Stan Lee’s Indian Superhero ‘Chakra’ to Receive Bollywood Adaptation
It’s not brought up too frequently in the recent waves of D.C. and Marvel blockbusters, but it’s kind of messed up that all the superheroes appear to be headquartered in New York. Yes, Manhattan magnetically attracts mega-powered megalomaniacs like mosquitos to a BBQ, but the rest of America, not to mention the rest of Earth, needs help as well. The comic books saw the Marvel universe establish a 50 States Initiative to ensure superheroic defense all across America, and the movies tend to send heroes on a jet toward danger wherever it may fall on the globe, but the reaction time is simply too slow.
Enter Chakra the Invincible, a superhero created by Stan Lee, Sharad Devarajan, and Gotham Chopra to serve the inhabitants of India. The subject of a string of comic books along with an animated film geared toward the sizable Indian market (2013’s animated film ran in English on Cartoon Network, but was also translated into Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu) will soon take on another new life with a full-blown Bollywood live-action adaptation, Variety reports.
Co-creator Lee will help develop the script with Devarajan, with Vikramaditya Motwane (a Cannes veteran for his 2010 film Udaan) set to direct. Though the comics imagined hero Raju as a young boy living on the mean streets of Mumbai, the live-action project will age him into his early twenties. In both cases, he’ll make use of a special suit that unlocks his chakras (seven centers of spiritual energy distributed throughout the human body) and empowers him with special abilities he uses to cleanse the subcontinent of crime.
A project such as this cannot be as easily retrofitted for English-speaking audiences as a redubbed animated project, so if a Chakra the Invincible picture does make it to America, it will probably arrive with subtitles, which could be a major turn-off to the sorts of audiences that make superhero films into billion-dollar hits. Regardless, it’d be nice to add a little diversity to the palette of superheroes, not to mention that fantastical filmmaking possibilities attached to an Indian superhero working primarily on the spiritual plane. It could be a dose of psychedelia that makes the upcoming Dr. Strange look like The Fantastic Four.