Sacred Games: Vikramaditya Motwane hopes Season 2 turns out to be even 'bigger' than the first
Sacred Games showrunner Vikramaditya Motwane talks about the deal that brought Netflix to India, and passing on the director's hat to Neeraj Ghaywan.
Sacred Games Season 2 released on 15 August. Since there has been no news yet on whether there is a season 3, one cannot help but wonder how smooth the two seasons, and the two tracks of the present and the past in its narrative, have been in the maiden Netflix India Original.
Filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane has been involved since the inception of the show before season 1. "Back in 2016, when Netflix was planning to expand to other countries, and were planning to launch the platform in India, I had a meeting with the executives in Los Angeles. A week prior to the meeting, they informed me they were planning to adapt Sacred Games, and asked me if I had read the book. I hadn't, but I lied that I had. In a week, I read the entire book. When the deal was cracked at that meeting, Netflix escalated it very quickly. The whole cast and crew were finalised very quickly then," recalls Vikramaditya.
Vikramaditya took on the mantle of both the showrunner and a director, along with mentor Anurag Kashyap, in Season 1, but confessed later the two extremely demanding positions took a toll on him. Saif Ali Khan, who plays the lead in the track that Vikramaditya directed, also claimed that the two roles were too much to handle for Vikramaditya. In Season 2, however, Neeraj Ghaywan replaced Vikramaditya as the director, allowing the latter to focus on his sole role of the showrunner.
"It has been almost the same job. You have to involve yourself both in the pre-production and post-production as usual. The only relief was that I didn't have to go on set, and direct. I could invest my energy completely in the stage prior to the shoot, and after it. My approach towards the show became more objective this time," says Vikramaditya, who had to ensure Kashyap's track of Ganesh Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) runs parallel to Ghaywan's track of Sartaj Singh (Saif), as intended so in Vikram Chandra's book, which forms the inspiration behind the show.
The shooting of Season 2 truly went international as Siddiqui's track was shot in parts of Africa, though Saif's track remained rooted in Mumbai. But Vikramaditya does not regret passing the torch to Ghaywan as he claims, "With Anurag and Neeraj on the set, you don't need to visit the set even if you're a showrunner." However, he is glad that Neeraj brought his unique touch to Sartaj's track in Season 2, but remained faithful to the tone Vikramaditya established in Season 1. "It may be an easy job since the tone is already set, but if you're a director like Neeraj, I'm glad that he could bring his own ideas, his own experiences, his own style to Sartaj's track in Season 2. He has done a fabulous job."
Since Season 1 gave the show cult status, Vikramaditya hopes Season 2 can not only survive the mighty expectations but also prove to be even bigger. "I hope it is received even more widely than Season 1. I want people to love it, talk about it, and probably get some questions they had in Season 1 answered in this one. I just hope the reaction to Season 2 turns out to be even bigger," says Vikramaditya.
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"Our assessment is that Squid Game, which is gaining global popularity, is being illegally distributed on around 60 sites in China," said South Korea's ambassador to China.
By comparison, Regency romp Bridgerton reached 82 million households on debut, using Netflix's internal metric which includes any account that watched an episode for at least two minutes.