Not just The Night Manager, many Indian movies & shows have origins abroad

Feb 22, 2023

By: Srishti Magan

Credit: Hotstar

The Night Manager: a faithful adaptation

The Night Manager, the latest offering by Disney+Htstar, is the official Hindi remake of the Emmy-winning English mini-series of the same name. Originally based on the 1993 novel The Night Manager, the Hindi adaptation too offers brilliant performances that make up for the slightly cliched storytelling.

Credit: Hotstar

Indian adaptations: A tale as old as time

The Night Manager is the latest in the long history of remakes of foreign movies and shows. Here’s a look at some of the more memorable remakes:

Credit: Instagram


Anil Kapoor played the protagonist in 24, which was adapted from an American crime drama of the same name. One of the finer Hindi language adaptations, 24 was hailed for its casting and fast-paced storytelling.

Credit: IMDb

Laal Singh Chadha

Though it made for an amiable viewing, Aamir Khan starrer Laal Singh Chadha couldn’t hold up to the charm of the original, Tom Hanks starrer Forrest Gump. Its slow pace was better enjoyed on OTT than on the BO — where the film failed to draw crowds.

Credit: YouTube

Looop Lapeta

The official remake of the award-winning German film Run Lola Run, Looop Lapeta starred Taapsee Pannu (in fine form) and Tahir Raj Bhasin in lead roles. Visually appealing cinematography and strong performances made for a memorable watch.

Credit: Instagram

Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice features a new courtroom drama in every season, with the recurring appearance of Pankaj Tripathi, who plays a lawyer in the show. The first two seasons were inspired by the 2008 British drama of the same name. The third season appears to be an original.

Credit: Hotstar


An official remake of an Israeli series of the same name, Hostages starred Ronit Roy and Tisca Chopra in lead roles and was directed by Sudhir Mishra. Despite a strong starcast, the show was panned by critics for its storyline — which wasn’t altered for the Indian setting.

Credit: Hotstar

Bang Bang

Bang Bang starring Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif was adapted from Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz starrer Knight and Day. Neither of the movies offered anything original in terms of storytelling, but both made for an entertaining watch.

Credit: Hotstar


After a hiatus of five years, Sushmita Sen returned to the world of acting with Ram Madhvani’s Aarya — a crime-thriller based on the Dutch drama series Penoza. Despite the abundance of crime thrillers in Indian web series, the show found its audience.

Credit: Wikipedia


Based on the Spanish teen drama Elite, Class is a Netflix original series with a cast mostly made of debutantes. It explores concepts of class struggle, casteism and homophobia, among others.

Credit: IMDb

Rudra: The Edge of Darkness

Ajay Devgn made his OTT debut on Disney+Hotstar with the psychological thriller Rudra: The Edge of Darkness. Rudra was the remake of Idris Elba starrer British series Luther.

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The unofficial copies

The aforementioned series were official remakes, but the Indian entertainment industry has long had a habit of blatantly copying from the west without credit. - Kaante was based on Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, Aitraaz was heavily inspired by Demi Moore’s Disclosure, and Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha is a near replica of French Kiss.

Credit: BCCL

Imitation isn’t the greatest form of flattery

Not all Indian remakes were well made too. Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Out of Love couldn’t adapt the source material to an Indian setting, and the cast of We Are Family couldn’t hold a candle to the performances that Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts delivered in the original, Stepmom.

Credit: Netflix

Rare reversals

Usually, Indian projects take ‘inspiration’ from foreign material. But the reverse has been true in a few cases — the Sri Lankan film A Common Man is the official remake of A Wednesday, Chinese thriller Sheep Without a Shepherd is the remake of Drishyam, and 3 Idiots was remade as 3 Idiotas in Mexico.

Credit: IMDb

Beyond Pathaan: Indian films that grossed ₹1,000 crore worldwide