Netflix has been keen to stress its new global focus since it launched into more than 100 new countries in January. That approach is not just about being available worldwide, it includes programming that is localized to international audiences too and, along that trail, Netflix just announced plans for its first original series from India.
Netflix claims 81 million paying customers across 190 countries, and it has been available in India since January. It hasn’t said how many are from India, the cost of Netflix is higher than local rival services, but the country is clearly a huge opportunity given the billion-plus population while there’s also a significant overseas diaspora, which is pegged at 16 million worldwide.
The first Indian production will be Sacred Games, based on a 2006 best-seller from Vikram Chandra focused on India’s criminal underworld. Netflix said the title will be shot in India and produced in collaboration with local firm Phantom Films. There’s no distribution date at this point, but the U.S. streaming giant did confirm that, once released, it will be available to all Netflix customers worldwide.
“Over the last few years, I’ve watched with great excitement and pleasure as Netflix has transformed narrative television with its ground-breaking, genre-bending shows,” Chandra said. “I’m confident that all the color and vitality and music of the fictional world I’ve lived with for so long will come fully alive on the large-scale canvas provided by Netflix.”
“We are delighted to partner with creative powerhouse, Phantom Films, to bring Vikram Chandra’s epic novel to life with the best Indian and global film talent available today,” added Erik Barmack, who is vice president of international original series at Netflix.