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Tabu, Ishaan Khatter to shoot for Mira Nair's A Suitable Boy in India next month


The Indian film stars join Tanya Maniktala as the lead character Lata on the upcoming BBC series.

Sonal Pandya

The much-anticipated adaptation of Vikram Seth's popular novel, A Suitable Boy, is set to begin filming next month in Lucknow and Maheshwar, among other locations in India. Actress Tabu and actor Ishaan Khatter will join lead character, Lata, played by Tanya Maniktala at the shoot.

Writer Andrew Davies will adapt Seth's novel, while filmmaker Mira Nair will direct the six-episode series. Set in 1951, in a new independent India, the story follows four families and university student Lata's search for a suitable boy to marry.

Khatter plays Maan Kapoor, a relative of Lata's through marriage, while Tabu plays the beautiful courtesan Saaeda Bai that Maan is enamoured with. The actress had earlier worked with Nair on The Namesake (2007).

In a press statement, Tabu said, "Coming together with Mira after The Namesake is a thing of great joy for me. And to collaborate with her and the BBC for Vikram Seth’s book is something I’m so looking forward to. Along with being a dedicated and engaging film-maker, Mira is also someone who is the most fun to work with.”

Lead actress Tanya Maniktala has previously appeared in the online series Flames with Ritvik Sahore, while actor Vijay Varma was cast as university student, Rasheed this June.

This marks the first time that Nair is helming a project for television. She last directed Disney's Queen of Katwe (2016) and adapted her own 2001 hit Monsoon Wedding into a play.

Nair stated, “Vikram tells the story of a free India and our people with wit, clarity and love - I am deeply honoured to be the one bringing this intimate, epic tale of an unseen India to the world. Today, A Suitable Boy is timelier than ever. With a mix of legendary and cutting-edge actors from the subcontinent, shooting entirely on location in palaces, villages and streets across northern India, we will keep the history and dream of an alternate India alive.”

A Suitable Boy, executive produced by Davies, Nair and Vikram Seth, will be aired on BBC One sometime next year. The series is co-produced by Lookout Point, Lydia Dean Pilcher and Aradhana Seth and BBC's Mona Qureshi.