The Ink Factory’s Simon Cornwell, Sandeep Modi on Hindi adaptation of ‘The Night Manager’ and possibility of second season

Hindi adaptation of the UK mini-series Night managerBased on the John Le Carré novel, a busy Indian web series is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated shows of the season Produced by The Ink Factory and Banijay Asia for Disney+ Hotstar, the show is set to begin streaming on February 17.

Sandeep Modi, who is the director and showrunner of the Hindi version, with Priyanka Ghosh as co-director, has creatively steered the project and stated an ambitious deadline to shoot the second season in India. “I keep having fun with Simon [Cornwell, Le Carre’s son and co-CEO of The Ink Factory] That we will make the second season before you and you can use it for the English version,” Modi said.

The first adaptation of the novel for the BBC and AMC in 2016 was a ratings hit, and rumors of a second run continued without an official announcement. Le Carré died in December 2020.

Although a second Indian season has yet to be launched by Disney+ Hotstar, Cornwell says he is open to the idea: “I would love to see a season two. Night manager in India.”

Another season of British scripted formats in India is not without precedent: Disney + Hotstar criminal trial Peter Moffat’s original legal thriller for the BBC ran for three seasons in 2008-2009, despite only two runs.

‘Like touching an electric wire’

in the new Night manager, Anil Kapoor plays the role of an international arms dealer, played by Hugh Laurie, while Aditya Roy Kapur plays a character who infiltrates his circle, played by Tom Hiddleston. Sridhar Raghavan (send) has written the screenplay and stars acclaimed actresses Shovita Dhulipala and Tilotma Shome.

Like the original, the show is billed as an epic thriller set against an exotic location, but the makers worked on the script for months to make sure it was a real adaptation rather than a cut and paste remake, and it had soul. Indian

“We all knew that with great power comes great responsibility and the show got so much love across the world it was like touching an electric wire,” said Modi, who is best known as the creator of the Disney + Hotstar show. AryaAdapted from the Dutch series penoza. “It took us four months to find the jumping off point because I asked the writers room, why should this be a brand new show? Why are we not releasing the original by dubbing only?

He says the answers come from re-examining the main character’s motivations – what makes a hotel night manager want to be a spy? – as well as the relationships between the main characters, which have been adjusted to make the show more deeply rooted in India. “Rich people all over the world have the same caviar, the same champagne, so how do you differentiate it?” Modi said, referring to the lavish lifestyle of the arms dealer and his henchmen. “It was the emotional bond between the characters and their journey that made it unique.”

Cornwell says his late father’s face “lighted up” when he broached the idea of ​​an Indian adaptation. “We wanted to do something that was a journey in its own right and it was a new and exciting way to set it up in India,” he says. “What Sandeep has created is fundamentally organic and feels like it belongs in India. My personal measure of the show’s success is that it resonates with the Indian audience.”

After a long writing process, the The production faced the challenge of shooting during the pandemic in India, with multiple Covid lockdowns juggling the actors’ schedules. A move to Sri Lanka, which plays an important role in the story, also proved problematic. “We thought we were going to this pristine place with no Covid cases, then suddenly realized the country is in crisis,” Modi said, referring to the country’s post-pandemic economic slump. “Fuel and food were in short supply and we had difficulty feeding our vegetarian crew.”

Production was gone before the crisis reached its peak. Most of the show was shot in India, including the deserts of Jaisalmer, the hills of Shimla and the major cities of Delhi and Mumbai, while the second unit was filmed in Bangladesh and the Middle East. But despite being mostly set in one country, Cornwell says the show achieves the same impact as the original when it comes to exotic locales.

“I think we’ve traveled at least as many places as we did, and the scale the team has achieved is breathtaking. India is a continent, not a country,” says Cornwell, who made it on sets in Mumbai and Sri Lanka, while Ink Factory’s Tessa Inkeller was also on the ground throughout much of the shoot.

Cornwell added that the show is the first of many that The Ink Factory plans to shoot in India and the rest of Asia. Inkler was tasked with making a push into the continent in 2021 when Alibaba co-founders Hou Tsai and Arthur Wang backed expansion plans with their 127-wall production operation. Fifth Season, owned by Korea’s CJ ENM, is a minority shareholder in The Ink Factory.

Additional reporting by Jesse Whittock.

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