Bollywood ace director Meghna Gulzar has joined hands with Reliance Entertainment’s Phantom Films to produce a series on the life of the highly reputed top cop, and former Commissioner of Mumbai Police, Rakesh Maria. Exploring his experiences and various cases of his career, the series will be helmed by Raazi director Meghna Gulzar.
Rakesh Maria led the 26/11 Mumbai attacks investigation
“I am happy to re-live the journey, especially when piloted by a brilliant and sensitive director like Meghna Gulzar, and a production house of the calibre of Reliance Entertainment’s Phantom Films. More than the nostalgia, it’s also a valuable opportunity to place before the people the extraordinary work of the Mumbai Police when facing tough challenges and working against all odds," Rakesh Maria said expressing his excitement for the series.
Graduated from St. Xavier's, Mumbai, Rakesh cleared his Civil Service Examination from the 1981 batch. As Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) in 1993, he cracked the Bombay serial blasts case, and later moved to DCP (Crime) and then Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), of the Mumbai Police. Maria also solved the 2003 Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar twin blasts case.
“Mr Rakesh Maria’s life-experiences and his prolific career in law-enforcement are a powerful lens to explore the chronology of crime and terror, in our society – as a city, as well as, as a country and a geographical region. The potential of this content is limitless, and that is supremely exciting for me. The collaboration with Reliance Entertainment’s Phantom Films and Madhu Mantena – both synonymous with cutting-edge narratives and vision – is a first I’m looking forward to greatly," Meghna Gulzar said.
He was also the in-charge of investigating the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in 2008 and interrogated Ajmal Kasab, the only terrorist captured alive, and successfully investigated the case.
“We are delighted to partner with one of the most distinguished law enforcement officers of our times, Rakesh Maria, to present the courageous accomplishments of his career, and the unacknowledged contributions of thousands of members of the Mumbai Police, safeguarding the security of our city 24x7x365. We are also pleased that Meghna Gulzar, one of the country’s most talented young directors, is collaborating with us to present and direct the series," Amitabh Jhunjhunwala, vice chairman, Reliance Entertainment said.
Also, in Anurag Kashyap's 2007 film Black Friday which was based on the 1993 blasts, Kay Kay Menon played the role of Rakesh Maria. Nana Patekar was seen as Maria in the Ram Gopal Varma film The Attacks of 26/11.
Madhu Mantena, one of the co-founders of Phantom Films. also shared, “Phantom Films has always been a director’s company. We are very excited about our collaboration with Meghna to produce the series on the illustrious career of Mr Rakesh Maria.”
On the work front, Meghna Gulzar latest offering Raazi, co-starring Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kauhsal went on to break records. The film was an adaptation of Harinder Sikka’s novel Calling Sehmat which is inspired by real events about an Indian spy married to a Pakistani military officer prior to the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 on the order of her father.