How Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti Create Magic

The filmmakers chatted about what makes their partnership work, creating ‘The Archies,’ that alternate ending to ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara,’ and what’s next.

zoya akhtar and reema kagti
Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti in conversation (Ambika Verma for The Juggernaut)

Snigdha Sur


December 8, 2023


23 min

Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti have been writing and producing partners for years. Kagti’s directorial debut, Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. (2007), told the tale of six, quirky couples on — you guessed it — their honeymoon. Meanwhile, Akhtar’s debut, Luck By Chance (2009), documented the inner machinations and insecurities of the Bollywood film industrial complex.

Since then, both have worked on several projects, including co-writing and/or co-producing Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Talaash, Dil Dhadakne Do, Gully Boy, Made in Heaven, and now, The Archies, the first feature-length film based on the Archie Comics. The two have also co-founded production company Tiger Baby, with several upcoming projects, including a Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara spin-off, Jee Le Zara — this time, centering three women on a road trip — and Kho Gaye Hum Kahan (2023), out on Netflix in late December.

We sat down with the two filmmakers to chat about what makes their partnership work, their writing and filmmaking process, how they built The Archies world, and what’s next. Along the way, there was tons of laughter, Akhtar and Kagti finishing each other’s sentences, and insightful audience questions.

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