Comic book creator Stan Lee, who passed away on Monday at the age of 95, is best known for creating many famous characters like Spiderman, the X-Men, the Hulk among others. But did you know that he also created an Indian superhero, Chakra, and was even in talks with a prominent Indian production house for its live-action film.
Lee, with his company POW! Entertainment, had co-created Chakra with Sharad Devarajan and Gotham Chopra, the co-founders of Indian graphic entertainment company Graphic India, which has also created the Baahubali animation series for Amazon Prime. The character was launched as a comic book titled ‘Chakra the Invincible’, back in 2011. In November 2013, an animated film on the character was launched on Cartoon Network India.
The story of Chakra revolves around a young Indian boy named Raju Rai, a tech genius living in Mumbai. Raju, along with his genius mentor Dr Singh, develops a technically advanced suit which activates the mystical chakras of human body, unleashing powers and abilities. Suited up, Raju takes on the crime lords in Mumbai, with Boss Yama being his arch-villain. Chakra wears a blue tight-fitting spandex suit as is common with western superheroes. There is a chakra symbol on his chest and he also wears a blue eye mask. His powers include invincibility (Raksha Chakra), ability to shoot powerful solar beams (Solar Chakra), ability to fly (Root Chakra) and others.
“Stan’s impact on the world, and on my life will never be forgotten. Rest in peace.”
– Sharad Devarajan, CEO Graphic India
— Graphic India (@GraphicIndia) November 13, 2018
After the successful launch of the animated TV film, Lee and Devarajan decided to bring the character alive on big screen and started talks with leading Bollywood directors, producers and writers. According to a report in Hollywood Reporter, Udaan director Vikramaditya Motwane was selected for the job and the film was supposed to be produced jointly by POW! Entertainment, Graphic India and Phantom Films, with which Motwane was associated. Phantom Films, however, has now been shut down following allegations of sexual harassment against its co-founder Vikas Bahl.
Lee was working on the screenplay with Motwane and Devarajan for the film which, as per Hollywood Reporter, featured an older version of the titular character in his 20s, unlike the animated version.
Talking about Bollywood, Lee had said, “I have always been a fan of Bollywood films and I’m really excited about launching Chakra the Invincible as my first Bollywood superhero movie.”
“We’ve set up some great meetings already with some of the most amazingly talented actors and directors in Indian cinema and I have no doubt that these individuals will help make the Chakra film a massive hit in India and around the globe,” he added.
Many believe that Stan Lee wished to make American dominated superhero genre more inclusive of different ethnicities by bringing in characters from African and Asian origins. Marvel’s Black Panther, an African origin character developed in the mid-1960s, was first such attempt by Lee. Its live-action film which released this year got an overwhelming response worldwide.