OTT content has started getting into a rut, need to cast big actors to attract numbers: Filmmaker Abhinay Deo

OTT content has started getting into a rut, need to cast big actors to attract numbers: Filmmaker Abhinay Deo

Abhinay Deo‘s upcoming series Brown features Karisma Kapoor as a detective in Kolkata trying to solve the murder of a young woman. The director, who is making his web series debut with Brown, recently shared that OTT has ‘started getting into a rut’ as it has become necessary to cast big actors to attract numbers. He had earlier directed Anil Kapoor in the TV series 24 in 2013. It was the official Hindi adaptation of the award-winning US TV series. (Also read: Abhinay Deo on his web show Brown going to Berlinale: Film festivals are feather in the cap, not cap itself)

In the show, Karisma Kapoor makes a return to acting after three years and will be playing a recovering alcoholic named Rita Brown. The thriller Brown was screened at the Berlin Series Market Selects platform earlier this month, making it the only Indian project to participate. Brown is based on the 2016 novel City of Death by author Abheek Barua and has been adapted for the screen by Digvijay Singh, Sunayana Kumari and Mayukh Ghosh.

Abhinay spoke about how OTT has lost its initial promise. The director told Mid-Day in an interview, “We are in a good and a bad place. It’s good because the format allows us to do so much more. But at the same time, [OTT content] has started getting into a rut. Once upon a time, it was an [avenue] where we could have made great cinema. But now, suddenly, we are [being dominated] by the need for big numbers.”

He continued, “So, we need to [cast] big actors in the projects. Unfortunately, we are moving into the same template [as theatrical movies]. As OTT evolves further, hopefully, it will get to a better place.” The filmmaker is best known for the black comedy Delhi Belly (2011), starring Imran Khan, Vir Das and Kunaal Roy Kapur. He revealed that he is still asked for a sequel for the comedy, but hasn’t come up with a fitting story for it yet.

Abhinay is the son of actors Ramesh and Seema Deo. His father Ramesh had acted in nearly 500 films in the Hindi and Marathi film industries. He died last year of a heart attack at 96. His brother Ajinkya Deo also acts in Hindi and Marathi films and is part of the ensemble cast of Salman Khan-starrer Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan later this year.

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