The project's folkloric elements have drawn early comparisons to ‘The Book of Life’ -- the studio's 2014 animated tale from director Jorge R. Gutiérrez and producer Guillermo del Toro.
Nitya Mehra (Baar Baar Dekho) and Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory) are set to make the animated feature Diya from Reel FX Originals, Deadline reports.
Mehra will direct, with Nayyar executive producing through his company, Good Karma Productions. The film is described as being “in the vein of its 20th Century Fox title, The Book of Life” -- director Jorge R. Gutiérrez and producer Guillermo del Toro’s 2014 film about a bullfighter who embarks on an adventure during the Mexican Day of the Dead. This version of the story - co-written by Shiwani Srivastava (Netflix’s Wedding Season) and Dr. Amy Bhatt - will be steeped in Indian folklore.
Steve O’Brien and Jared Mass of Reel FX Originals will serve as producers on the film. Good Karma Productions’ head of production, Jason Hiro Kim (Gook), will executive produce alongside Nayyar. Lucas Koppel will assume the role of executive in charge of production, on behalf of Reel FX Originals.
Mehra’s debut feature, the science-fiction drama Baar Baar Dekho, was released in 2016. She followed that up in 2020 by directing a segment of the acclaimed Hindi-language anthology Unpaused, entitled “Chained Mubarak.” She currently serves as showrunner, executive producer, and director of the Amazon romance series Made In Heaven, which is now in post-production for its second season. Her career began as an assistant director to both Ang Lee and Mira Nair, working on their films Life of Pi and The Namesake, respectively.
Reel FX Originals is a division of Reel FX Animation that has produced the Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson-starring comedy Free Birds. Its latest title, Rumble - an animated family comedy centered on “a reluctant monster athlete and his human wrestling coach” - premiered on Paramount+ in December 2021.
Reel FX is also approaching the release of its 3D animated action comedy series, Super Giant Robot Brothers!, which is set to hit Netflix this summer. The show is helmed by Mark Andrews, the Oscar-winning director of Brave.