Netflix has ordered a prequel to Baahubali, India’s highest grossing film franchise.
The Netflix original series is based on Anand Neelakantan’s book, The Rise of Sivagam, and takes place before the hit global blockbuster. Called Baahubali: Before the Beginning, it will chart events leading up to Baahubali: the Beginning and Baahubali: the Conclusion (both of which are currently available on Netflix worldwide). Baahubali: the Conclusion grossed US$ 270 million at the global gross box office (including US$ 20 million at the US box office).
Netflix has partnered with the ace team behind the Baahubali universe, including Arka Media Works and SS Rajamouli. Deva Katta and Praveen Sataru will together direct the series. Two seasons have been ordered, with Season 1 comprising nine episodes. It will capture Queen Sivagami’s journey from a rebellious and vengeful girl to a wise and unequalled ruler. Power, politics and intrigue find themselves juxtaposed against the rise of Mahishmati – from being a city-state to an empire. This is the rich backdrop and drama where the Baahubali franchise is set.
The series promises to build the franchise’s high production values, spectacular visuals and epic storytelling.
Rajamouli, says: “The World of Baahubali is extensive and immersive with strong characters and larger than life kingdoms. The films Baahubali – The Beginning and The Conclusion – are from one story set in this world and more dramatic stories were broadly conceived while building the Universe. The Baahubali Series, a prequel to the films, is one such story. I am very excited that this is being adapted as a Netflix Original Series. With Netflix as our partner, we have the opportunity to create a rich and riveting series and take this quintessential Indian epic to the world, which is very gratifying to me as a story-teller.”
Prasad Devineni, Producer, Arka Media Works, said “We have been working for over a year now in developing this story, a prequel to the films as an Netflix original series. We are happy to be partnering with Netflix to produce this amazing story. This partnership gives us the reach and the creative freedom to bring to life the full potential of the series in all its grandeur and exceed the high expectations set by both our films.”
Erik Barmack, VP, International Originals, Netflix, said, “Baahubali is a world-class franchise that epitomizes the power of compelling stories that resonate globally. We are excited to work with some of the world’s most talented writers and producers on one of India’s most beloved stories. The series is a tremendous opportunity for us to give audiences more of the universe that they have come to love, and welcome millions more into the global Baahubali fandom.”