“World’s Best,” Disney’s all-new hip-hop musical comedy adventure, produced by the director of “Hamilton,” will stream exclusively on Disney+ Hotstar beginning June 23. Co-written, co-executive produced and starring Utkarsh Ambudkar (“Ghosts,” “Free Guy”), who co-wrote the film’s original songs, this Disney+ Original Movie was directed by radiation oncologist turned filmmaker Roshan Sethi (“7 Days”).
Joining Ambudkar in the film are newcomer Manny Magnus, Punam Patel, Jake Choi, Max Malas, Piper Wallace, Kayla Njeri, Dorian Giordano, Kathryn Greenwood, Christopher Jackson and Doug E. Fresh. “World’s Best” was written by Jamie King & Ambudkar, with original songs by Ambudkar and Charlie Wilder. Produced by Thomas Kail, who directed the Broadway smash “Hamilton” and produced and directed the 2020 film version, and Kate Sullivan, the film reunites Kail and Ambudkar who first collaborated as director and performer, respectively, of the improvisational hip-hop comedy musical group Freestyle Love Supreme. Terry Gould and Ambudkar serve as the film’s executive producers.
Ambudkar says, “We are all really excited to be bringing this film to Disney+. It’s got dope music and great comedy, and it brings up some important themes in a really accessible way. It’s emotional, it’s full of love and amazing energy and is a film the entire family can watch together. Plus, it presents for the first time a South Asian family at the core of a Disney movie–something I never had growing up–and was something I really wanted to give young people today.”
In “World’s Best,” 12-year-old mathematics genius Prem Patel (Magnus), in the midst of navigating the tumultuous hardships of adolescence, discovers his recently deceased father was a famous rapper and immediately sets out to pursue a career for himself as a rap superstar. While his actions may appear reckless and the quickest way for him to lose everything, Prem, empowered by imaginative hip-hop music-fueled fantasies where he performs with his father (Ambudkar), is determined to find out if hip-hop truly is in his DNA. As his father always used to say, “the world’s best never rest.”
Ambudkar’s additional film credits include “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” “Blindspotting” and “Pitch Perfect.” A rapper and creative force from a young age, Ambudkar was an original member of The Beatards, a NYC-based underground hip-hop group that performed alongside acts like Santigold, Azealia Banks, G-Easy, Public Enemy, Questlove and more. His work with the Beatards eventually helped Ambudkar land “Pitch Perfect.”
Originating the role of Aaron Burr in the developmental readings of “Hamilton,” Ambudkar later reunited with Lin-Manuel Miranda as part of the improvisational rap group Freestyle Love Supreme, which garnered a special Tony® Award in 2021. “Vanity,” Ambudkar’s debut album as a solo artist, dropped in 2019 and was quickly followed by “Petty.” In 2020, he released “The Misfits EP” and single “Self Respect.”