A handful of Bollywood stars' offspring are all set to follow in their famous families' footsteps under the stewardship of acclaimed director Zoya Akhtar. On Monday, Akhtar posted a photo of a clapperboard, marking the first day of filming for The Archies, a Bollywood take on the famous American comic book series.
While Akhtar has not officially announced the film's cast, photos from the set have been widely circulated, causing a frenzy online owing to its starry cast. The film, a musical drama, is set to feature Suhana Khan, the daughter of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, as well as Agastya Nanda, the grandson of Indian film veteran Amitabh Bachchan, and Khushi Kapoor, the daughter of late Bollywood star Sridevi, among others.
What is 'The Archies' about?
Akhtar, whose last film Gully Boy (2019) was India's official entry for the Oscars, announced The Archies in November last year.
"Archie and the crew are about to get down and desi! The Archies, a coming-of-age musical drama directed by me. Coming soon to Netflix!," she posted on Instagram.
Akhtar, who has directed a number of box office hits including Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) and Dil Dhadakne Do (2015) will reunite with her long-time producing partner Reema Kagti for The Archies. The film will reportedly be set in India in the 1960s and will be the pair's first solo production for their Tiger Baby Studios.
“[Archie Comics] was a large part of my childhood and teenage years. The characters are iconic and globally loved, which is also why I am a little nervous. I have to make sure the film stokes the nostalgia of a generation that grew up on the comic and yet resonates with the young adults today,” Akhtar said when the film was announced.
Who's in the cast of 'The Archies'?
Although rumours have been doing the rounds in Bollywood that Akhtar's next project would launch a number of star children, neither director Akhtar nor the supposed cast members have publicly spoken about the film. But images taken from the film's set have all but confirmed the rumours, as well as a since-deleted tweet by Bachchan himself.
Sharing a post by a fan, which had pictures of the three star children, Bachchan said: "Agastya... a new chapter begins in your life and there cannot be greater joy among us all. My blessings, my love and my wishes ever. Do well and keep the flag flying!"
The post was soon deleted by the actor, 79, one of the most respected names in the film industry.
Agastya, 21, is the son of Bachchan's daughter, Shweta Bachchan Nanda and her businessman husband Nikhil Nanda.
Unlike his reported co-stars Suhana and Khushi, Agastya has no public profiles on social media, but often makes appearances on his mum's accounts, as well as those of his famous grandfather, and uncle, actor Abhishek Bachchan.
The London-educated Agastya comes from top film pedigree not only on his mother's side. His father is the great grandson of Raj Kapoor, often referred to as "The Greatest Showman of Indian Cinema".
Agastya has an older sister, Navya Naveli, 25.
Khushi, 21, the other star child set to make her debut, is already used to the limelight, often sharing snippets of her glamorous life with her more than 800,000 followers on Instagram. The younger daughter of Bollywood producer Boney Kapoor and late actress Sridevi, Khushi is all set to follow in the footsteps of elder sister Janhvi Kapoor, 25, who already has three films behind her.
An aspiring model before she landed her acting role, Khushi reportedly shares a close bond with her sister as well as her half-brother, the actor Arjun Kapoor and half-sister Anshula Kapoor, both from her father's first marriage.
She is also friends with Suhana, with whom she's set to make her Bollywood debut in The Archies.
The second child of Bollywood superstar Khan and interior designer Gauri Khan, Suhana, also 21, has been preparing for her time in the limelight. A trained dancer and drama student, Suhana is already a social media star, with more than two million followers on Instagram.
The Archies is not technically her first acting role. In 2019, she starred in a 10-minute film, The Grey Part of Blue, which she made while at school in England. The short has been viewed more than two million times on YouTube.
Suhana, who appeared on the cover of Vogue India in 2018, told the magazine she'd always known she was going to be an actress.
“I don’t think there was any one moment when I decided. Since I was young, I’d do all these accents and impressions. But my parents only realised I was serious about acting when they saw a performance of mine for the first time. I was playing Miranda in a school performance of The Tempest,” she said.
In the same interview, her father revealed he had no plans to give her an easy footing into the industry.
“Suhana’s not working towards a promise of being cast. She’s working towards being an actor, and she knows that. I keep insisting that I don’t want them designed as stars, I want them to be launched when they are good-enough actors," he said.