Shiva Trilogy to be adapted into web series; Preity Zinta to make directorial debut with The Kitty Party

Veteran filmmaker Shekhar Kapur is set to direct the series adaptation of author Amish Tripathi’s critically-acclaimed book series Shiva Trilogy. The series is the first project from global studio International Art Machine, which on Wednesday announced its plans to venture into the Indian market. Led by Roy Price, the studio has also lined up projects from Bollywood star Preity Zinta and critically acclaimed filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee.

International Art Machine has acquired the rights of Tripathi’s Shiva Trilogy, which includes the books — The Immortals of Meluha (2010), The Secret of the Nagas (2011) and The Oath of the Vayuputras (2013). The first book The Immortals of Meluha will be adapted into a digital show, to be directed by Kapur.

Suparn S Varma of The Family Man 2 fame will serve as showrunner and also direct the series.

Kapur, best known for Elizabeth and Bandit Queen, said he is excited to direct the series adaptation of Shiva Trilogy, which he said was “India’s great publishing sensation crossing every age and class”.

“It’s not just mythology, it’s modern storytelling at its best. Lending itself to a beautiful international series,” the filmmaker said in a statement.

Varma said the trilogy is a genre-defining book and has become part of the pop culture of the country. “I loved the reimagining and the world-building involving two of my favourite gods! The scale of vision and the ambition of our show visually and emotionally is as huge a task but we want to bring to audiences a vision that has never been seen before on screens,” Varma added.

Tripathi said he is thrilled to collaborate with Kapur, Varma and Roy.

“One couldn’t have asked for a better team than this to take my books into the audio-visual world. I am sure that with a team like this, we will create a web series that is worthy of Lord Shiva,” he added.

As it enters India, International Art Machine said it is committed to creating credible, creative, commercial stories across theatrical and digital platforms and partnering with the top brass in the business for a massive launch slate.

The studio will follow a series adaptation of the Shiva Trilogy with the political thriller Gods, to be directed by Dibaker Banerjee, and The Kitty Party, a dramedy which will mark the directorial debut of Zinta, known for films like Dil Se.., Dil Chahta Hai, and Veer-Zaara.

“We are entering a new peak era for Asian original cinema and television. Everything we do supports that vision. India in particular, with its many people and stories, is poised to be a leader in a new multi-polar entertainment world.

“I could not imagine a better project to start IAM’s life than Shiva, and there is no better dream team to fully realize the potential of Amish’s novels than Shekhar and Suparn. We are very excited about Shiva, The Kitty Party with Preity Zinta and Gods with Dibakar Banerjee as our first slate in India,” Price added.

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