Raj-DK on Indian version of Russo Brothers' series: World is theirs, story is ours

Updated: Feb 03, 2020, 07:46 IST | Mohar Basu | Mumbai

Hand-picked to helm the Indian version of global series Citadel, directors Raj-DK explain how they are crafting a desi narrative within the framework given by Russo Brothers

Raj-DK with the Avengers Infinity gauntlet. Picture coiurtesy/Instagram
Raj-DK with the Avengers Infinity gauntlet. Picture coiurtesy/Instagram

Their unbridled enthusiasm was evident as Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, flaunting the Avengers Infinity gauntlet, announced arguably their biggest project — the director duo had been chosen to develop the Indian version of Citadel, produced by Joe and Anthony Russo of Avengers fame. Two weeks after the announcement, we catch up with them in their new office where, they are proud to note, a new project is developing in every room. "Since we are consuming content from across the world with subtitles, there's intrigue about [Indian] stories too," shares Raj.

It was assumed that Raj-DK, as they are better known, bagged the Amazon Prime series because of their much-loved offering, The Family Man. However, DK clarifies that they were in talks much earlier. "The Family Man was on the edit table then. We have been dying to talk about this for six months."

Russo BrothersRusso Brothers. Pic/ Getty Images

The mothership US series, which will feature Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Richard Madden, will have versions in Italy, Mexico and India. Stating that the suits at Amazon Prime approached them for the Indian version last year, Raj reveals, "The idea was crackling; there was no chance we would have said no to this. DK, our lead writer Sita Menon and I brainstormed quickly before heading to Los Angeles [to kickstart the writing process]. In India, there's a lack of experience in series writing. We learnt a lot from their writers' room and the pilot readings."

The global event series will feature interlinked stories. "This is the first time that we are exploring someone else's seed of thought. We have 90 per cent creative freedom on how we want to build the series. The world is theirs and the story is ours. There will be intersections as we progress," explains Raj, before DK elaborates, "Each instalment will have its own personality and will be culturally authentic."

Priyanka Chopra Jonas

Ask them where they stand on casting, and DK says, "Once the final script is locked by the month-end, we will hunt for talent. Priyanka is [only] working in the US version. We will have a pan-India cast."

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