Amitabh Bachchan and Graphic India partner to create ‘Astra Force’; series to air in 2017 on Disney

Graphic India, one of the country’s leading premier digital comic company focused on creating characters, comics and stories through mobile and digital platforms has formed an alliance with arguably the greatest actor in the Indian film industry, Amitabh Bachchan to create a new-age superhero from a distant world. Titled ‘Astra Force’, the 52-episode animated series, which is being created by CA Media-owned Graphic India with creative inputs by Bachchan himself, will be telecast on Disney Channel India in 2017. The story revolves around ‘Astra’ – a mythical hero from a distant world, who was stranded on Earth millions of years ago after an epic battle and is awakened by eight-year old twins. Graphic India, co-founder and CEO, Sharad Devarajan is very confident that the show will strike a chord with the Indian Diaspora and the star power of Bachchan will only encourage younger viewers to watch it.
Sharad Devarajan
Graphic India is not new to working on new or adapted IPs, in an earlier interview with Devarajan explained on why the company planned on animating a classic like ‘Sholay’ with Pogo: “Adapting successful stories from one medium to another is fairly a common practice in other parts of the world, whether that’s animation to film or film stories into comics and animation, but that trend has been picking up a lot of interest here in India recently as well, which is great to see. For example animation based on the popular film franchise, Star Wars has been successful over the years – allowing fans of the original franchise and a whole new generation of new fans to experience the characters.” On the idea of animating Bachchan himself for the new series Devarajan felt that ‘Astra Force’ can help ignite interest in the rise of Indian animation once again, and there would be no other person who can have a more magnetic effect like the legend himself. Both Devarajan and Disney India CEO Siddharth Roy Kapur are confident that Bachchan’s debut into the world of kids’ entertainment will resonate beyond kids and bring in also families to the show – in line with the channel’s new positioning of being a family entertainer. The character is going to look like the legendary actor, and viewers will also get to listen to the much adored baritone of Bachchan as well. For Sholay Adventures, Graphic India had roped in the services of Dreams Animation, so it’s yet to be seen if the studio gets its hands on this 2D series as well. Going ahead there could be an animation film on Astra Force as well if the series works. Graphic India and Bachchan share the intellectual property of the series. CA Media India holds a 33 per cent stake in Graphic India and handles the digital portfolio of Bachchan under its digital vertical, Fluence.