Of late, it would seem that Nagesh Kukunoor is focusing only on the digital medium. It has been almost seven years since the director’s last Hindi theatrical offering, Dhanak (2016). Barring a Telugu movie in 2022, he has been busy creating OTT series, including The Test Case (2017), City of Dreams and Modern Love Hyderabad (2022). But there is reason to cheer as Kukunoor shares that a movie is in the offing. “I am planning to make an indie film. It has been on my mind for some time. I’ve started writing it, but it’s not fleshed out yet. I want to go back to my Dhanak, Lakshmi  roots,” begins the director, who is the mind behind acclaimed movies Hyderabad Blues (1998), Iqbal (2005) and Dor (2006).
The late Rajiv Gandhi; (right) Sameer Nair
Sneaking in a film between his OTT offerings will not be easy, especially since he has Trail of an Assassin — a web series that will trace the events following the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination — on his plate. The Applause Entertainment offering, an adaptation of Anirudhya Mitra’s book Ninety Days: The True Story of the Hunt for Rajiv Gandhi’s Assassin, is being shot. The director shares, “I have never explored this space before, so I am excited. We have taken the material from the book. Like with all true-crime [thrillers], you fill in the gap, and at the same time, you want to make it engaging for the audience.”
In streaming platforms, Kukunoor seems to have found the perfect home for his stories that are inventive and insightful, and far removed from the template of mainstream Hindi films. The director admits he moved to OTT only because he could tell the stories that he wanted to. In fact, he reveals that he had pitched long-format story ideas to studios in Los Angeles quite a few years ago. “The past five-six years have been fertile for me, I have been continuously writing and directing. This is the space that I wanted to be in. It’s not that I was not getting work in movies, so I did web series. As a matter of fact, years before the OTT boom happened in India, every time I went to Los Angeles, I would pitch [long-format] projects to production companies there.”2023-05-31T02:13:09Z dg43tfdfdgfd