Indian film franchise Baahubali is set for a prequel story in the form of a series, which will stream on Netflix; and director SS Rajamouli couldn’t be happier.
The online streaming platform announced the new series will be an adaptation of The Rise of Sivagami, a prequel novel to the 2015 film.
Director Rajamouli, who helmed both the instalments of the hit franchise — Baahubali: The Beginning (2015) and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017) — has teamed up with Arka Media Works and Netflix for the series.
“The World of Baahubali is extensive and immersive with strong characters and larger than life kingdoms. The films Baahubali: The Beginning and The Conclusion, are from one story set in this world and more dramatic stories were broadly conceived while building the universe,” Rajamouli said in a statement.
He added: “With Netflix as our partner, we have the opportunity to create a rich and riveting series and take this quintessential Indian epic to the world, which is very gratifying to me as a story-teller.”
Baahubali narrates the story of warring royal cousins in an ancient mythical kingdom, Mahishmati.
The two movies were shot back-to-back for an estimated budget of $40 million (Dh146.9m), making them the most expensive Indian productions ever. In addition to the original Telugu language version, the films were also released in Tamil, Hindi and Malayalam languages.
Season one of the Netflix series will comprise nine episodes based on Anand Neelakantan’s book The Rise of Sivagami, which tells the story of Mahishmati’s queen Sivagami and how the city-state evolved into an empire.
According to Erik Barmack, Vice President of International Originals at Netflix, Baahubali is a world-class franchise that epitomises the power of compelling stories that resonate globally.
“We are excited to work with some of the world’s most talented writers and producers on one of India’s most beloved stories. The series is a tremendous opportunity for us to give audiences more of the universe that they have come to love, and welcome millions more into the global Baahubali fandom,” Barmack added.
The casting and release dates of the series have not been revealed yet.
Netflix has scored a hit with its first India original series Sacred Games, based on Vikram Chandra’s book.