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'24' Vet Takes the Hit Fox Series to India

Anil Kapoor plays agent Jai Singh Rathod on the Indian adaptation of ”24”

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Who says Kiefer Sutherland is the only guy who can head up 24‘s Counter Terrorist Unit? Anil Kapoor — who played President Omar Hassan in the eighth season of 24 — will assume the lead role for an adaptation of the Fox drama in India. Kapoor put up his own money to help reboot the series in his native country, where TV programming has been limited to soap operas and unscripted shows. ”When I started reading the material every day [while doing 24], something clicked in my mind: Why not in India?” Kapoor tells EW. ”I’ve been a movie star in India for more than 30 years. I said, ‘If I do TV, I think nothing is better than this.’ Everybody feels that if this show clicks in India, it might be the game changer.” Some things had to be altered for the Indian version — Kapoor’s character is named Jai Singh Rathod, not Jack Bauer, and the David Palmer character will be prime minister rather than president — but Kapoor says it will stay true to the original. The series, which bows Oct. 4, is one of the most expensive TV programs ever produced in the country, and Kapoor knows it’s a gamble. ”A channel called Colors was brave enough to come forward,” he says. ”The CEO said, ‘Let’s stick our necks out.’ He’s also risked his job for this show.”