Bollywood is increasingly adapting books—but only English ones

The Bengali, Malayalam and Tamil film industries borrow heavily from regional language literature. What stops filmmakers in Hindi cinema?

Bollywood has rekindled its love for books—and not just those written by Chetan Bhagat.

In the past five years, some of the best-known web series—Sacred Games, Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story, Leila—have been adapted from books. Films like Gangubai Kathiawadi, Serious Men and Raazi, too, trace their roots to books.

This trend is only set to pick up. Zoya Akhtar is making a film based on Archie’s comics. Hansal Mehta’s upcoming web series, Scoop, is based on the real-life account penned by journalist Jigna Vora. Vishal Bharadwaj’s upcoming film Khufiya, on the intelligence agencies in India, is adapted from …


Omkar Khandekar

Omkar specializes in long-form narrative features and has reported from India, the UK, Germany and the Maldives. He writes across beats, from politics and crime to cinema and sports. His works have been published in Indian and international outlets including The Caravan, Mint Lounge, the BBC, Al Jazeera and The Huffington Post.

Senior Features Writer