2022 is shaping up to be a huge year for Original Indian content on Netflix. Here are all the Indian Original series and movies we’re hoping to see in 2022.
COVID-19 shutdowns hit the Indian film industry hard in 2021, delaying the production of some previously announced projects and fast-tracking others. With production finally catching up, there’s a glut of titles awaiting release in the new year, including (potentially) 12 new series, 13 new movies, and 7 returning series, with several other likely candidates for renewal.
Indian Netflix Original Shows Coming in 2022 and Beyond
Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein
Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein (“These Black Black Eyes“) is the only Netflix Original in this list with a release date as of the time of publication. The thriller series debuts on January 14, 2022. Star Shweta Tripathi described to Mid-Day the race to wrap filming in May, 2021 before the Himachal Pradesh government imposed a state-wide COVID-19 lockdown. The show’s IMDb entry lists it as an 8-episode series, with an official Netflix description that reads:
“Relentlessly pursued by a powerful politician’s daughter who will do anything to make him hers, a man slips down a dark, risky path to reclaim his life.”
Baahubali: Before the Beginning
We’re still waiting on this prequel that was announced back in 2018. A large portion of the series based on Anand Neelkantan’s novel The Rise of Sivagami was already filmed when Netflix decided they were unhappy with the direction the show was going. That led Netflix to scrap the work that had been done, double the budget, bring in two new directors, and replace Mrunal Thakur in the lead role with Punjabi actress Wamiqa Gabbi after Thakur dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Let’s hope this gets the series — slated to consist of two 9-episode seasons — back on track so we can return to Mahishmati.
Jimmy Shergill leads the cast of the comedy heist series Choona, set within the world of Uttar Pradesh politics. Filming was purportedly well underway before the Netflix India Twitter account announced the project in mid-June. The series is being directed by Pushpendra Nath Misra, who previously wrote and directed the Netflix Original Hindi series Taj Mahal 1989.
Excel Entertainment — the 20-year-old production house run by Ritesh Sidhwani and actor/director Farhan Akhtar — recently entered into a multi-year partnership with Netflix (after producing three hit Hindi series for Amazon). One of the new series announced as part of the partnership is Dabba Cartel, described as “a story of five housewives who run a high stakes secret cartel.”
Eternally Confused and Eager for Love
Farhan Akhtar’s Excel Entertainment and his sister Zoya Akhtar’s Tiger Baby Films collaborate on the teen romance Eternally Confused and Eager for Love, which is already in post-production. Actors associated with the project include Suchitra Pillai, Rahul Bose, Himanee Bhatia, and Vihaan Samat, who has appeared in the Netflix Original series Bombay Begums and Mismatched.
Finding Anamika/The Star
Bollywood icon Madhuri Dixit’s first streaming series was created just for her — and it may have just undergone a name change. A teaser introducing the series Finding Anamika was included in the “India Spotlight” portion of September’s TUDUM global fan event. But clicking on the link to Finding Anamika‘s Netflix title page recently listed the series name as “The Star” for several days before the link stopped working altogether. Here’s how Netflix describes the plot:
“This is a suspenseful family drama about a global superstar, wife, and mom who suddenly vanishes without a trace. As police and loved ones search for answers to her disappearance, her perfectly crafted facade is stripped away, revealing hidden truths and painful lies in the life of an iconic actress.”
If you want to understand the hype around filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s first web series, check out his heartbreaking and drop-dead gorgeous movie Guzaarish, currently streaming on Netflix. Bhansali told Variety that Heermandi will be “vast and ambitious.” Netflix’s official description states:
“Sanjay Leela Bhansali brings his majestic signature flair to stories of love and betrayal in the lives of courtesans in pre-independence India.”
The docu-series Indian Predator is a collaboration between news organizations India Today and VICE Media. Vice Studios president Kate Ward told RTS: “It is content that hasn’t been [seen] before in the unscripted space and is delivered with an authentic local perspective.” Here’s how Netflix describes the chilling factual series:
“Indian Predator is a thrilling and suspenseful docu-series, that attempts to decode the minds of some of India’s deadliest killers. The series uncovers the never-before-heard details of gruesome killings as individuals who were at the epicenter of these crimes talk about what went down.”
Sakshi Tanwar plays the lead in this thriller from Anushka Sharma’s Clean Slate Filmz. Mai is the first series written and directed by Atul Mongia, who has led acting workshops for some of the best Bollywood movies of the last decade. Per Netflix:
“Upon accidentally killing a mafia leader, a middle-aged woman is unwittingly swept into the underworld, where her cult slowly gains renown.”
Queen of the Hill
Another series from Excel Entertainment. Variety reports: “Queen of the Hill, set in the 1960s, chronicles the dynamic relationship between two ambitious women that will change their city forever.”
The official Indian adaptation of the Showtime crime series Ray Donovan stars real-life nephew and uncle Rana and Venkatesh Daggubati. When Netflix announced the series, Rana said: “It’s lots of special firsts for me. Working with my uncle Venkatesh and the first with Netflix in long form storytelling that’s completely different from what both of us have ever done in our careers. I’m extremely happy to be with a crew and a platform that knows this the best. It will be challenging & new and definitely going to be fun. Looking forward to filming soon.”
Netflix’s Real World-esque reality series confines eight of India’s top influencers to a luxurious villa for three weeks without their phones. According to the official Social Currency Instagram account, the “social experiment” commenced on October 9, 2021 and had concluded by November 5.
Indian Netflix Original Movies Coming in 2022
Zoya Akhtar helms the Indian film adaptation of the Archie comics — a project that has been in the works since at least 2018 and is unrelated to the series Riverdale. Variety describes the movie as: “a coming-of-age, live action musical set in 1960s India.” The Archies will serve as the launch vehicle for a trio of Bollywood scions, with Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter Suhana set to debut as Betty, Sridevi’s daughter Khushi cast as Veronica, and Amitabh Bachchan’s grandson Agastya Nanda playing Archie himself, according to Bollywood Hungama.
Although the title page for Bulbul Tarang is still available, Bollywood Hungama reports that the movie is cancelled. An unnamed Netflix source told the online publication, “Together with our partners, we made the decision to not move forward with the film.” Although no reason was given, it likely has to do with the departure of its main star, Sonakshi Sinha. In the event that Sinha’s part is recast and the project starts filming, here’s how Netflix describes the plot:
“Learning that certain social barriers will prevent her fiancé from partaking in a celebratory wedding custom, a bride sets out to challenge the rules.”
Anushka Sharma was all set to star in Chakdah Express, a biopic about cricketer Jhulan Goswami being produced by Sharma’s production house, Clean Slate Filmz. Pictures surfaced in 2020 of Sharma and Goswami filming on Eden Gardens with Sharma sporting a cricket kit. However, news recently broke that Tripti Dimri has taken over the lead role from Sharma, and that the film will now release as a Netflix Original late in 2022. Chakdah Express would make not only the third Netflix Original movie produced by Clean Slate Filmz, but also the third Netflix Original from Clean Slate to star Tripti Dimri (after 2020’s Bulbbul and the upcoming Qala, mentioned below)!
The family drama Cobalt Blue had locked a December 3, 2021 release date before it was pulled at the last minute without explanation. Akshay Kumar’s blockbuster action flick Sooryavanshi went live on Netflix that day instead, which seems a likely reason for the postponement. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait too much longer for this film about a brother and sister who fall in love with the same man.
At least some of director Dibakar Banerjee’s Freedom was filmed back in 2020, but there hasn’t been much news on its progress since. With such a talented director at the helm and an excellent cast — Naseeruddin Shah! Manisha Koirala! Huma Qureshi! Kalki Koechlin! Neeraj Kabi! — fingers crossed that we get an update on this one soon.
The official Netflix plot description for Jaadugar — starring Jitendra Kumar, Arushi Sharma, and Javed, Jaffrey and directed by Sameer Saxena — sounds utterly charming:
“In a football-loving town, a small-time magician with no athletic skill must win a coveted football trophy in order to marry the love of his life.”
It doesn’t get more exciting than news that filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj is working on a film for Netflix. (If you haven’t see his adaptation of Hamlet — Haider — do yourself a favor and stream it on Netflix now.) The spy thriller Khufiya is based on the espionage novel Escape to Nowhere by Amar Bhushan and stars the incomparable Tabu (who plays the role of Hamlet/Haider’s mom in the above mentioned film).
The official Hindi remake of the German thriller Run Lola Run opted to skip a theatrical release and debut straight on Netflix, which has branded the movie as a Netflix Original Film. Looop Lapeta stars Taapsee Pannu and Tahir Raj Bhasin.
Monica, O My Darling
Director Vasan Bala’s neo-noir comedy-thriller Monica, O My Darling stars Rajkummar Rao as a man trying to pull of the perfect murder with help from a motley crew of accomplices. Based on the behind-the-scenes footage Netflix released in July, the movie looks like a blast.
The mystery Penthouse — about a quintet of buddies who find a dead body in their rented flat — is purportedly a remake of the 2008 Belgian film Loft. Bollywood news site PeepingMoon reported that filming wrapped back in January, 2021, so fingers crossed that we won’t have to wait much longer to catch cast members Bobby Deol, Arjun Rampal, and Shaman Joshi in this whodunit.
Plan A Plan B
The opposites-attract romantic comedy Plan A Plan B stars Riteish Deshmukh as a divorce lawyer and Tamannaah Bhatia as a matchmaker. Director Shashanka Ghosh told Variety: “It is a one-of-a-kind story with unusual characters pitted against each other and a refreshing take on what love entails, tapping into many different emotions.” The film’s announcement during the “India Spotlight” portion of September’s TUDUM global fan event was accompanied by this short starring Deshmukh and Bhatia:
Netflix sure has a thing for Anvita Dutt. After her excellent debut directorial Bulbbul, she’s back with a second Netflix Original film. Her sophomore effort Qala reunites her with Bulbbul star Tripti Dimri and marks the acting debut of Babil Khan, eldest son of the late, great Irrfan Khan. Netflix India released this on-location teaser footage in April:
Super Soldier is admittedly a long shot for 2022, but we’re too hyped about it to leave it off the list. Lots of pre-production work has already been done on Katrina Kaif’s solo superhero movie, but COVID-19 forced director Ali Abbas Zafar and crew to delay filming until global travel restrictions are eased. According to PeepingMoon, this two-part action flick is to be shot in multiple locations in India as well as international destinations like Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Poland, and Georgia. This one is gonna be huge!
Renewed Indian Netflix Original Shows
Dehli Crime (Season 2)
A second season of the police drama Delhi Crime was announced at Netflix’s “See What’s Next India 2021” event in March.
The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives (Season 2)
Reality series The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives is back! Netflix India released a “Now Filming” announcement in late November.
Indian Matchmaking (Season 2)
Matchmaker Sima Taparia returns to help a new crop of single Desi’s find potential spouses. Deadline promises we’ll see “some familiar faces” who may need additional matchmaking assistance from Sima.
Jamtara – Sabka Number Ayega (Season 2)
Crime drama Jamtara‘s second season was announced at Netflix’s “See What’s Next India 2021” event.
Masaba Masaba (Season 2)
Back in August, Masaba Gupta’s mom and co-star Neena Gupta took to her Instagram account to debut a new hairdo for Season 2 of the fictional show based on Masaba’s life.
Mismatched (Season 2)
Mismatched star Prajakta Koli posted a behind-the-scenes photo on her Instagram account on November 25 with the caption: “And that’s a wrap on Season 2. 😭♥️”
She (Season 2)
Filming for Season 2 of the crime drama She got underway in July:
Netflix Indian Shows Awaiting Renewal
Aranyak (Season 2)
Though Aranyak hasn’t been given an official renewal since its December 10 debut, Netflix India Series Head Tanya Bami told Mid-Day: “We are actively developing the second season of Aranyak.”
Bombay Begums (Season 2)
There’s been no word on a second season of the contemporary drama, but it hasn’t been officially cancelled yet.
Call My Agent Bollywood (Season 2)
Sameer Nair of Applause Entertainment — the production house behind the Indian adaptation of the Emmy-winning French series — told India Today: “We look forward to our own subsequent seasons soon.”
Decoupled (Season 2)
Decoupled is even newer than Aranyak, having released on December 17 so it hasn’t been officially renewed yet either. But series creator Manu Joseph told Firstpost that he’s pleased by the “tremendous reactions” to the show and is ready for more: “So I hope there is a season 2 because I already have material for five seasons.”
Kota Factory (Season 3)
Though Netflix hasn’t officially renewed the series yet, Kota Factory director Raghav Subbu told The Indian Express that he’s already writing Season 3: “We know how the story progresses. What happens to the characters, what is each character’s journey. Who makes it to IIT and who doesn’t.”
What Indian movies and series are you looking forward to in 2022? Let us know in the comments!