As the co-founder of Friday Filmworks, producer Shital Bhatia has backed films like ‘A Wednesday!’, ‘Special 26’, ‘Baby’, M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story’, ‘Rustom’ and ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’ that have not only been commercially successful but have also left a lasting impact on the audience’s mind.
Bhatia, along with partner Neeraj Pandey, ventured into the digital space with the series ‘Special Ops’ that premiered on Disney+Hotstar last year. Now, the team is ready to unveil the second (or 1.5) season of the show in the form of ‘Special Ops 1.5: The Himmat Singh Story’. Shital confirms, as showrunner Neeraj Pandey pointed out, that it is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the first season.
“The show traces the journey of Himmat Singh (KK Menon). Certain portions are set in the present times and a large part is set in the past as well. It has the essence of the first season and yet, the narrative is very different. The performances are one of the highlights of this season. All the actors, including KK, Aftab (Shivdasani) and Aadil (Khan), have performed exceptionally well”, he says.
Despite being a high-octane thriller series shot across different locations in Mauritius and Ukraine, it was wrapped pretty quickly. The shoot started in February earlier this year and concluded after the completion of a well-planned 30-day schedule.
Talking about the efficiency with which the team worked, Shital says, “With the support of the complete cast and the crew, we managed to finish the shoot on time. There were difficulties as we were shooting in Covid times and had to follow certain safety procedures and guidelines. We faced some difficulties while travelling overseas but everybody was extremely co-operative.”
Up next from Friday Filmworks is ‘Vikram Vedha’, the official remake of the Tamil-language film of the same name, starring Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan. Shital assures that the company is working on developing multiple projects which will be announced soon.
“We are developing the next season of ‘Special Ops’ at the moment. ‘Vikram Vedha’ will be having a theatrical release next year. The methods of storytelling in a series are quite different from the kind of techniques used to put together the narrative of a film. Our company wants to tap into both. We are working on multiple projects, some of which are shows for the web and some are films.”
Special Ops 1.5: The Himmat Singh Story starts streaming on Disney+Hotstar from November 12.