The first production from YRF Entertainment, India’s Yash Raj Films’ streaming business, is “The Railway Men,” a tribute to the unsung heroes of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.
A cloud of toxic gas escaped from an American pesticide plant, in 1984, in the central Indian city of Bhopal. It killed and injured thousands of people. The protagonists of “The Railway Men” are workers at the Bhopal railway station who saved thousands of lives.
The cast is led by R. Madhavan (“Breathe”), Kay Kay Menon (“Special OPS”), Divyenndu Sharma (“Mirzapur”) and emerging talent Babil Khan, who is the son of the late Irrfan Khan.
The series marks the directorial debut of Shiv Rawail, who has had previous stints as assistant director on Yash Raj Films productions “Dhoom 3,” starring Aamir Khan, and “Fan,” starring Shah Rukh Khan. Rawail was first AD on “Befikre,” starring Ranveer Singh, which was directed by Yash Raj Films’ chair and MD Aditya Chopra.
Filming began on Dec. 1, the day before the 37th anniversary of the tragedy which took place on Dec. 2. The series will bow on Dec. 2, 2022.
YRF Entertainment plans a total of five streaming series over the upcoming year.
Akshaye Widhani, senior VP at Yash Raj Films said: “The Bhopal Gas Tragedy is the world’s worst industrial disaster that has impacted scores of people since the tragedy struck the city 37 years ago. At YRF, we are constantly trying to develop the best compelling stories for audience and this is our tribute to the unsung heroes of the tragedy who, despite saving thousands of lives on that fateful day, are still unknown to people across the world.”
Yogendra Mogre, executive producer at YRF Entertainment added: “’The Railway Men’ is our salute to their spirit, their courage and their humanity. This is a story that needed to be told. We are not going to leave any stone unturned to ensure that this story reaches out to audiences, across the world, in the best possible way so that they can understand the depth of devastation that this tragedy has caused in India.”
Separately, a series on the overall Bhopal Gas tragedy, based on Dominique Lapierre and Javier Moro’s 1997 book, “Five Past Midnight in Bhopal: The Epic Story of the World’s Deadliest Industrial Disaster,” produced by Ronnie Screwvala’s RSVP and directed by Richie Mehta, is also in the works.