Applause Entertainment greenlights financial thriller ‘Scam 1992’

MUMBAI: In 1992, a storm descended on India’s financial circle, when the biggest securities scam was exposed by financial journalist Sucheta Dalal. ‘Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story’ is the tale of a seminal moment in a seminal decade in Indian history.

Applause Entertainment, the content studio from the Aditya Birla group is creating this white-collar-crime financial thriller, based on Debashis Basu and Sucheta Dalal’s best-selling book ‘The Scam’. The series is being directed by National Award-winning director Hansal Mehta and is produced by Studio Next for Applause Entertainment.

Celebrated theatre and movie actor Pratik Gandhi, who is known for his work in Gujarati theatre and cinema, portrays the role of one of the most controversial stockbrokers of all times – Harshad Mehta. Shreya Dhanwanthary, who has been in the news for her performance in recent shows like The Family Man and The Reunion, will be seen playing the role of the fierce journalist and whistle-blower Sucheta Dalal.

The protagonist Harshad Mehta actually entered the stock market by chance in the late 70s. He had a natural gift for speculation and entrepreneurship, and an eye for loopholes. This ingenuity coupled with brash self-confidence made him the Big Bull of BSE – often called ‘Amitabh Bachchan’ and ‘Einstein’ of the stock market. Soon Harshad became the common man’s hero, and his clients were investing less in the stocks and more in Harshad himself.

Ace casting director, Mukesh Chhabra along with Hansal Mehta discovered the talented Pratik Gandhi for this character. The series boasts over 30 featured parts representing colourful, real life characters played by actors like Satish Kaushik, Anant Mahadevan, Rajat Kapoor, Nikhil Dwivedi, K K Raina, Lalit Parimoo and many others. The book has been brilliantly adapted by screenplay and dialogue writers Sumit Purohit, Saurav Dey, Vaibhav Vishal, and Karan Vyas.

Applause Entertainment CEO Sameer Nair said, “Scam 1992 brings together a passionate team focused on creating a powerful and engaging narrative, that of a stockbroker who single-handedly took the stock market to dizzying heights, and almost brought down a government. We have found a remarkable director in Hansal and together with an exceptional cast, we promise to give audiences a thrilling treat.”

Sucheta Dalal said, “Harshad Mehta’s 1992 Scam was a sensational event. I was fortunate to witness it at close quarters and break the story. I’m glad that Applause Entertainment has chosen this subject and is developing it for our growing digital audiences. Having known most of the characters in real life, I’m really looking forward to seeing Harshad Mehta being brought alive by Pratik Gandhi and Hansal Mehta.”

Hansal Mehta, Showrunner and Director, commented, “I said yes to this project as soon as Sameer told me that Applause has bought the rights of this book. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, we all knew Harshad as a fascinating, larger than life character, and I am happy to be able to tell his story. We are nearing shoot completion and are hoping to soon present a phenomenal show with a brilliant cast of actors.”

Studio Next Producer Indranil Chakraborty said, “We are extremely delighted to produce this series for Applause Entertainment. Scam 1992 is one of our most important projects and it will surely create a stir in the digital universe. Hansal Mehta along with Pratik Gandhi and Shreya Dhanwanthary are exceptional in their craft. We, StudioNext have done detailed research in recreating the period detail of the 80s & 90s to give the audience a more real like experience.”

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