In many ways, fan casting Succession feels like blasphemy. To reimagine a show in which the casting, along with…pretty much everything else feels near perfect, to think of any aspect of it in a different way feels wrong. But, if you really think about it, at it's core Succession is a very Indian show. A warring industrial family constantly battling it out for power and control? A satire on the absurdly rich centred on a spectacularly dysfunctional family ruled by a controlling parent? It's like it was made for us. That in mind, here's our take on what an Indian adaptation of the show might look like and the actors we think would do a great job of taking on the mantle of the powerful ensemble.
Sure, there's an element of typecasting at play here as we've seen the fantastic actor play the formidable father before in projects like Gurgaon and Mirzapur. But none quite like Logan Roy, who's a different kind of dominating dad, known for constantly manipulating, abusing and belittling his children. He's busy pitting them against each other, and giving them the illusion of validation while constantly reigning them in and crippling them. You can see what an artist like Pankaj Tripathi would do with the role of the mastermind behind a right wing media empire, and how he would make it his own. Just the thought of him playing the part makes you wish this was an actual thing.
The show's protagonist and arguably its most complex character, for Kendall you'd need someone who could be both vulnerable and self assured, empathetic and heartless, upfront and scheming. In short – unpredictable. The potential heir to the empire, business bro Kendall not only has your sympathies for how much he's endured at the hands of his father but also for how much he's willing to lose himself to get the top job. Vikrant Massey would do a fine job to explore Kendall's heart-breaking softer side as well as his difficult job of becoming a proverbial killer to dethrone his father.
Shiv is the Roy with a superiority complex who thinks she's better than her power-hungry squabbling siblings, despite herself being as much a part of that game as anyone else. We think Sobhita Dhulipala would make a fine Shiv, arguably the smartest of the Roy siblings, known for walking all over her hapless, lovesick husband. We've seen Sobhita's affinity for cold, calculating characters in Made In Heaven and this would would be, in some way, a natural extension to that role.
It's tough to use 'favourite character' in an ensemble as terrific as Succession but for many Roman Roy takes the cake as the most playful Roy we hate to love. No seriously, you could actually imagine him literally taking the cake from some kid's birthday party. The foul-mouthed no-shits-given cheeky bastard who is just a joy to watch, requires someone who can do justice to his grandiose cockiness and also be the court jester sibling who's never taken seriously. Our vote goes to Shashank Arora who's shown us shades of a similar attitude in Made In Heaven as well as exploring complex inner turmoil in Titli.
As the adorably deluded and empty eldest sibling who keeps his distance from the ongoing family power struggles, our pick for Connor goes to Manav Kaul. You can easily see the talented actor excel at exploring the comedic side of the rich airhead who's somehow both the smartest of the lot, having removed himself from the equation, as much as he is utterly out of touch with reality. Or… as Shiv describes him "the first pancake" – the misshapen one you throw in the trash before trying to get it right again.
It's tough not to fall entirely in love with the lovable mess that is Tom Wombsgans in all his unstable eccentricities and glorious quirks. To recreate Tom, if that is at all possible, you'd need someone who could do justice to all the wonderfully weird aspects of him – from squirmy suck up to pushover dork husband to charmingly abusive boss. Someone who can be a lion, weasel and abandoned puppy with equal fervour. Namit Das showed signs of a similar duality in the recent Aarya and we bet on him to do something great with the character.
The overlooked simpleton outsider who quickly learns the rules of the game and develops a taste for power, we think Rajkummar Rao would do great things with Greg the Egg. The actor has already proved his comic chops in Bareilly Ki Barfi, as well as played the power-hungry opportunist in films like Gangs Of Wasseypur, which makes him the ideal choice for the easily startled, dopy character you wouldn't think twice about, which is the very reason he's not to be underestimated.
As the reserved, shadowy figure who's universally hated by the Roy children for being a 'trophy wife', Marcia projects importance as Logan's better half but deep down is just as vulnerable to his whims and manipulation. She is by all accounts a survivor in the constant powerplay and we think Geetika Vidya Ohlan would do a great job at bringing to life the disregarded wife who's a lot smarter than she's given credit for.