Disney+ Hotstar has released the first look at Sushmita Sen (Main Hoon Na) in its next original series — Aarya — under the “Hotstar Specials” banner. It doesn’t reveal much, except that Sen’s title character is physically strong. That somewhat fits with a report from April which claimed that Aarya is a remake of the Dutch crime thriller series Penoza, about a widow who takes over her husband’s organised crime business after he’s killed, in lieu of turning into a state witness. Aarya has been directed by Ram Madhvani (Neerja) and is a production of Ram Madhvani Films and Endemol Shine Entertainment.
Aarya was one of the few productions that managed to wrap up just before the ongoing coronavirus pandemic swept India. The Disney+ Hotstar series began filming in December last year in Rajasthan and finished shooting just before “the world came to a standstill,” Sen wrote on Instagram in April. It was originally slated to première alongside the arrival of Disney+ in India, but delays in post-production were brought on by everyone working from home, Sen added. Disney+ Hotstar has yet to announce a release date for Aarya, but it will likely release later in June.
According to Peeping Moon, Madhvani has been working on a Penoza remake for at least six years, having first conceptualised it as a feature-length film in 2014 with Kajol in the lead. But Kajol stepped away from the role due to contract talks seemingly. Madhuri Dixit was also attached to the project, but Aarya eventually landed up in development hell.
Peeping Moon also said that Aarya is based on Penoza. The Dutch series ran for five seasons followed by a movie between 2010 and 2019. Penoza has previously been remade by Melissa Rosenberg (Jessica Jones) as Red Widow in the US in 2013, which lasted eight episodes in a single season; and as Gåsmamman in Sweden in 2015, which has aired four seasons since.
Sen was last seen in the 2015 Bengali drama Nirbaak. But her last major role was in the 2010 action comedy No Problem, alongside Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, and Akshaye Khanna.
Aarya will be out in June on Disney+ Hotstar.
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