Ronnie Screwvala’s upcoming project, a series based on the Bhopal Gas Tragedy from 1984, gets Richie Mehta, the critically acclaimed and Emmy Winning creator, to join the force as a writer, director and showrunner.
Producer Ronnie Screwvala’s work etches another league with, among others, “The Lunchbox” and “The Happening”. Collaboration with Richie Mehta, who as a creator scaled great heights by winning the International Emmy for the ‘Delhi Crime’ series. The duo is sure to raise the bar immeasurably high.
Produced by 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,” which describes the 1984 disaster.
“The authors have done such an accurate and fascinating job of mapping human history that creates a thread throughout this catastrophe and is told in an impartial way, which is very important for me as a narrator to step back and let the viewer fill in that judgment, and in the case of something like this very harsh judgment, of course, ”Richie Mehta shares.
He further added, “I think it happened in the 1980s, it’s starting to evaporate from the collective consciousness of young people. Many people do not even know about it or they hear rumors about it in India and certainly internationally. And then I feel that it’s really important to get it out there in an impartial and extremely well-researched way, as the authors have done. ”
Following the publication of the series, Screwvala had referred to “Chernobyl”, a gold standard for series on man-made disasters. He said, “We have looked at storytelling in very many different ways. I believe this for the global audience and not just the Indian audience more and more in general, especially because of OTT platforms, the mix and combination of good storytelling with a sense of realism and moving towards more inspired by true events based on a true story, in fact has many more gravitas. ”
While no TV partner has yet jumped on board, Screwvala said, “We want to do the development alone because I think if you get into too much consensus viewing right at the start, then it becomes a bit of a challenge. We are quite happy that we want to develop this all on our own, go with our own beliefs and go for someone who buys into our vision instead of being a bit of an accident for everyone. Because the moment you get into development finance, it just becomes too many people in the room. ”
A valuable addition to a solid team of RSVP and Global One Studios is Richie Mehta. The series based on the book that has been around since 1997 will be its imprint on the screen. The series, which is likely to consist of six to eight episodes in one hour, is under development and will start production in early 2022. RSVP’s Sanaya Irani Zohrabi, Krishnamoorthy and Mehta will act as executive producers. Shaun Mehta (“Amal”) is the co-author.
RSVP’s landscape of upcoming projects includes ‘Pippa’, ‘Sitara’, ‘The Immortal Ashwatthama’ and ‘Tejas’.