As part of his official visit to India, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has unveiled plans for a $150M UK/India drama co-production of The Far Pavilions, based on the epic novel of British-Indian history by MM Kaye. The book previously was adapted as HBO’s first miniseries in 1984, starring Ben Cross, Amy Irving, Omar Sharif and Christopher Lee. The latest version will consist of 30 hourlong episodes and be produced by Michael Ward and Colin Burrows for Beautiful Bay Productions.
Billed as the biggest TV co-pro between London and India, the series will combine top Indian acting talent and the British capital’s post-production skills including a creative crew made up of both Indian and British technicians. No broadcast or streaming partner has been mentioned.
The Far Pavilions was written by British author Kaye in 1978. It tells the story of an Englishman brought up as a Hindu during the British Raj and his passionate love for an Indian princess.
Ward, who produced a 2005 West End musical based on the book, said today: “Having based myself in Mumbai for most of the last decade, I’m excited to spearhead the Indian end of this international collaboration. 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 talents to contribute towards turning it into a high-end television series authentically written and cast for a global audience.”
London has been a popular destination for Indian films for more than 30 years, with about 20 shooting in the city during the past 12 months including the box office hits Judwaa 2 and Mubarakan.
Khan, who is on a drive to remind the world that London is open for business, announced the project today in Mumbai during the UK-India Year of Culture.