Rohit Shetty: Why not recreate big-screen experience on OTT?

Taking his cop universe to a digital platform, filmmaker Rohit Shetty discusses his maiden project, Indian Police Force

When Rohit Shetty told the story of a righteous cop in Singham (2011), little had he imagined that he would soon build a popular cop universe. After Simmba (2018) and Sooryavanshi (2021), the filmmaker is foraying into digital entertainment with Indian Police Force, another engaging story on the men in uniform. Stepping into the OTT world came naturally to the director, who believes in going with the flow. He reasons, “You have to mould yourself according to the audience [preferences]. That is how people started [making projects] for television. So, if the audience is moving towards the web now, why not recreate the big-screen experience for the OTT audience?”

Shetty’s heroes have a larger-than-life aura to them. After Ajay Devgn, Ranveer Singh and Akshay Kumar have established their characters in the cop universe, the baton has been passed to Sidharth Malhotra. The actor, who enjoyed a high last year with Shershaah (2021), will make his OTT debut with the Amazon Prime Video offering. “When you see the series, you realise you need a young boy. We already have Ranveer Singh as Simba in my universe. The idea was to create something similar here, too. But I wanted someone with whom I have not worked previously, and who has not been part of any cop universe,” says the filmmaker. What makes the upcoming series all the more exciting is that the director has made way for a female cop, essayed by Shilpa Shetty Kundra, in the testosterone-heavy world. “The character was already there in our minds. We have been writing it for almost three years. Who better than Shilpa [to essay the character]!” 

One would think developing an eight-part series is more demanding than making a film. But for Shetty, who is currently shooting for Khatron Ke Khiladi 12, the process doesn’t differ much. Known for his big-budget movies, the filmmaker has adopted the same approach for the web series. “The scale and canvas are big, similar to how we shoot a film. I think Indian Police Force will be one of the most expensive series made in the country.”

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