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Emraan Hashmi to play expelled spy in next Netflix series, The Bard of Blood

The series marks the first joint production between Netflix India and Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment. 

Shriram Iyengar

With the success of Sacred Games, Netflix India seems to have set itself a new target at acquiring audiences. The next production will see actor Emraan Hashmi take on the role of Kabir Anand, an expelled spy who ends up teaching Shakespeare in a college, in the Bard of Blood. The series will be jointly produced by Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment. 

The series will be based on Bilal Siddiqui's bestselling novel, The Bard of Blood. In November 2017, Netflix India announced their collaboration with Red Chillies Entertainment to produce a series based on the book. The CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, got together with Khan to make a quirky announcement video. 

Hashmi is set to play a disgraced RAW agent, who is recalled from his day job of teaching Shakespeare at a Panchgani college to serve the country. This will be the actor's first foray into the digital medium. The teaser features Hashmi saying the tagline 'God gives you one face, and you make another one', while reading Siddiqui's book. 

The series also marks an active movement by Netflix to consolidate their position after the success of Vikramaditya Motwane-Anurag Kashyap's Sacred Games. The series proved to be a runaway hit. 

The Bard of Blood is one of the eight series planned by Netflix for India. These include Ghoul, a supernatural horror series starring Radhika Apte, and Leila, based on another bestselling novel by Prayaag Akbar. There are also Crocodile, Again and Selection Day in the pipeline. 

A study by Finder.com suggests that Netflix has acquired 4,706 titles of Indian shows, and the India library ranks sixth in their all-time list.