Ishaan Khatter (Beyond the Clouds, Dhadak), Tabu (The Namesake, Life of Pi, Andhadhun) and Tanya Maniktala have been set to star in A Suitable Boy, BBC One’s six episode adaptation of Vikram Seth’s classic novel. The series is filming at a number of locations across India including Lucknow and Maheshwar ahead of a 2020 premiere.
A Suitable Boy tells the story of spirited university student Lata (Maniktala); coming of age in North India in 1951 at the same time as the country is carving out its own identity as an independent nation and is about to go to the polls for its first democratic general election.
Lata’s mother is determined to find her a husband – a suitable boy – but Lata, torn between family duty and the excitement of romance, embarks on her own, epic journey of love and self-discovery. Connected to Lata through their siblings’ marriage, the wayward Maan (Khatter) is determined to enjoy life to the full whatever the consequences, much to the concern of his politician father. But could his infatuation with beautiful courtesan Saaeda Bai (Tabu) be one step too far?
Their stories play out during a tumultuous period for India and reflect the wider conflict between tradition and modernity at the time, as the election looms and the country decides its destiny. Andrew Davies penned the adaptation, which is being produced for BBC One by Lookout Point. The executive producers are Andrew Davies, Mira Nair, Vikram Seth, Faith Penhale, Laura Lankester, Will Johnston, Lydia Dean Pilcher and Aradhana Seth and Mona Qureshi The Namesake helmer Mira Nair is directing.
“It was with some anxiety that I agreed to my book being put on the screen, but I’m glad I did. With Andrew adapting and Mira directing, I feel that my story is in safe yet inspiring hands”, Vikram Seth said in a statement. “We all passionately believed that the series should be filmed in India with an Indian cast, and we have got great locations and wonderful actors. I am confident they will bring my characters brilliantly to life – and I hope they have a really good time doing so.”
“We are truly honoured that the first ever screen adaptation of Vikram’s iconic novel will be on BBC One”, added Mona Qureshi, Executive Producer for the BBC. “To have such remarkable talent involved in the show – an incredible all-Asian cast, the esteemed Andrew Davies and the wonderful Mira Nair – makes it very special. Production in India is about to start and we couldn’t be more excited.”