With projects such as “Queen of Katwe,” “The Namesake,” and “Monsoon Wedding,” Mira Nair has told the stories of many families. For her next endeavor, she’ll be focusing on another unforgettable clan: a fake royal family. Variety confirms the Oscar-nominated filmmaker will direct a drama series based on the explosive New York Times piece “The Jungle Prince of Delhi.” The streamer has acquired the rights to the article.
A Pulitzer Prize finalist, the 2019 Ellen Barry piece “delved into the history of the royal family of Oudh, deposed aristocrats living in a ruined palace in the Indian capital claiming to be the heirs to a fallen kingdom.”
The story was also told in a three-part series for The Times’ podcast “The Daily.”
Nair will executive produce in addition to directing. The Times’ head of scripted entertainment, Caitlin Roper, will also EP, as will Barry. SISTER’s Stacey Snider, Jane Featherstone, and Kate Fenske and Fourth and Twenty Eight Films’ Christina Lurie are among the exec producers as well.
“Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ellen Barry’s beautifully written tale of the Oudh family revealed deeper truths rooted in the violence and trauma of the partition of India,” said Roper. She described the exposé as “the result of years of reporting and investigation across continents.” She added, “Since its publication, The Times has been searching for the right partners to expand the story’s reach and we are thrilled to work with the incomparable Mira Nair.”
Nair most recently helmed “A Suitable Boy,” an upcoming BBC series based on Vikram Seth’s 1993 bestseller. Set in post-Partition India, the project follows protagonist Lata’s search for love. “Hello Bombay!,” her first narrative feature, received an Oscar nod for Best Foreign Language Film. Nair scored BAFTA Award nominations for that pic as well as “Monsoon Wedding.” Her other credits include “Mississippi Masala,” “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” and “Amelia.”
“I think filmmaking is a political act, it doesn’t become it. It begins from the inception,” Nair has said. “What do you have to say about the world in your film? What is your point of view? Where are you looking at the world from? What are you choosing to say or show? I feel so firmly that if we don’t tell our own story, no one will tell them.” She added, “I feel very firmly that my camera, my soul, my film, my eyes, and my heart most of all, should be and is with the people who are mine and are often not heard or seen.”