F9, The Suicide Squad, Bhuj: The Pride of India, and More: August Guide to Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar, and Prime Video

Fast & Furious 9 (aka F9) and The Suicide Squad are the biggest international titles to watch this August — the first two are coming to (Indian) cinemas, two are already streaming (in the US) and the other will be. F9 released July 30 on-demand in the US, almost three weeks prior to its August 19 India release date. It was going to release earlier in India but got delayed by two weeks. The Suicide Squad is hitting India on August 5 in line with its global release date, with Warner hoping to avoid the major piracy situation that Universal finds itself in, with F9 being torrented widely. The Suicide Squad is out August 6 on HBO Max, after all. Speaking of superheroes, Marvel also has a new (animated) series in What If…? that begins August 11 on Disney+ Hotstar.

From India, there are a couple of pop patriotic war dramas for the Independence Day weekend. Amazon Prime Video rolls out Kargil War-set Shershaah, led by Siddharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani, and produced by Karan Johar, on August 12. Disney+ Hotstar will follow it on August 13 with a tale from 1971 Indo-Pakistan War in Bhuj: The Pride of India, starring Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Dutt, and Sonakshi Sinha. Disney+ Hotstar also has a period drama in The Empire, about the rise and fall of the Mughal Empire, in August. If you are looking for more Indian content, Mani Ratnam presents a nine-film anthology called Navarasa, dropping August 6 on Netflix. Revathy, Parvathy, Anjali, Aditi Balan, Vijay Sethupathy, Arvind Swamy, Siddarth, Prakashraj, and Yogi Babu are among its massive cast.

For those looking for big names, August has Hugh Jackman in the sci-fi film Reminiscence available August 20 on HBO Max. It should come to Indian cinemas at the same time too. Emma Stone is Cruella in Cruella, out August 27 on Disney+ Hotstar. Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy lead a packed cast for Nine Perfect Strangers, which starts August 20 on Amazon Prime Video in India. Sandra Oh leads the cast of The Chair — Game of Thrones creators are involved — also out August 20 but on Netflix. On the same day on the same platform, Jason Momoa hunts for the truth and runs from big pharma in Sweet Girl. Meanwhile, Joseph Gordon-Levitt does everything (acting, writing, directing and producing) on his new Apple TV+ series Mr. Corman, premiering August 6.

There’s also Brooklyn Nine-Nine season 8 — the series’ final season starts in August and will air on Comedy Central in India. It’ll take a lot longer to reach streaming platforms. With that, here’s our August 2021 guide to Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and Comedy Central.

The Suicide Squad

When: August 5 (India), August 6 (Streaming)
Where: Cinemas (India), HBO Max (USA)

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn is at the helm of this soft reboot of what was originally a dumpster fire. There are a couple of survivors, chiefly Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, and Viola Davis. There’s a splattering of new faces alongside — many of whom will be killed off, as Gunn has already teased — in John Cena, Idris Elba, Peter Capaldi, David Dastmalchian, Daniela Melchior, Michael Rooker, Pete Davidson, Nathan Fillion, and a shark voiced by Sylvester Stallone.

Going by the trailers, Gunn seems to be doing what made him famous at Marvel, except he’s now operating in the rival DC camp (before he switches back for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, coming May 2023). The Suicide Squad is available in cinemas a day prior to its one-month streaming run on HBO Max in the US.

Watch the Final Trailer for The Suicide Squad

Some of the new Suicide Squad in The Suicide Squad
Photo Credit: DC Comics/Warner Bros.

Mr. Corman

When: August 6
Where: Apple TV+

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the star, writer, director and producer on this 10-episode dramedy about a 30-something failed musician now teaching fifth graders at a San Fernando Valley school in Los Angeles County. So far, so Soul. There’s even a dreamy sequence in the Mr. Corman trailer if you’re interested in stretching that Pixar comparison.

To add to Corman’s miseries, his fiancé (Juno Temple) broke up and moved out, while his high school friend (Arturo Castro) has taken her place at home. Still, Corman believes he’s lucky even as the feelings of anxiety and self-doubt are creeping in. Debra Winger, Logic, Hector Hernandez, Jamie Chung, and Shannon Woodward co-star.

Three Mr. Corman episodes drop on release date, with the remaining seven airing one per week until September 24.

When: August 6
Where: Netflix

Mani Ratnam spearheads this anthology of nine Tamil-language short films that finds nine directors tackling nine rasas, Tamil for emotions: anger (Arvind Swami), compassion (Bejoy Nambiar), courage (Sarjun), disgust (Vasanth S Sai), fear (Rathindran R Prasad), laughter (Priyadarshan), love (Gautham Vasudev Menon), peace (Karthik Subbaraj), and wonder (Karthick Naren). Everyone worked pro-bono on Navarasa to raise funds for those affected by COVID-19 in the Tamil cinema industry.

Revathy, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Anjali, Aditi Balan, Remya Nambeesan, Poorna, Prayaga Martin, Rythvika Suriya, Vijay Sethupathy, Arvind Swamy, Siddarth, Prakashraj, Yogi Babu, Prasanna, Atharva, Bobby Simha, Gautham Menon, Ashok Selvan, Nedumudi Venu, Delhi Ganesh, and Kishore are part of a 40-strong cast. All nine films will be available at once on release date.

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Marvel’s What If…?

When: August 11
Where: Disney+ Hotstar

Marvel Studios’ first anthology animated series is all about asking big what-if questions: What if Peggy Carter took the Super Soldier serum? What if T’Challa ended up as Star-Lord? What if Killmonger came to Tony Stark’s rescue in Afghanistan? As you can tell, What If…? is all about exploring the multiverse of possibilities — is this why it’s coming on the heels of Loki? — triggered by a big decision.

As you can tell, none of these hypothetical events will have any effect on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Still, much of the cast is involved, including Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo, Hayley Atwell, Samuel L. Jackson, Josh Brolin, Sebastian Stan, Natalie Portman, Michael Douglas, Karen Gillan, Jeff Goldblum, Michael B. Jordan, and the late Chadwick Boseman.

What If…? season 1 has 10 episodes in total. One new episode every Wednesday until October 13.

Watch the Trailer for Marvel’s What If…?

Haley Atwell as Captain Carter in What If…?
Photo Credit: Disney/Marvel Studios


When: August 12
Where: Amazon Prime Video

Say hello to India’s The Lion King. No, that doesn’t mean what you think it does. It’s the direct translation of the war film’s title, an acknowledgement of how Indian Army Captain Vikram Batra was referred to by the enemy, Pakistan, during the 1999 Kargil War. Batra was posthumously awarded India’s highest military honour, the Param Vir Chakra, for his actions.

Siddharth Malhotra plays Batra in this biopic directed by Vishnuvardhan (Arrambam) who makes his Hindi-language debut, and produced by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions. Shershaah is the second consecutive biopic on a Kargil war vet for Dharma, following last year’s Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl that was sold to Netflix. Hopefully, it too won’t give into jingoism.

Kiara Advani, Shiv Pandit, Niktin Dheer, Himmanshoo A. Malhotra, Anil Charanjeett, Sahil Vaid, Raj Arjun, Ankita Goraya, Rakesh Dubey, Pranay Singh Pachauri, Pawan Chopra, Mir Sarwar, and Shataf Figar are also part of the Shershaah cast.

Bhuj: The Pride of India

When: August 13
Where: Disney+ Hotstar

Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha, Nora Fatehi, and Sharad Kelkar lead the cast of this Gujarat-based war drama that chronicles the efforts of an IAF Squadron Leader (Devgn) and 300 local women (Sinha among them) who helped rebuild the carpet-bombed Bhuj airbase during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War. Ammy Virk, Pranitha Subhash, and Ihana Dhillon are also part of the cast.

Soap opera veteran Abhishek Dudhaiya makes his feature-length directorial debut on Bhuj: The Pride of India, working off a screenplay he co-wrote with Raman Kumar, Ritesh Shah, and Pooja Bhavoria. That television legacy is visible in the Bhuj trailer, though to be fair, most Bollywood war dramas are this combination of cringe dialogues and …dance sequences.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

When: August TBA
Where: Comedy Central

10-8. No that’s not a cop code — it’s the number of episodes (10) in the eighth and final season of this beloved sitcom. That’s a reduced run for what used to be a 22-episode series, having progressively declined in episode count during its NBC years. The network is also switching up its release schedule: there will be two back-to-back episodes every week, for five weeks.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine season 8 has also been reworked in parts, following the George Floyd protests against racism and police brutality, with Terry Crews revealing that they scrapped four completed episodes altogether. The cast is still the same though, with Crews alongside Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, Dirk Blocker, Joel McKinnon Miller, and Andre Braugher.


When: August 13
Where: Apple TV+

Apple paid a festival-record $25 million (about Rs. 185 crores) for this Sundance-winning remake of the 2014 French comedy-drama La Famille Bélier. It’s about a 17-year-old girl (Emilia Jones) who’s the only hearing member in her deaf fishing family. Hence, the title: CODA, Child of Deaf Adults. Caught between helping her family business under threat and her love of singing, she must decide what to do.

Eugenio Derbez, Troy Kotsur, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Daniel Durant, Amy Forsyth, Kevin Chapman, and Marlee Matlin co-star. CODA director Sian Heder (Tallulah) was also honoured for her work at Sundance.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

When: August 13
Where: Cinemas

James Wan’s Conjuring franchise continues to be inspired by real-life cases as Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson’s paranormal investigators take on their first murder case, the 1981 trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson (played here by Ruairi O’Connor) in which she claimed demonic possession as a defence. Essentially, that the Devil made me do it. Oh look, that’s also the title. What a coincidence.

Michael Chaves (The Curse of La Llorona) is the director, working off a screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (The Conjuring 2, Aquaman). The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It released in June on HBO Max and in US theatres, and belatedly makes its way to India as cinemas reopen following the second wave of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Modern Love

When: August 13
Where: Amazon Prime Video

Kit Harington, Anna Paquin, Tobias Menzies, Garrett Hedlund, Dominique Fishback, Lucy Boynton, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Susan Blackwell, Minnie Driver, Nikki M. James, Aparna Nancherla, Sophie Okonedo, Ben Rappaport, Jack Reynor, Lulu Wilson, Zuzanna Szadkowski, and Miranda Richardson are part of the massive cast for the second season of this rom-com anthology created by John Carney (Sing Street).

Fast & Furious 9

When: August 19 (India), TBA (On-demand)
Where: Cinemas (India), Video-on-demand (USA)

It’s time for family — nearly three months late. Having grossed over $600 million (about Rs. 4,462 crores) since its May debut internationally, the ninth chapter of The Fast Saga finally rolls into Indian cinemas. But if you’re worried about being in an enclosed space with strangers, Fast & Furious 9 has already arrived on-demand in the US. For some, it’s a safer albeit expensive alternative, and for others (who live where cinemas haven’t reopened) the only way to watch it right now.

Plot is not a thing anyone cares about with a Fast & Furious title, so I’ll just leave you with the names of those whose faces you will see: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, John Cena, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, Michael Rooker, Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell, and Charlize Theron. Fast Five director Justin Lin is back behind the camera.

Watch the Final Trailer for Fast & Furious 9

John Cena as Jakob Toretto in F9
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Nine Perfect Strangers

When: August 18 (USA), August 20 (India)
Where: Hulu (USA), Amazon Prime Video (India)

Big Little Lies creator David E. Kelley is back at it, adapting another Liane Moriarty novel. He’s joined by Nicole Kidman who here plays a mysterious Russian host of a health and wellness resort in Australia. She’s fielding the titular nine strangers, played by Melissa McCarthy, Luke Evans, Samara Weaving, Michael Shannon, Regina Hall, and Bobby Cannavale among others.

They have gathered for a 10-day retreat that turns out to be a lot more, as they discover secrets about each other and the host (Kidman). Jonathan Levine (50/50) directs all eight episodes that will stream weekly Wednesdays on Hulu, and Friday on Prime Video. Three episodes upon premiere, with the five remaining airing one every week until September 22.

The Chair

When: August 20
Where: Netflix

Sandra Oh is the first woman chair of the English department at a fictional American university in this six-episode half-hour dramedy that also marks the first Netflix original involving Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (as part of their huge $200-million deal, about Rs. 1,487 crores today). The Chair trailer suggests that Oh’s newly-installed head has to deal with the messes of those who came before her, some of which feel #MeToo-tinged.

Jay Duplass, Holland Taylor, Bob Balaban, David Morse, Nana Mensah, and Everly Carganilla are also part of The Chair cast. Amanda Peet and Annie Julia-Wyman created the series, with Peet also serving as showrunner. Oh, Benioff and Weiss are executive producers. All episodes at once on release date.


When: August 20
Where: HBO Max

In near-future climate change-ravaged Miami, Hugh Jackman plays a war veteran who offers his clients the choice to relive any memory they want. His life is upended after he discovers through someone else’s memories that the mysterious woman (Rebecca Ferguson) he’s been sleeping with might be involved in a series of violent crimes. And then she goes missing, forcing him to go looking for her.

Thandiwe Newton, Cliff Curtis, Marina de Tavira, Daniel Wu, Mojean Aria, Brett Cullen, Natalie Martinez, Angela Sarafyan, and Nico Parker also star. Westworld co-creator Lisa Joy makes her feature-length directorial debut. The Reminiscence trailer has been compared to the works of Christopher Nolan, which suggests at this point that love for this kind of storytelling runs in the family. Joy is Nolan’s sis-in-law.

Reminiscence will be available on HBO Max for the first month at the same time as it’s in cinemas. Not confirmed for Indian cinemas yet, but expected given Warner Bros. is rolling out three films in the three weeks prior.

Watch the Final Trailer for Reminiscence

Hugh Jackman in Reminiscence
Photo Credit: Ben Rothstein/Warner Bros.

Sweet Girl

When: August 20
Where: Netflix

After a pharma giant pulls a live-saving drug off the shelves just before his wife (Adria Arjona) dies of cancer, Aquaman star Jason Momoa publicly vows to bring justice to those responsible. Apparently, big pharma doesn’t mess around. They send men with guns after the widower (Momoa) and his daughter (Isabela Merced) who are forced to go on the run.

Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Raza Jaffrey, Lex Scott Davis, Michael Raymond-James, and Amy Brenneman also star. Brian Andrew Mendoza is the director on Sweet Girl, working off a screenplay by Philip Eisner, Gregg Hurwitz, and Will Staples.

Truth Be Told

When: August 20
Where: Apple TV+

Kate Hudson is the big new face for the second season of what feels like an anthology series now, as true crime podcaster Poppy Parnell (Octavia Spencer) sets her sight on a new case: that of media mogul and her childhood friend Micah Keith (Kate Hudson). Poppy claims she wants to help Micah, by pushing for justice on a public forum (her podcast). But at what cost — both personal and professional — will that come for Micah? Merle Dandridge is also new to Truth Be Told season 2 cast.

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf

When: August 23
Where: Netflix

Before Henry Cavill returns as Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher season 2 in December, Netflix is expanding the Continent with this anime prequel spin-off movie that follows his mentor Vesemir (voiced by Theo James here, and to be played by Kim Bodnia in The Witcher season 2) during his glory days. We also have Lara Pulver as Tetra, Graham McTavish as Deglan, and Mary McDonnell as Lady Zerbst.

The Witcher showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrisch is the producer on The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf. Kwang Il Han directs off a screenplay written by Beau DeMayo.

Watch the Teaser Trailer for The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf

Theo James as Vesemir in The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf
Photo Credit: Netflix


When: August 27
Where: Disney+ Hotstar

Emma Stone steps into Disney’s origin story of the dalmatian fur-loving Cruella de Vil as a grifter and an aspiring fashion designer named Estella — this live-action reboot loves making stitches of its own — who takes aim at her boss and London’s prestigious fashion house chief Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson). Aiding her in her exploits are thieving brothers Jasper (Joel Fry) and Horace Badun (Paul Walter Hauser).

Emily Beecham, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Mark Strong, and John McCrea also star. Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya) directs Cruella. Dana Fox and Tony McNamara provide the screenplay. Cruella released in late May on Disney+ Premier Access, and now that it’s exiting the premium tier, it’s available on Disney+ Hotstar. Thanks to COVID-19, Cruella is skipping theatres entirely, just as with Black Widow.

Watch the Final Trailer for Disney’s Cruella

Emma Stone as Cruella de Vil in Cruella
Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham/Disney


When: August 27
Where: Apple TV+

The second title for Momoa in August is the second season of this post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama where humanity cannot see. Guardians of the Galaxy and Army of the Dead star Dave Bautista is new to See season 2 as Momoa’s on-screen nemesis brother, alongside Joe Flanigan, Eden Epstein, Tom Mison, Hoon Lee, Olivia Cheng, David Hewlett and Tamara Tunie. Sylvia Hoeks, Hera Hilmar, Christian Camargo, and Alfre Woodard are part of the returning cast opposite Momoa.

One new episode each week until October 15. Already renewed for a third season that is currently filming in Toronto, Canada.

The Empire

When: August TBA
Where: Disney+ Hotstar

HBO might be making Game of Thrones prequels that will come to Disney+ Hotstar, but meanwhile, the network is showing similar (local-level) ambitions of its own. Batla House director Nikkhil Advani is behind this epic undertaking that aims to chronicle the rise and the fall of the Mughal Empire — it spanned two centuries and stretched from Afghanistan to the Deccan plateau — from Babur to Aurangzeb.

Kunal Kapoor is set as a young Babur who turned his eyes towards India after facing repeated defeats in what is modern-day Uzbekistan. That brings him in clash with the Sultan of Delhi Ibrahim Lodi (Dino Morea) and thereafter the Mewar kingdom led by Rana Sanga (Srijan Srivastava). Drashti Dhami plays Babur’s elder sister Khanzada Begum, and Shabana Azmi is Babur’s grandmother Esan Daulat.

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