Disney+ Hotstar, the streaming platform, announced a new slate of original series as well as renewals on Tuesday. The line-up includes the medical drama Human, starring Shefali Shah and Kirti Kulhari; the murder mystery Six Suspects, led by Pratik Gandhi and Richa Chadha; and the supernatural thriller Fear 1.0, starring Tisca Chopra, Saurabh Shukla and Rajesh Tailang.
Other new titles announced were Escaype Live, starring Siddharth, Javed Jaffrey and Ritvik Sahore; My Perfect Husband, starring Sathyaraj; the mystery Family Matters, with Murali Sharma, Nandu, Akshara Gowda and Sonia Agarwal; and the crime thriller Gharshana, starring Jagapathi Babu, Naveen Chandra and Sarath Kumar.
An adaptation of Anuja Chauhan’s novel Those Pricey Thakur Girls, featuring Akshay Oberoi, Saher Bamba, Raj Babbar and Poonam Dhillon, will also be streamed on Disney+ Hotstar.
The announcements were made at a virtual event attended by Kunal Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Shefali Shah, Kirti Kulhari, Siddharth, Richa Chadha, and Pratik Gandhi. It was hosted by Sunil Grover.
Talking about her upcoming series Human, Shefali Shah said, “It is 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 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 (her character) is someone you’d never guess.”
“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 for me and for the viewers. Characters that leave an impact or touch their hearts or disturb their comfort zone,” she added.
Renewals of existing titles were announced as well, such as the second season of the Sushmita Sen’s Aarya, a third season of the Criminal Justice series, and a spin-off of the espionage show Special Ops. The Legend of Hanuman, an animated show, will also return for a second season.
Among the already announced series on the slate are Ajay Devgn’s streaming debut Rudra – The Edge of Darkness, Nikkhil Advani’s historical drama The Empire, starring Kunal Kapoor, Dino Morea and Shabana Azmi, and the second season of Nagesh Kukunoor’s City of Dreams.
Shabana Azmi, who will be making her digital debut with The Empire, talked about how the industry is seeing a shift from male-centric films to women-led narratives. She said, “Women have been achieving so much all across that it was inevitable that women-centric stories come up, especially in this medium. Women have interesting stories to tell that are different. I think it is a long-overdue move.”
Upcoming movies on the platform, which were announced previously, include Bhoot Police and Bhuj: The Pride of India. The former, a horror-comedy featuring Saif Ali Khan, Arjun Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez and Yami Gautam, will release on September 17, while the patriotic film Bhuj, starring Ajay Devgn and Sonakshi Sinha, is set to premiere on August 13.
The release dates of some of the titles are yet to be announced.