Comic book legend Stan Lee, whose creations include ‘X-Men’ the ‘Incredible Hulk’ and ‘Iron Man’ among others is now planning to release his first Indian superhero-based film ‘Chakra the Invincible’ set in Mumbai and directed by Vikramaditya Motwane.
Graphic India, a character entertainment company, and Lee’s POW! Entertainment today announced a partnership with Phantom Films, to begin pre-production on the live-action theatrical film for ‘Chakra The Invincible.’ Chakra has been created by Lee along with Graphic Co-Founder and CEO, Sharad Devarajan.
“I’m a fan of Bollywood films and am really excited about launching ‘Chakra the Invincible’ as my first Bollywood superhero movie,” Lee, Chief Creative Officer at POW! Entertainment said in a statement.
Lee helped spawn some of the world’s most popular comic book heroes — The Amazing Spider—Man, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and many more, which now dominate the film industry. The upcoming Hollywood flick ‘X-Men: Age of Apocalypse’ is based on another of Lee’s creations.
“Vikramaditya is an amazingly talented filmmaker who I have no doubt can make the Chakra film a massive hit in India and around the world. I only hope he remembers to include my cameo!,” Lee said. Unlike the animated kids property, the film version of ’Chakra’ is set to feature an older version of the character in his twenties, set against the spectacular backdrop of Mumbai.
Motwane who has directed ‘Lootera’ and ‘Udaan’ said it was an “honor and an absolute delight to be making a film based on a Stan Lee character. We’re very excited and we hope to take comic book filmmaking to the next level with Chakra. And no, we won’t forget Stan’s cameo…” he said.
“Stan Lee’s characters have generated $15 billion at the global box office, creating some of the most beloved icons in entertainment. More people likely know the face of Spider-Man than they do the Mona Lisa,” said Graphic’s CEO Devarajan.
’Chakra The Invincible’ was originally launched as a children’s animated film on Cartoon Network India two years ago, with three new animated TV movies currently in production to be released on Cartoon Network and Toonami later this year.
“In the same way the West has created superheroes or Japan created anime, India has the potential to become one of the biggest creative exporters in the years ahead and bring a new creative voice to the global stage,” stated Devarajan. “After all, it wasn’t just Japanese kids who made Pokemon a success, it was every kid.”
Devarajan is also the co-founder of Liquid Comics, a digital entertainment company that creates content for publishing, theatrical films, animation and games. He was previously CEO of Virgin Comics, which he co-founded with Sir Richard Branson, author Deepak Chopra, Gotham Chopra and filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, and was the co-creator of the acclaimed “Spider-Man: India” comic series from Marvel. He holds a BFA from Syracuse University and an MBA from Columbia University.
The media entrepreneur, also an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, is an executive producer/producer on a number of theatrical live-action films and television projects, including the film adaptation of “The Leaves” with Lionsgate/Summit; “Ramayan 3392AD” with Mandalay Entertainment; “Dominion: Dinosaurs Versus Aliens,” with filmmaker Barry Sonnenfeld; and “Sadhu: Warrior,” for which he also co-wrote the screenplay and is in development with producer Mark Canton (“300” films, “Immortals”).
Devarajan explained that just like the western superhero, which was really redefined in the 60s by Lee and his creative partners, and drew inspiration from the existing socio-political scenarios, Graphic India “wants to allow creators to tap into today’s culture, contemporary issues, hopes, dreams and fears” to serve as the source of inspiration for their characters and stories. Devarajan said Chakra speaks to the story of this generation – the story of globalization — and that’s what makes Chakra “so special” to him.