Based on a novel by M.M. Kaye and having been given a lavish mini-series treatment in 1984 (and with a cast that included John Gielgud and Omar Sharif), The Far Pavilions is to be remade in a mammoth 30 episode co-production filmed in the UK and India. It’s the largest ever co-production of it’s kind between the two countries.
The Far Pavilions is mostly set in India during the days of the Raj and tells the story of an Englishman, raised as a Hindu, and the love he has for an Indian Princess. The series is being produced by Beautiful Bay Productions with Michael Ward in India and Colin Burrows in the UK co-producing.
The series will feature top on-screen talent from India and a creative crew of both Indian and British technicians, with post-production being handled in London. The co-production was announced by Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, in Mumbai during the U.K.-India Year of Culture.
Saddiq Khan, the Mayor of London, whilst in Mumbiar announcing the production during the UK-India Year of Culture, said: “U.K. and India’s film and TV industries have a long, proud tradition of working together. Whether it’s Bollywood hits such as Judwaa 2 and Mubarakan being filmed on the streets of London, or blockbusters like Slumdog Millionaire and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel—British movies filmed on location in India—the creative bond between India and the U.K. is as strong as ever, and one I have been promoting during my Mayoralty.
“I’m delighted to announce this landmark collaboration on The Far Pavilions. 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.”
Producer Ward added: “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.”
Adrian Wootton, who is the the chief executive of Film London and the British Film Commission said: “From this high-end adaptation of The Far Pavilions to our own microbudget feature The Hungry, the exchange of talent, skills and business between the Indian and U.K. screen industries has enormous potential. 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.”
We will have more on casting and so on as the series moves further into production.
Our picture above shows Ben Cross in the 1980’s version.