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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Anil Kapoor: "Indian 24 will be like a slow poison"

Anil Kapoor has promised his new Indian adaptation of hit US TV show '24' will "work like slow poison" and be a revolution in an industry currently dominated by tedious soap operas and a plethora of reality shows.

The 'Slumdog Millionaire' star told Reuters India the new series - rumoured to be the most expensive Indian TV series ever - will be equal in scale and ambition to the US show.

"Everything is about money today.  I can't tell you about the budget but I can say that we are trying our best to have the same scale. That was the major thing, the biggest hurdle to cross. Convincing the channels that this is what it is", Kapoor said.

"It's a challenge. What happens is, even if the first season is good enough, that will be enough. Then the second season will come with a bang.  Even in America, the first season was OK-OK.  It was only after the second and third season, (it) took off. Television slowly gets into you like a poison … They will realise that this will work like slow poison. It'll suck people into it."

Kapoor, 53, starred in the original series, playing Middle Eastern leader Omar Hassan in season eight also said he wanted to bring the "discipline and professionalism" of US television to India.

The Bollywood veteran - star of more than 100 films stretching back to 1979 - will produce the show and take the lead role made famous by Kiefer Sutherland in the US version, that of troubled anti-terrorist agent Jack Bauer.

The producers have reportedly roped in Anupam Kher to play an important role on the show which will be directed by Abhinay Deo, the man behind the black comedy romp 'Delhi Belly'.

Kapoor added: "When I saw the performances, the pitch of the film, I said this is it. He is the director. When I met him, it turned out he was equally passionate about "24".

The show - set to be aired on Colors TV - has been commissioned for one season and more will follow if the audience response is positive.

"You stick your neck out and I have stuck my neck out," Kapoor said.

"I am not playing it safe, I am playing the lead. And I'm a movie star."

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