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The White Tiger producer Mukul Deora acquires the rights of iconic animated book series

Photo Credit: Supplied

Mukul Deora of Lava Media has acquired the rights to bestselling children’s book series, Gajapati Kulapati and is building an immersive world of animation, toys, games and apps based on the beloved elephant.

The story of a funny, kind-hearted elephant Gajapati Kulapati won the Best of Indian Children’s Writing (BICW) Award in 2018 and is a publishing phenomenon. A perennial bestseller in nine languages including English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu, the beloved elephant has become one of India’s best-known original characters.

‘The White Tiger’ (2021), featuring Priyanka Chopra, Rajkummar Rao and Adarsh Gourav, was a global sensation, reaching number one on Netflix in over sixty countries. Produced by Mukul Deora of Lava Media, the Oscar and BAFTA-nominated film has been viewed by over 27 million households.

Lava Media is developing the series with BAFTA and Emmy-nominated writer Sam Barlow, known for his work on such iconic children’s properties as Bob The Builder, Thomas And Friends and Lily’s Driftwood Bay.

The past few years have seen a spate of high profile children’s IP acquisitions worldwide, with Netflix reportedly paying $1 billion for Roald Dahl’s works, and Peppa Pig/eOne being acquired by Hasbro for $4 billion.

Mukul Deora shared, “The ‘White Tiger’ reinforced our belief that a compelling story can resonate around the world. Ashok’s books have captivated children everywhere, and we are thrilled and honoured to bring Gajapati to life on the screen. We are also building a safe digital playground for children to play and learn in.”

Author Ashok Rajagopalan shared, “Given Mukul’s vision for his adaptation of The White Tiger, I’m confident Gajapati Kulapati will be a visual treat for the young ones. Really excited for the journey ahead.

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