Adi Shankar

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Adi Shankar
Adi Shankar cropped.jpg
Shankar at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con
Aditya Shankar

(1985-01-08) 8 January 1985 (age 34)
Years active2010–present

Adi Shankar (born Aditya Shankar;[2] January 8, 1985) is an Indian-American film producer, YouTube personality, and occasional actor, who is best known for Dredd, Castlevania, and his "Bootleg Universe" One-Shot series of unauthorized pop culture satire films which include[3] The Punisher: Dirty Laundry,[4][5] Venom: Truth in Journalism, and Power/Rangers.[6] He is also known for being the youngest producer to have a number one film at the North American box office with The Grey.[citation needed].

In 2014, Shankar ranked number 20 on GQ magazine's list of “Most Influential Global Indian Men."[7] He co-founded the production company 1984 Private Defense Contractors.[8] In 2015, upon signing a three-picture deal with Disney's Maker Studios, Shankar was proclaimed the "Quentin Tarantino of the digital generation" by Maker executives.[9]

Early life[edit]

Aditya Shankar was born in Kolkata, India, to a banking executive and an educator.[10] His family spent his formative years relocating between Chennai, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Rhode Island, and Singapore.[11] Shankar studied communications, business, and theater at Northwestern University and graduated in June 2007.[12]


For his controversial "Bootleg Universe" Shankar cites British street artist Banksy as a major influence.[13] In addition, Shankar frequently cites rapper Eminem, writer Warren Ellis, artist Takashi Murakami, wrestler Diamond Dallas Page, and Final Fantasy VII character Sephiroth as artistic and stylistic influences.[14]

The Simpsons – "The Apu problem"[edit]

In April 2018, Shankar started a script contest which he hoped would encourage people to rewrite The Simpsons character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon "that takes the character of Apu and in a clever way subverts him, pivots him, intelligently writes him out, or evolves him"[15]. He stated that, in the event that the show's producers will not take on the winning script, he would produce and distribute the episode as part of his, "Bootleg Universe" One-Shot Series of high end subversive fan films.[16]

On October 26, 2018, Shankar leaked during an interview with IndieWire that Apu was going to be written out of the Simpsons, stating that he got the information from two people who work for “The Simpsons” and a third source who works directly with creator Matt Groening.[16] A representative for the show at Fox provided a cryptic response: “Apu appeared in the 10/14/18 episode My Way or the Highway to Heaven.”[16] In the episode, Apu makes an appearance as one of dozens of characters gathered around God in Heaven. On October 28, Simpsons executive producer and show runner Al Jean fired back at Shankar, tweeting "Adi Shankar is not a producer on the Simpsons. I wish him the best but he does not speak for our show."[17]



Year Title Role Notes
2010 Main Street Executive Producer
2011 Machine Gun Preacher Executive Producer
2011 The Grey Executive Producer
2012 Dredd Executive Producer
2012 Killing Them Softly Executive Producer
2012 Gangs of Wasseypur Executive Producer Shankar also Presented the international release.
2012 The Punisher: Dirty Laundry Producer Entry #1 in the "Bootleg Universe" One-Shot series.
2013 Broken City Executive Producer
2013 Venom: Truth in Journalism Producer Entry #2 in the "Bootleg Universe" One-Shot series.
2013 Lone Survivor Executive Producer
2014 The Voices Producer
2014 A Walk Among the Tombstones Executive Producer
2014 Judge Dredd: Superfiend Executive Producer Entry #3 of the "Bootleg Universe" One-Shot series; Not set in continuity of the Shankar-produced 2012 film Dredd.
2015 Power/Rangers Producer Entry #4 of the "Bootleg Universe" One-Shot series.
2015 James Bond: In Service of Nothing Producer Entry #5 "Bootleg Universe" One-Shot series.
2017 Bodied Producer
2018 Mr. Rogers: A War Hero Producer Entry #6 in the "Bootleg Universe" One-Shot series.
2019 The End of Pokemon Producer Entry #7 in the "Bootleg Universe" One-Shot series.


Year Title Role Notes
2017–present Castlevania Showrunner
Executive producer
Netflix original series
TBA Adi Shankar's Gods and Secrets Executive producer
Story writer
TBA Assassin's Creed Executive producer Anime TV series
TBA Devil May Cry Executive producer Netflix original series

"Bootleg Universe" One-Shot Films[edit]

Year Title Length Genre Notes
2012 The Punisher: Dirty Laundry 9 min 50 seconds Action Crime Thomas Jane reprises his role as Marvel anti-hero Frank Castle aka the Punisher from the 2004 film.
2013 Venom: Truth in Journalism 17 min 8 seconds Crime Comedy In a black and white homage to cult Belgian black comedy Man Bites Dog and set in the late 1980s, Ryan Kwanten stars as Spider-Man's nemesis Eddie Brock / Venom.
2014 Judge Dredd: Superfiend 26 min 32 seconds Animation Action Comedy A re-interpretation of Judge Dredd in the form of a violent Saturday morning cartoon. Does not take place in the continuity of the Shankar produced 2012 Judge Dredd film Dredd.
2015 Power/Rangers 11 min 45 seconds Action Sci-Fi A dark reimagining of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers that explores a timeline where the Rangers lost, starring James Van Der Beek and Katee Sackhoff.
2015 James Bond: In Service of Nothing 10 min 55 seconds Animation Spy Action An animated short film in the style of a film animatic, where after 30 years in the agency, James Bond is no longer required for his services leading to his retirement as he tries adjust himself to a new life in the present.
2018 Mr. Rogers: A War Hero 14 min 06 seconds Biopic A "What if?" scenario based on the longstanding rumor where Fred Rogers served in the Vietnam War and based several characters on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood from his wartime comrades
2019 The End of Pokemon 5 min 25 seconds Animation Action Thriller An animated fake trailer for a dark afterward to the Pokémon anime series.


  1. ^ "SHATTERING THE MOLD: Producer Adi Shankar Offers A Glimpse Inside His World!". Icon vs. Icon. March 11, 2014. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  2. ^ "Adi Shankar". IMDb. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  3. ^ Gilman, Greg (August 8, 2013). "How 'Dredd' Producer Adi Shankar's Marvel Bootlegs Are Building a Buzzy Fanboy Brand". The Wrap. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  4. ^ Weintraub, Steve (July 31, 2013). "Producer Adi Shankar Talks TRUTH IN JOURNALISM Short, the Success of DIRTY LAUNDRY, Casting Ryan Kwanten, Shared Universes, and More". Collider. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  5. ^ "Topic Galleries". Retrieved February 8, 2014.[dead link]
  6. ^ Miska, Brad (March 6, 2015). "'Dredd' Producer Teaches You the Painful Truth About Filmmaking". Bloody Disgusting. The Collective. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  7. ^ Thomas, Steff (February 7, 2015). "Producer and Go-Getter Adi Shankar Talks Diversity and the Need for Integrity in the Film Industry". Galo Magazine.
  8. ^ McNary, Dave (April 10, 2013). "1984 Private Defense Contractors Boards 'The Voices' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  9. ^ Sneider, Jeff (April 10, 2013). "Adi Shankar Signs 3 Picture Deal With Maker Studios". The Wrap. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  10. ^ Vallikappen, Ankita Pandey (March 9, 2012). "Indian shade in The Grey". AsiaOne. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  11. ^ Leopold, Todd (March 2, 2015). "Who are these 'Power/Rangers' guys?". CNN. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  12. ^ Liu, Leona (January 23, 2007). "Adi On Advertising". The Daily Northwestern. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  13. ^ "'Dredd' EP Adi Shankar on His New Bootleg 'Judge Dredd' Miniseries". VideoInk. October 27, 2014. Retrieved July 2, 2017.[dead link]
  14. ^ Vincent, Brittany (July 7, 2017). "'Castlevania' Netflix producer Adi Shankar talks video games and the epic movie-mashup he never made". Mic. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  15. ^ "Apu Screenwriting Contest: Crowdsourcing the Cure for The Simpsons (2018)". Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  16. ^ a b c O'Falt, Chris (October 26, 2018). "'The Simpsons' Is Eliminating Apu, But Producer Adi Shankar Found the Perfect Script to Solve the Apu Problem". IndieWire. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  17. ^ Jean, Al [@AlJean] (October 28, 2018). "Adi Shankar is not a producer on the Simpsons. I wish him the very best but he does not speak for our show" (Tweet). Retrieved October 29, 2018 – via Twitter.

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