Khateja Qureshi | Published On: Oct, 24, 2022 | 07:57 AM
Nawazuddin Siddiqui became the pioneer for actors when it comes to jumping on the OTT bandwagon. He was seen in Netflix’s acclaimed web series, Sacred Games, way back in 2018 and it exploded in such a way that there was no looking back for the digital industry. In 2020, once films started releasing directly online due to the shutdown of cinemas, his slice-of-life Ghoomketu was the first one to premiere on the internet, on Zee5. The same year also saw the release of his Netflix original films, Raat Akeli Hai and Serious Men. He had no release in 2021 and was directly seen in 2022 as the antagonist in Tiger Shroff’s Heropanti 2. His fans have wondered that when he has completed nearly a dozen projects, why don’t we see his new releases frequently in cinemas or on OTT?
A source has revealed “As per the latest developments, OTT platforms have stopped accepting films for direct premieres. They are insisting that producers release their films in cinemas first. For direct-to-digital films, the onus of marketing the film falls on streaming giants. In many cases, they were handed over mediocre products, which didn’t get the desired viewership, leading to losses for OTT platforms as they paid a bomb to buy the films. Hence, the change of policy.”
The source continued, “The small films have faced the maximum brunt of this new rule. And many films of Nawazuddin Siddiqui have got stuck like Jogira Sara Ra Ra, Noorani Chehra, Adbhut, Sangeen, Bole Chudiyan, Rome Roam Mein, No Land’s Man etc. The OTT giants asked the producers to release the film in cinemas first. But in cinemas, these films won’t get healthy box office returns, considering how the market is right now for small, indie films.”
The source continued, “In July, the producers of Jogira Sara Ra Ra made it clear that contrary to reports, their film will release in cinemas first. But the truth is that they are compelled to do so and they would have been more than happy to skip a theatrical release.”
The source also added, “Bole Chudiyan has been ready for a long time and co-stars Tamannaah Bhatia. The same goes for Rome Roam Mein; it is directed by Tannishtha Chatterjee and she also features in the film. Eros International has backed the film. But releasing it in cinemas is a struggle as it’s too niche.”
In July 2022, Nawazuddin Siddiqui did make his displeasure clear with the streaming giants. In an interview, he said, “There are so many films that even OTT platforms are not ready to take. Film festivals mein unn filmon ke baare mein baat ki jaa rahi hai.”
In the same interview, he thundered, “OTT ko stars chahiye, superhit stars. But who did OTT start with? Actors! It (the medium and its success) was because of them. But today, no one feels the need for actors at all on the medium.”
However, all hope is not lost. The source revealed, “Nawazuddin Siddiqui has also worked in Afwaah, co-starring Bhumi Pednekar, and directed by Sudhir Mishra. T-Series has co-produced the film and they’ll be releasing it soon in theatres, maybe this year. The other film to get a confirmed release is Tiku Weds Sheru. Produced by Kangana Ranaut, it is an Amazon Prime original film.”
Meanwhile, Nawazuddin Siddiqui is currently working on Haddi. Its first look, featuring him as a woman, went viral on social media. He’s also going to be seen in a prominent role in the biopic of Chhattisgarh’s legendary folk artiste, Teejan Bai. Nawazuddin’s wife, Aaliya Siddiqui, is the producer of this movie.