Second season of ‘Rocket Boys’ soon

While the first season of the show aired on February 4, the shoot for the second season has already been completed

Siddharth Roy Kapur
Siddharth Roy Kapur

Garima Sadhwani

Streaming on SonyLiv, Siddharth Roy Kapur’s latest production, Rocket Boys, is a passion project in the truest sense. Always on the lookout for untold stories, Kapur says that when a young writer from his team pitched a show on Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai, that revolved around how intertwined their lives were, Kapur had to say yes!

Says Kapur, “It was fascinating to see the lives of these two great men unfold, to see them being close friends, their shared experiences, their mentor-mentee relationship, the love they shared, losses and failures and successes. It was all the more interesting to see this at a time when India was on the cusp of making decisions about how to move forward as an independent country.”

What’s even more interesting is that while the first season of the show aired on February 4, the shoot for the second season has already been completed.

Kapur says it’s not just economical and efficient, but since the creative momentum is allowed to flow without any break, it makes all the more logistical sense. Kapur says, “I think we have to give a lot of credit to SonyLiv for this. It takes a lot of belief and guts for a platform to take that plunge.”

But telling the stories of real people on screen is not an easy task. For Kapur, it was also a matter of responsibility to carefully curate what you portray since their lives are already in the public domain, dramatizing it only where the script demanded creativity. The process did become a bit easier since the Sarabhai family pitched in and helped with anecdotes and stories about both the characters. “All of that gave a lot of flesh and blood to the characters,” says Kapur.

One thing that set the shoot of this show apart from all the others was that Mallika Sarabhai herself choreographed the sequence to which her mother’s on-screen character danced. Kapur says, “I think Regina did a tremendous job with the performance and it was wonderful to see the reel and real converging is such a beautiful way.” Rocket Boys is also Kapur’s first collaboration with Nikhil Advani, who Kapur thinks shares a very similar sensibility to his when it comes to films. Kapur says, “I’ve always loved his work, and when I shared this idea with him, he loved it too because of his interest in space.”

But this collaboration is not going to be a one-time thing. Kapur strongly believes that production houses should come together more often. “One production house performs one function, the other performs another and you can just get more done. It makes sense creatively, and commercially and the sky's the limit in terms of what you can achieve.”

Apart from Rocket Boys, Kapur also has his hands full with a lot of other projects. Pippa, a film based on the 1971 war, starring Ishaan Khattar and Mrunal Thakur is set to be released by the end of this year. Wo Ladki Hai Kahan with Taapsee Pannu and Pratik Gandhi is also being shot and will release later this year.

With all the love that Aranyak has got, its second season is also in the works. Kapur says, “We're so thrilled to know that Aranyak was received so, so well. It broke into the global top 10 non-English language shows on Netflix in the first week of its launch.” But Kapur thinks the entire credit goes to the team, the actors and especially the writers for “coming together during a very stressful time”.

Kapur adds that it wasn’t just his team though, but the entire film and television industry that pulled itself together at a time when everyone was dealing with something traumatic. Working as the President of the Producers’ Guild of India, Kapur saw all of this very closely.

“At the height of the pandemic, the whole industry got together and very generously contributed large amounts to ensure that there were rations and supplies reaching the daily wage earners of our industry, that resources went into their bank accounts directly and then conducting vaccination drives as well,” shares Kapur proudly.

What makes him happier is that the industry pushed all hurdles to keep creating, writing and being resourceful throughout the lockdowns. “My peers taught me resilience. And in the best way,” smiles Kapur.

(This was first published in National Herald on Sunday)

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