What Would A Hollywood/World Cinema Recasting Of The Mohanlal-starrer Drishyam Series Look Like?
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The Drishyam series, starring Mohanlal and directed by Jeethu Joseph, with two back-to-back blockbusters, has already become one of the most coveted Indian film franchises. Apart from several remakes in many different Indian languages, Drishyam even got an official Chinese remake called Sheep Without A Shepherd, which went on to become one of the biggest hits of 2019. Drishyam 2 is expected to be remade in as many languages.

But its domination isn’t over yet. In a recent interview, director Jeethu Joseph spoke of how an Indian producer based out of Hollywood had expressed interest in making an official Hollywood version. Although unconfirmed, Jeethu even said that the film would star Hilary Swank (“the actress from Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby”) reprising the role of Georgekutty, played by Mohanlal. While interest in such a crossover might have doubled now, there’s no harm in reimagining the two-part series with some Hollywood actors/series. Taking five such scenarios, here’s a wish-fulfilment exercise to see what that would look like.

Breaking Bad recasting of Drishyam 

For lots of people, Drishyam has become quite the character study with a lot of analysis going into the deterioration of Georgekutty’s mindset. Going beyond morality, it’s interesting to see what the killing and ensuing cover-up has done to this character’s complex mental framework. Another show that led to many such studies is Breaking Bad, where a regular chemistry teacher becomes the kingpin of a massive drug empire because of circumstances, and a whole lot more. What if Bryan Cranston, who played Walter White, reprises the Georgekutty character? His great acting along with the legacy of another iconic character could lead to a fine remake. Aaron Paul could even play Varun Prabhakar, the shady son of police IG who got what he deserved. Hank Shrader (Dean Norris) as the police constable doing everything in his capacity to fight Georgekutty and Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) as the all-powerful police chief (played by Asha Sarath in the original), would make the drama equally powerful.

Rosamund Pike as Georgekutty 

Along with Gone Girl and the newly-released I Care A Lot, Rosamund Pike is on her way to becoming a much-loved villain. Would it work if she played a version of Georgekutty? Like how Hilary Swank would have reprised the role, it needn’t be a man playing the character at all. With someone like Pike playing it, we’d be exposed to newer players and more complex interpretations of the character that go beyond the patriarch playing the protector. A mother battling another mother in such a dire situation would only make the drama more tense. Someone like Cate Blanchett or Sarah Paulson would do great as IG Geetha Prabhakar. The other characters would just as easily fall in place for a much more emotional series.

A Marvel/DC Actors Crossover  

This might seem like low-hanging fruit but the superstardom of many of the MCU or DC stars would help making Drishyam a truly global franchise. Robert Downey Jr. playing Georgekutty might be the easiest way to get there but won’t it be cool if Wonder Woman herself (Gal Gadot) becomes his adversary? Iron Man has also doubled up as Sherlock Holmes for Guy Ritchie, so it’s not exactly far-fetched. And for Drishyam 2, even Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) could play the undercover police officer. There’s just too many options to choose from if Disney ever wishes to get a hand on this lucrative series from India.

Parasite

Both Georgekutty and Song Kang-Ho (the father of the Kim family), have something in common. Both of them unintentionally find themselves up against members of a relatively higher social class: Geetha Prabhakar (Asha Sarath) in Drishyam and The Park couple in Parasite. They are forced into doing morally gray acts for the protection and survival of their families (and as we saw in Drishyam 2, also themselves). Like the Kim family, the Georgekuttys are also tight-knit. They know that family members back each other up, because others won’t.

Just as you could read Parasite as a narrative of class conflict, Drishyam also depicts (without highlighting it) how an ordinary person like Georgekutty is forced to resort to subterfuge in the cause of his version of justice. With a powerful Geetha Prabhakar after his family, he didn’t have any other option.

Homer Simpson as a parody of Georgekutty

If a parody of the Drishyam films were made, the Simpsons should be cast in it. You might think there’s very little in common between Georgekutty and Homer Simpson and you’d be right—except that both of them would do anything to protect their families. Homer’s methods might be less intelligent, but he’s equally successful. But there’s no denying that he sacrificed himself for Marge (his Rani) when they were accused of murder in ‘The Frying Game’. He almost gets the electric chair before it’s revealed to him that it was all a prank.

Sabu and Sarita who spy on the Georgekuttys could be played by Ned and Maude Flanders who are very nosey too. Mister Burns, who hates Homer, could play Circle Inspector Philipp Mathew. He would make life hell for Georgekutty.

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