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Alia Bhatt Spy Universe Film Finds Director

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The first female-led film in leading Indian studio Yash Raj Films‘ (YRF) spy universe has found its director in Shiv Rawail, Variety has learned.

Alia Bhatt (“Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani,” “Heart of Stone”) and Sharvari (“Bunty Aur Babli 2”) will play super agents in the as-yet-untiitled film. Rawail, who had previous stints as assistant director on Yash Raj Films productions “Dhoom 3,” starring Aamir Khan, and “Fan,” starring Shah Rukh Khan, debuted as a director with the studio’s 2023 Netflix series “The Railway Men.” The four-part series deals with the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy and marks the first in a creative partnership between the streamer and YRF.

“The Railway Men” debuted atop Netflix’s South Asian charts and at No. 8 on the streamer’s non-English TV Top 10. In its second week, the show stayed at No. 1 across South Asia and soared to third position in the global chart, where it remained for eight weeks. The cast is led by R. Madhavan (“Rocketry”), Kay Kay Menon (“Bambai Meri Jaan”), Divyenndu Sharma (“Mirzapur”), emerging talent Babil Khan (“Friday Night Plan”) and Sunny Hinduja (“The Family Man”).

Created by producer and YRF chair and MD Aditya Chopra, the spy universe kicked off with the Tiger franchise, starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, beginning with “Ek Tha Tiger” (2012) and “Tiger Zinda Hai” (2017), and continued with “War” (2019), starring Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff. “Pathaan,” starring Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and John Abraham, was one of the biggest Indian hits of 2023. “Tiger 3,” which also released in 2023, is another Top 10 hit. Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan will headline “Tiger vs Pathaan,” while “Brahmastra” filmmaker Ayan Mukerji will direct “War 2,” starring Hrithik Roshan, NTR Jr. and Kiara Advani.

“Shiv‘s debut directorial for YRF, ‘The Railway Men,’ is a humongous hit and he is the talk of the town today. He is young and has a brilliant pulse on what the youth would want to consume as entertainment as is evident with the global success that he has delivered under the guidance of Aditya Chopra. Thus, Adi is confident that he is the best director to helm the young female-led action entertainer from the YRF spy universe that stars Alia Bhatt in the lead with the rising star of the industry, Sharvari,” a trade source told Variety.

The film will commence production this year.

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