Sandeep Modi, the creator and director of the upcoming Indian adaptation of “The Night Manager,” recently shared the challenges of adapting a British series for an Indian audience. According to Modi, the original series, which featured renowned actors such as Hugh Laurie, Olivia Colman, and Tom Hiddleston, was already a success, making it a huge responsibility to create an Indian version that could be equally compelling.
Modi, best known for his work as co-director of the Disney+ Hotstar show “Aarya,” directed the Indian version with Priyanka Ghose. While Modi acknowledged that comparisons between the British and Indian versions were inevitable, he welcomed them, saying it gave him a high to put his work head-to-head with the original. However, Modi and Ghose also expressed hope that the audience would find the Indian adaptation worthy of the “The Night Manager” title.
The BBC drama, based on John le Carré’s novel, follows the story of a night manager of a hotel, played by Hiddleston, who is recruited to infiltrate an arms dealer’s (Laurie) inner circle. The Indian adaptation draws from both the original British series and Carré’s book.
Modi said that presenting the lavish lifestyle of a rich man in the Indian context was the most challenging part of the adaptation. The series features Anil Kapoor playing a wealthy antagonist, and Modi said it was important to make the character relatable and find Indian resonance for the story. Modi and Ghose explained that adapting the story to be about their characters and making it their own was also a significant challenge.
While the story remains the same, Modi and Ghose have made some tweaks to adapt it to the Indian context, including making it a story that matters to the people of Asia. Kapoor was the apt choice for the antagonist, the directors said, as he brought the required magnanimous personality and ability to command both awe and love.
“The Night Manager” also stars Sobhita Dhulipala, Tillotama Shome, Saswata Chatterjee, and Ravi Behl. Produced by The Ink Factory and Banijay Asia, the series is set to premiere on Friday on Disney+ Hotstar.
Modi said it is unfortunate that the story of “The Night Manager” is still relevant today as war-like situations continue to be a harsh reality around the world. However, he hopes that his series will make a difference and help people understand that war is not the solution to conflicts.
In summary, Modi and Ghose had the challenge of creating an Indian version of “The Night Manager” that could be as good as the British original. They have adapted the story to be relevant to an Indian audience, including making it a story that matters to people in Asia. With Kapoor as the antagonist, the show features an ensemble cast, and it will be interesting to see how the Indian adaptation is received by audiences.