Biopics seem to be the order of the day. Phantom Films is fast becoming the poster boy of web entertainment too. After Sacred Games, Phantom Films comes together with Meghna Gulzar to make a bio-series on the life and times of the former Police Chief Rakesh Maria. This could be one of the most interesting crime web series. Of course, it also helps that this will be the first crime web series based on the experiences of a real life individual.
Rakesh Maria, an IPS officer, cleared his Civil Service Examination from the 1981 batch. As Deputy Commissioner Police (Traffic) in 1993, he cracked the Bombay serial blasts case, and later moved to DCP (Crime) and then Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), of the Mumbai Police. Maria solved the 2003 Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar twin blasts case. Maria was also given the responsibility of investigating the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in 2008 and interrogated Ajmal Kasab, the only terrorist captured alive, and successfully investigated the case.
Rakesh Maria commented, “It is exciting to re-live the journey, especially when piloted by a brilliant and sensitive director like Meghna Gulzar, and a production house of the caliber of Reliance Entertainment’s Phantom Films. More than the nostalgia, it’s also a valuable opportunity to place before the people the extraordinary work of the Mumbai Police when facing tough challenges and working against all odds.”
Amitabh Jhunjhunwala, Vice Chairman, Reliance Entertainment, said “We are delighted to partner with one of the most distinguished law enforcement officers of our times, Rakesh Maria, to present the courageous accomplishments of his career, and the unacknowledged contributions of thousands of members of the Mumbai Police, safeguarding the security of our city 24x7x365. We are also pleased that MeghnaGulzar, one of the country’s most talented young directors, is collaborating with us to present and direct the series.”
Meghna’s 2015 film Talvar released to rave reviews and tremendous audience appreciation. This was followed by her latest feature film Raazi, released in May, 2018, which also received critical acclaim and was a huge commercial success, earning big numbers at the box office.
Talking about the announcement, Meghna Gulzar said, “Mr Rakesh Maria’s life-experiences and his prolific career in law-enforcement are a powerful lens to explore the chronology of crime and terror, in our society – as a city, as well as, as a country and a geographical region. The potential of this content is limitless, and that is supremely exciting for me. The collaboration with Reliance Entertainment’s Phantom Films and MadhuMantena-both synonymous with cutting-edge narratives and vision- is a first I’m looking forward to greatly.”
Commenting on the collaboration for the series, Madhu Mantena of Phantom Films said “Phantom Films has always been a director’s company. We are very excited about our collaboration with Meghna to produce the series on the illustrious career of Mr. Rakesh Maria.”