Warner Bros didn’t release a finished Batgirl movie and cut losses by writing off $100 million. They did the same with Coyote vs Acme, facing industry backlash. Unlike Hollywood, Indian streaming platforms often demand changes in stories about politics, caste, and religion, or reject projects after initial approval, causing frustration for filmmakers like Anurag Kashyap.
Netflix said no to Dibakar Banerjee’s movie “Tees,” about a Kashmiri family facing challenges in today’s India. They didn’t give a clear reason, just that they’re unsure when to release it. Banerjee can’t show it at festivals but can show it to potential buyers.
Netflix also canceled Vikramaditya Motwane’s documentary, “Indi(r)a’s Emergency,” even though they spent over $1 million on it. They got worried about it drawing parallels to the current government’s tactics. Now, Netflix gave up the rights to the documentary after it was shown at film festivals.
Interestingly, all three filmmakers Banerjee, Motwane, and Kashyap helped kickstart the Netflix streaming service in India. Kashyap and Motwane collaborated on “Sacred Games,” and Kashyap also joined forces with Banerjee on anthology films like “Lust Stories” and “Ghost Stories.” In response to the cancellations, Netflix stated, “We have an incredibly broad range of Indian original films and TV shows, all of which speak to our long-standing support for creative expression. This diversity not only reflects our members’ very different tastes, it also distinguishes our service from the competition.”