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Nana Patekar to Play RAW Chief RN Kao in 20-episode Web Series

Nana Patekar (L), RN Kao (R)

Nana Patekar (L), RN Kao (R)

Rameshwar Nath Kao was the brain behind the secretive Aviation Research Centre, India's premier technical intelligence agency.

Film producer Firoz Nadiadwala says he is making a web series as well as a feature film on the life of legendary spymaster Rameshwar Nath Kao, the founder of India's external intelligence agency Research & Analysis Wing (RAW).

Nadiadwala said he has been working on the series for five years and it will be lavishly produced.

"We have been working on this project for five years. It's a story that deserves to be shared and known by everyone, hence we are making it first as a web-series with 20 episodes being planned at the moment. We are in talks with two major streaming platforms for it," Nadiadwala told PTI.

The producer said the film will be made simultaneously with the same cast and crew.

"This is first of its kind of a project and hence it has taken a lot of time not just in research but also on planning and execution," Nadiadwala said.

He said the team is finalising cast and crew for the yet-to-be-titled project.

"We have Nana Patekar playing Mr Kao. We are in talks with other actors. An announcement regarding the cast and crew of the series will be made soon," he added.

Kao, an intensely private man, was one of the founding fathers of the Directorate General of Security (DGS) in the aftermath of the disastrous Sino-Indian conflict in 1962 and brain behind the secretive Aviation Research Centre, India's premier technical intelligence agency.

A deputy director at the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Kao took over as director of RAW in 1968 after former prime minister Indira Gandhi split the former to carve out an intelligence agency focused on international threats. Also, he was a close adviser and security chief to three Indian prime ministers -- Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.

Nadiadwala said the web series/feature film will draw inspiration from several real-life incidents.

"We will show the history and formation of RAW, like Mr Kao was earlier head of IB and then was appointed as chief of RAW by Indira Gandhi ji and Jawarharlal Nehru ji and the several missions undertaken by him. Our story is inspired from several true covert missions which RAW executed in foreign countries and in India to protect our national security," he added.

The producer said the team is likely to begin the shoot from November.

"We will be shooting with utmost care. Safety and security of our cast and crew is crucial to us. We will have PPE kits and other necessary equipment in place as and when we begin shoot," he said.

Earlier this year, filmmaker Karan Johar had announced that he is set to make a film on Kao and recently producer Sunil Bohra also revealed that he is producing a thriller web series on the spymaster.

Nadiadwala said he is not worried about the comparison and wished the other two producers good luck.

"We started our research work in 2015. If somebody else also wishes to make a web series or movie on the similar subject, we wish them all the best. We are in advance stage of commencing work."