Varun Dhawan will lead the Indian instalment of the big-budget spy series Citadel, making his streaming debut with Amazon Prime Video. Amazon made the announcement on Tuesday, with producers Anthony and Joe Russo — collectively called the Russo Brothers — welcoming the Bollywood actor to the Citadel universe in a tweet. The Citadel India spin-off series, which is set to begin filming in January 2023, will be helmed by the filmmaking duo Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K. (Raj and DK) — best known for The Family Man — serving as showrunners, writers, and directors. Further details on the cast and a potential release window will be revealed in time.
“We are thrilled to see yet another production within the Citadel universe commencing, this time in India. We, and all of AGBO, consider it an honour to be collaborating with filmmakers as inspiring as DK and Raj, who bring a unique vision, style, and tone to our collection of global series,” executive producers Anthony and Joe Russo said in a prepared statement. “And, we can’t wait to see how this remarkable cast brings their and Sita’s imaginative characters to life.” The latter is in reference to the co-writer Sita R. Menon, who rose to prominence with 2013’s Go Goa Gone. Additional local-language Citadel productions are also in the works, starting with an Italian version starring Matilda De Angelis (The Undoing).
The untitled Dhawan-led Indian Citadel series is set within the Russo’s “Citadel universe,” which explores interconnected spy storylines, across various countries. The initial US-set version was greenlit back in 2020, with Priyanka Chopra Jonas (The White Tiger) and Richard Madden (Eternals) headlining, what is reportedly among the most expensive series to be produced — with a budget over $200 million (about Rs. 1,655 crore). The Russo Brothers are known for their contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which led to them founding their own AGBO studio in 2017.
Key credits include Extraction and The Gray Man, both of which are now available to stream on Netflix. With Citadel, the brothers are moving to Amazon Prime Video, alongside their subsequent regional instalments. Plot details on the Russo Brothers’ Citadel are scarce, and it is merely described as “an expansive and groundbreaking global event series,” with spin-offs set in the Italian Alps, Brazil, France, Mexico, and aforementioned India.
“The Indian instalment of the distinctive and scintillating Citadel universe is amongst our most exciting projects, and collaborating with the Russo Brothers’ AGBO has truly been a thrilling opportunity,” said Aparna Purohit, head of India originals, Amazon Prime Video. “After the phenomenal success of The Family Man, working with Raj & DK on this project feels like we’re further cementing our creative partnership. We are certain that with this series, we will push the envelope several notches higher and present a truly immersive experience to our viewers.”
Currently, there is no release window for the Dhawan-led Indian instalment of Citadel.