Khakee: The Bihar Chapter, a brand-new Netflix web series, was the outcome.
Neeraj Pandey, renowned for crafting gripping tales based on actual events, has proven his mettle with movies like A Wednesday, Special 26, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, and Aiyaary. Khakee: The Bihar Chapter, which is based on the life of an IPS officer named Amit Lodha and is famed for “eliminating” some of the most notorious criminals in Bihar, marks Neeraj’s return to OTT after creating a reputation for himself with his Special OPS series.
Neeraj tells us how it all began and attributes the beginning of the process to a meeting with Amit, the author of Bihar Diaries: The Story of How Bihar’s Most Dangerous Criminal was Caught.
The director, whose joy is palpable, describes how the project began as an idea.
“We realized the tale might have been a seven-hour narrative. Netflix Vice President of Content Monika Shergill was eager to work with us, and now we’re talking about it on the phone. Monika, who is also listening in on the chat, interjects to say that she chased him to get his voice on their streaming service.
“I have long admired Neeraj’s talent and his narrative style. In addition to talking about this (Khakee) story, I asked him to create a series for us. So, yeah, he was pursued… in a good manner,” smiles Monika.
With true crime stories being the flavor du jour of OTT, in many cases, we have observed a lack of documentation being a detriment in bringing these stories from India to life.
Fortunately, that wasn’t the case for Khakee: The Bihar Chapter, the duo says. “The journey has been well-chronicled. This series is a combination of the material in the book and all the research that did not make it into it,” Neeraj states.
When asked about the possibility of turning this into a cop franchise perhaps—one that steps in and out of several regions in the country—Monika says, “We hope to tell an infinite number of brilliant stories told in the way Khakee is told. I want the audience to watch this and let us know how it is appreciated. And yes, we are already working with Neeraj on other projects.”
At a time when all film content seems to be aiming for pan-Indian appeal, Neeraj, too, says that Khakee: The Bihar Chapter is a universal story crafted to cut across boundaries. “When viewing content, the world is becoming smaller, and stories are becoming language and culture-agnostic. That way, Khakee: The Bihar Chapter is a series that can be viewed by anyone, regardless of age,” he says.
As we wrap up the conversation, Neeraj, who seems to thrive in the crime-drama genre, expresses his interest in doing something lighthearted. “I think I have a decent sense of humor, and if a story requires that particular tone, then why not?”