Mere days before Disney+ Hotstar is due to release the Indian remake of The Night Manager, and just a couple of weeks after the debut of Class, which was the Indian remake of Élite, Netflix has unveiled the first trailer for Rana Naidu, its Indian adaptation of the hit Showtime series Ray Donovan. Baabubali star Rana Daggubati takes over the titular role, which was played by Liev Schreiber in the original. He will unite on screen with his uncle Venkatesh Daggubati, who plays the Jon Voight role.
Created by Ann Biderman, Ray Donovan ran for seven seasons between 2013 and 2020. The series concluded its run with the feature-length Ray Donovan: The Movie, which debuted in 2022. It followed the high-stakes escapades of a professional “fixer” for celebrity clients, and his complicated relationship with his father.
The trailer opens with a shot of Rana stepping out of his car, wielding a cricket bat. He’s been summoned by someone to “sort” out a situation, as only he can. Over the course of the two-and-a-half minute trailer, we see him deploy his unique set of skills in a variety of similarly thorny scenarios, involving politicians and movie stars, gangsters and businessmen.
But while Rana moonlights as a fixer, his family remains oblivious. “You’re sure you aren’t secretly our PM, are you?” his wife asks him in one scene. Rana smiles, and we cut to a shot of him pounding somebody’s face to a pulp. Further complications arise when Rana’s father is unexpectedly released from prison, dredging up the buried conflict between the two of them. The trailer ends with Rana furiously rushing towards his dad, with a gun pointed directly at his face.
Family drama is a theme that you’ll find in a variety of Indian storytelling. Combined with the brutal action glimpsed in the trailer and aspirational quality of the anti-hero protagonist, this should be a familiar territory for Indian audiences. Rana, the star, spoke about the challenges of playing his namesake in the show, and highlighted the character’s “emotional connection” to his family. In his own words:
“Playing the role of Rana Naidu was exceptionally challenging. He’s a complex character with a deep emotional connection to his family, but also struggles with his relationship with his father. Amidst all this drama is Rana’s professional journey and what it requires of him.”
Although both Daggubattis are superstars in the Telugu-language industry — this is where RRR director S.S. Rajamouli operates — Rana Naidu is a Hindi-language series. Hindi-language entertainment is what Western audiences commonly refer to as “Bollywood.” The series is created by Karan Anshuman, who is perhaps best known for Prime Video’s International Emmy-nominated Inside Edge. He went on to co-create Prime Video’s most successful Indian series, the crime-drama Mirzapur. Anshuman will co-direct Rana Naidu with Suparn Verma, best known for yet another Prime Video series, The Family Man.
Rana Naidu also stars Surveen Chawla, Sushant Singh, Abhishek Banerjee, Gaurav Chopra, Ashish Vidyarthi, and Rajesh Jais. The series will be released on Netflix on March 10, and will also be available in the Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada languages. You can watch the trailer here, and stay tuned to Collider for more updates.