India-UK co-produce ‘The Far Pavillions’ for $150 mn

MUMBAI: MM Kaye’s novel The Far Pavillions, which speaks of an Englishman being raised as a Hindu during the British Raj and falls in love with an Indian princess, is being remade for TV by a UK-India duo at a budget of $150 million.

Beautiful Bay Productions, run by India-based Michael Ward and Britain’s Collin Burrows, is targetting 30 episodes of one hour each. The cast and crew will prominently be from the two countries while post-production will take place in London and the shooting will be in India.

Thirty years ago, the novel was made into a three-episode mini TV series by HBO starring Ben Cross, Amy Irving, Omar Sharif, and Christopher Lee. Ward has condensed the novel into a play. He said, “It’s the perfect time to take my stage adaptation of Mollie Kaye’s masterpiece much further and deeper into its Indian cultural landscape, and to invite the best of Indian and British talent to contribute towards turning it into a high-end television series authentically written and cast for a global audience,” he said.

London mayor Sadiq Khan is touring Mumbai as part of the UK-India Year of Culture. “It represents the best of British and Indian talent and sends a clear message to the rest of the world that London is open to partnerships, to collaboration, to creativity and for business,” said Khan.

British Film Commission Film London chair Adrian Wootton added,“This adaptation promises to be a sumptuous spectacle in its own right but it’s also indicative of how our above- and below-the-line talent can come together to create a production that harnesses everything from Indian locations to London’s world-famous post-production expertise.”

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