If Everybody Loves Raymond can be made into Star Plus’ Sumit Sambhal Lega, and the iconic F.R.I.E.N.D.S can be made into Zee TV’s Hello Friends (Central Perk becomes Uncle Sam’s Cafe, it’s all downhill from there), then who says the beloved The Big Bang Theory will remain untouched from the claws of adaptation.
The sitcom, about four friends, all male, all nerds, attempting to navigate life and love, is funny in both a cerebral and silly way. Over the seasons, each one falls in love, and with an increasing feminine presence, the show morphs into something more real, more humorous and more affecting.
The adaptations mentioned in the beginning were quite awful, and so there’s no promise for this adaptation, if and when it occurs, to be good. We are just putting our best foot forward here.
Ranbir Kapoor as Sheldon Cooper
Ranbir Kapor is towering, literally, and that helps visually place him as the tall, lanky, and pale Sheldon Cooper. Kapoor’s filmography has enough socially dysfunctional characters in it to merit this role- of a theoretical physicist who takes years to finally understand how sarcasm works, how the world isn’t literal, and often doesn’t lend itself to neat bow-tied theories of physics.
Jitendra Kumar as Leonard Hofstadter
Jitendra has this supportive, but threatening, comforting but constantly-trying-to-push-you demeanour that comes off, perhaps because of the roles he has played, as a tutor in Kota Factory, as a homosexual lover in an unsupportive family in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, as a urban changemaker in rural India in Panchayat. I can see him as Leonard Hofstadter, with lingering mommy-issues, always loving but always challenging his room-mate, and best friend Sheldon Kapoor… Cooper.
Janhvi Kapoor as Penny Hofstadter
This is the ditz who sets Leonard’s heart on a blitz. The loving, free-wheeling, free-loving character, way-out-of Leonard’s league neighbour, who eventually finds love and stasis with him. Janhvi’s Dhadak spunk and the restless quietude of her Ghost Stories performance gives her a range that suits Penny- who over the series finds meaning in both love and work, friends, and family.
Ayushmann Khurrana as Howard Wolowitz
Long hair, no beard, creepy-grin, loveable-ish, intelligent, but doubting his intellect surrounded by people higher in the hierarchy of institutional knowledge, Howard is a bundle of contradictions. As a viewer you seem to oscillate between affection and eye-rolling. Khurrana might be best to bring this character, who is as loveable as he is problematic, as charming as he is creepy, to life, seeing how he handled such wobbly characters in Bala, Vicky Donor, and Badhai Ho. (If anything the recent photo shared of a photoshoot with his brother when they were younger just makes this conviction stronger)
Sanya Malhotra as Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz
There is a decisive shrillness to both Bernadette and some of the characters Sanya Malhotra has played that will be perfect for adaptation. I am thinking of her Pataakha character’s scheming, adversarial, mushy heartedness. Something like that, with less bronzer, perhaps.
Parvathy Thiruvothu as Amy Farrah Fowler
Amy is such a burst of fresh air when she comes into Sheldon’s life at the fag end of the third season. A neuroscientist, she has both the intellectual capacity of Sheldon and the emotional capacity of most other functional humans. Her journey as a character and how it disentangles Sheldon needs a figure that is as vulnerable as it is haughty, and Parvathy’s performance in Uyare as the acid attack survivor who continues to pursue her dream of being a pilot stands in as its own audition tape for this role.
Danish Sait as Rajesh “Raj” Koothrappali
This is a bit tricky because Raj as a character is often seen as the ‘outsider’- the Indian in America, but so deeply privileged, with parents with deeply lined pockets. Both aspects of his Indian-ness, his richness and his accent are exaggerated. I think Danish Sait might be a fun person to play this character. If the series was to be made in Hindi, his Kannadiga “outsider” humour might be an interesting way to adapt the show.
Kunal Kemmu as Stuart Bloom
The lonely, creepy, but affectionate comic book store owner that the four friends frequent, might find a curious adaptation in Kunal Kemmu. Though Khemu has often been seen in comical characters that are clueless, and are attempting to make sense of the chaos, it would be interesting to see him in a character which is resigned to his fate, not attempting to make sense of it, challenge it, just… wallow in it.