Nearly a decade ago, film and TV producer Ekta Kapoor decided to tap into passion of Indian youth audiences by mainstreaming the classic slasher genre in the country with her film Ragini MMS. But little did she know that it would turn into a "huge mass brand" one day.
After the success of Ragini MMS in 2011, Ekta collaborated with Sunny Leone for its sequel that came out three years later. The film was an average success but catapulted Sunny to great stardom. However, Ekta revealed she chose to not come up with the third movie in the popular erotic horror film franchise due to the censorship dilemma.
"Ragini MMS started as a 1 crore rupees film and it was an interesting idea to do. It was also Rajkummar Rao’s launch. We've always tried to keep it a bit of young and sexy. America has a lot of date horror movies which are like those slasher films such as Scream. And, these films are great fun for young people because not everyone wants to go to a theatre to have a serious experience. So, Ragini MMS was a combination of that and it did very well for itself. Then we did the second one with Sunny Leone and it did extremely well but then came the censors on the movies. And soon, we had Udta Punjab and other films getting stuck and I was like, 'I'm not doing this again to myself,'" Ekta said at the trailer launch of ALT Balaji's web series Ragini MMS Returns 2, which originally began in 2017.
Ekta said that she decided to turn the Ragini MMS franchise into a web series, owing to creative freedom on OTT platforms. She also spoke about how opting to include and talking sex is still a taboo in Hindi films.
"I thought that I must make Ragini MMS in a digital franchise because it has to be wild and fun. I don't think we've run away from the sex of it. We don't ever, but we've never ever promoted non-consensual sex in it. Even our ghost is a feminist. There's a fantastic line that Divya (Agarwal) says in the promo of Ragini MMS Returns 2, "She's only killing creeps who make MMS of women without consent." So, I have no problem with the sexual aspect of this show. I think we have to stop having problem with sex and I love the fact that it's got young, fun and vibrant men and women in the show," Ekta said.
"Ragini MMS is a hugely mass brand for me. India knows Ragini MMS in its movie and now digital format. I'm so happy doing this franchise and so proud of it," she added.
Ragini MMS Returns 2 stars Divya Agarwal, Varun Sood, Navneet Kaur, Thea Dsuuza, Aarti Khetarpal and Mohit Duseja. The series will be available to stream on Zee5 next week.
Follow @News18Movies for more