Producer Adi Shankar has made a name for himself in recent years, serving as executive producer on the acclaimed films The Grey and Lone Survivor, as well as fan-favorite Dredd. However, Shankar’s most popular work would likely take place in his ‘bootleg’ universe, where the producer creates unauthorized, standalone stories that reimagine licensed characters such as Marvel’s Venom or the Power Rangers.

While there have been brief copyright issues with some of his previous work, Shankar’s films have been warmly received and some would argue his work is ultimately beneficial to the copyright holders. After the release of his James Bond short film in early 2015, fans have been wondering what’s next for the creator. It has been announced that he will be producing the upcoming I Saw the Devil remake, but there have also been rumblings of a new project in development (unfortunately, not Dredd 2).

The new Shankar project in question (as exclusively reported by The Wrap) is an HBO feature titled Adi Shankar’s Gods and Secrets. The project is described as a dark, superhero drama that aims to explore the human side of superheroes and provide a fresh take on the genre; fore more, read the official synopsis, below.

‘Adi Shankar’s Gods and Secrets’ explores the darker ramifications of a world with superheroes, both on the people they protect and the heroes themselves. Tragedy has struck the Guardians of Justice, and in its aftermath secrets are revealed, lives are changed, and the war to end all wars begins. Death, secrets, and lies threaten to tear the Guardians of Justice apart, and the world with them.

Gods and Secrets was created by Shankar, Jenni Powell and Shawn Deloache, who is also writing the feature. Gods and Secrets marks Shankar’s feature directorial debut and he is joined by frequent collaborator Stewart Yost as co-director. Here is a rundown of the main cast and their respective characters:

  • Diamond Dallas Page (Devils Rejects, Driftwood, WWE Legend) as KNIGHT HAWK — A man who has seen the worst humanity has to offer and decided, no more. With an arsenal of gadgets, a personal fortune, and no super powers… he is a detective, a warrior, and a pragmatist.
  • Jackson Rathbone (Twilight SagaThe Last Airbender) as BLUE SCREAM – A super hero turned reality star. With his sonic scream, he is the loudest being on the planet…it’s too bad no one ever listens to him.
  • Kellan Lutz (The Legend of HerculesTwilight Saga) as KING TSUNAMI – The King of the Sea.
  • Denise Richards (007: The World Is Not Enough, Starship Troopers, Wild Things) as LAURA LANG – CIA agent and spouse of a superhero.
  • Jane Seymour (007: Live and Let Die, Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman, Wedding Crashers) as ADDISON WALKER – Villainous head of a shadowy organization.
  • Sharni Vinson (You’re NextStep Up 3D) as THE SPEED – The fastest being on the planet.
  • Andy Milonakis (The Andy Milonakis Show, Kroll Show) as PHIL HART – is the #1 talk show host in the world. He mixes crude humor, viral videos, and incredible celebrity guests to be a one-stop shop of news and entertainment for anything and everything that’s now.

power rangers adi shankar joseph kahn Adi Shankar Directing HBO Superhero Feature Gods and Secrets

The ‘Power/Rangers’ short film was produced by Adi Shankar


Yost describes the Gods and Secrets series as sharing the tone and sensibilities of True Detective:

“We wanted to create something with a ‘Serial’ or ‘True Detective’ feel. Something story and character driven… something compelling.”

The characters in Gods and Secrets are original creations, though their counterparts in modern comics will be easy to discern when the series debuts. It’s a calculated risk in a film/television landscape dominated by licensed comic book adaptations to create original superheroes, but there’s a high potential payoff. Shankar has already proven himself capable of producing quality superhero dramas in his bootleg universe, as producer. His short films have a distinct style and if the new director can bring that to his HBO project, then it might just differentiate itself enough to be a success.

NEXT: Why Adi Shankar’s ‘Bootleg’ Shorts Are Good For Studios

Adi Shankar’s Gods and Secrets doesn’t currently have a release window, but we’ll bring you more information as it becomes available.

Source: The Wrap