Mumbai: International Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Richie Mehta of “Delhi Crime” fame has been roped to write and direct a series based on the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy.
“The authors have done such a precise and fascinating job of mapping out the human story that creates a thread all through this disaster and is told in an impartial manner, which is very important to me as a storyteller to step back and allow the viewer to fill in that judgment, and in the case of something like this very harsh judgment, of course,” said Mehta.
The Indo-Canadian maker added: “I think the fact that it happened in the 1980s, it is starting to evaporate from the collective consciousness of young people. Many people don’t even know about it or they hear rumours of it in India and certainly internationally.”
“And so I feel like it’s really important to get it out there in an impartial and extremely well-researched manner, which the authors have done.”
Produced by Ronnie Screwvala’s RSVP and Ramesh Krishnamoorthy’s Global One Studios, the series is based on Dominique Lapierre and Javier Moro’s 1997 book “Five Past Midnight in Bhopal: The Epic Story of the World’s Deadliest Industrial Disaster,” detailing the disaster in 1984.
Upon the announcement of the series, Screwvala had referenced “Chernobyl,” a gold standard for series about man-made disasters.
Screwvala said: “We’ve been looking at storytelling in very many different ways. I believe this for global audiences and not just Indian audiences overall more and more, especially because of OTT platforms, the mixture and the combination of great storytelling with a sense of realism and moving towards more inspired by true events based on a true story, actually has a lot more gravitas.”
He added: “We want to be doing the development on our own because I think if you get into too much consensus view right in the beginning, then it becomes a bit of a challenge.”
“We’re quite happy that we want to develop this completely on our own, go with our own conviction and go to somebody who buys in into our vision rather than being a bit of a mishmash of everyone. Because the minute you get into development funding then it becomes just too many people in the room.”
The series, which is likely to consist of six to eight one-hour episodes, is in development and will commence production in early 2022.