedy collective banner Weirdass, the show has been written by him and produced by Nikhil Advani. The series has been shot in Mumbai and UP, and also stars Ranvir Shorey.
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