Indian production house Yash Raj Films (YRF) is launching a streaming content production business, YRF Entertainment, which has set The Railway Men, about the 1984 Bhopal industrial disaster, as its first project.
Directed by newcomer Shiv Rawail, the project is described as “a tribute to the railway workers at Bhopal station who are the unsung heroes of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, the world’s biggest man-made industrial disaster”. Thousands of people died and more than 500,000 were exposed to toxic gas following the leak at the Union Carbide India pesticide plant in Bhopal in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
The Railway Men, which started shooting yesterday (December 1), will star R. Madhavan, Kay Kay Menon, Divyenndu Sharma and Babil Khan. YRF chief Aditya Chopra will mentor Rawail during the making of the series.
It will start streaming on December 2, 2022 to mark the sacrifice the railway workers made during the disaster, which took place on the night of December 2-3, 1984.
YRF Entertainment plans to produce four other high-profile projects in its first year of operations. YRF senior vice president, Akshaye Widhani, 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.”
YRF is understood to be planning to launch its own streaming service, but hasn’t said whether The Railway Men will stream on this service or a third-party platform. The studio has licensed several of its iconic films, such as Darr, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Dil To Pagal Hai, to Amazon Prime, and more recently struck a deal with the streamer for current release Bunty Aur Babli 2 and upcoming titles Prithviraj, Jayeshbhai Jordaar and Shamshera.