India’s T-Series Reveals Plans For 100 Movie List And Music Growth
Indian company Super Cassettes Industries, operating under the T-Series label, has revealed plans for a slate of 100 films in various Indian languages.
The company was founded by the late Gulshan Kumar in 1983 as a music business. He quickly made it India’s biggest music label. Bhushan Kumar became the company’s chairman and chief executive in 1997. T-Series has been producing or co-producing films since 1990, but is now set to launch into the space with a lineup of star-studded films. The company’s latest film, “Jhund,” starring Amitabh Bachchan, is currently in theaters.
Bhushan Kumar spoke with Variety on company projects.
Can you give us some highlights from your list of 100 movies? What languages will the slate be available in?
Over the years, T-Series has supported films and honored audiences with commercially and critically acclaimed films like “Aashiqui 2”, “Baby”, “Hindi Medium”, “Kabir Singh”, “Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior”, “Thappad”, “Sherni”, “Ludo”, “Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui” and “Atrangi Re” among others. In the years to come as well, we look forward to delivering a healthy mix of films that are relatable, entertaining and highly engaging to audiences around the world. We are already working on various projects across all genres with around 100 projects in the pipeline that we aim to bring in the next three years.
Our highly anticipated magnum opus “Adipurush” starring Prabhas, Kriti Sanon and Saif Ali Khan with Om Raut leading it is a prestigious project for us with around INR 400 crore [$53 million] investment, which makes it even more special. On top of that we have Ranbir Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor [as-yet-untitled] film starring Luv Ranjan and “Animal” which is a director by Sandeep Reddy Vanga and has the ensemble cast of Ranbir Kapoor, Anil Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra.
Another exciting project in the pipeline for T-Series is Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Sanon’s star “Shehzada” which is currently on the floors and with that we also have Ayushmann Khurrana’s “Action Hero” which we are producing with Aanand L. Rai. That’s not all, “Bheed” with Rajkummar Rao and Bhumi Pednekar is being directed by Anubhav Sinha and “Vikram Vedha” with Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan is also in preparation. The list goes on with various films and genres that we are very excited about.
We are diversifying our pool of content by also working on films in regional languages. India is a huge nation brimming with so many cultures and languages and we want this rich cultural heritage to reflect the same in our films. Therefore, we are breaking down the barriers of only working on Hindi cinema and foraying into the regional space and have already started working with talented producers and directors across the country.
As music producers, we have enjoyed working with a fusion of regional languages and we understand the importance of regional film and music and have therefore always made it a point to include these languages in all of our projects.
What is the total budget for the slate?
Most of the movies on this list are in the making or planning stages. We do not have a designated budget as we treat each project individually on its merits and requirements. Even when marketing a film, budgets are always an afterthought; the main goal is to create good content for consumer enjoyment.
You recently got into the production of streaming shows, what can we expect in this regard?
Over the past decade, Internet connectivity has increased tenfold. The number of OTTs [streaming] content consumers have grown too steadily and are at an all-time high right now, so venturing into the world of OTT is simply nature’s call, especially for a production house and record label music like T-Series. While in the past we’ve had a few films released digitally, we now look forward to producing some great shows that will pique the interest of audiences. We already work with a few platforms and collaborate with powerful content creators such as Aanand L. Rai, Anubhav Sinha, Nikhil Advani, Hansal Mehta, Sanjay Gupta, Bejoy Nambiar, Suparn S Varma, Mikhil Musale and Soumendra Padhi among several other stalwarts. .
We are also working on Saroj Khan’s biopic, a series that will take audiences on a truly incredible life and career journey of India’s first female choreographer. That’s not all, there are several shows in the works with genres ranging from thrillers, biopics, murder mysteries, jailbreak dramas and several flagship properties.
What are your plans to develop the Indian music market?
We’re not only thrilled to be the first-ever channel to cross the incredible 210 million subscriber mark, but we’re also proud to place our country number one on the global entertainment map.
The Indian music space is constantly emerging and evolving. In the 1990s, we were contributing our music not only to films, but we were also pioneers in the field of pop music. T-Series has revived this era of classic melodies again during the pandemic by reintroducing music with similar styles, from romance to mainstream singles and albums. Our music label is constantly giving new sound to music. Not only that, we also analyzed that the masses are more receptive to soul and romantic music genre and singles like “Lutt Gaye”, “Taaron Ke Sheher”, “Meri Aashiqui”, “Chhor Denge”, “Bewafa Tera Masoom Chehra”. which all broke records.
Along with this, we also experimented with bringing energetic numbers like “Nach Meri Rani” and “Saiyyan Ji” which were also well received by music lovers around the world. I strongly believe in the power of trying something new and we have never been shy about experimenting and introducing a new kind of music. The massive success of “Dance Meri Rani”, where we used Afrobeats, is a strong testament to our belief. Keeping the same, we seek to explore, experiment and collaborate with various artists and create a dynamic array of musical themes.
As we continue to focus on Hindi music, we look forward to diving deeper into the regional language space. Regional and devotional music has also grown and will continue to grow.