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Mira Nair to adapt New York Times story ‘The Jungle Prince of Delhi’ into Amazon series

The 2020 Pulitzer finalist 'The Jungle Prince of Delhi' was an in-depth story on a family living in a decrepit palace in Delhi, claiming to be the royal family of Awadh.

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New Delhi: Indian film director Mira Nair is all set to adapt ‘The Jungle Prince of Delhi’, the New York Times story and podcast published in November 2019, into a web series for Amazon Studios.

Written by journalist Ellen Barry, the story, which was a 2020 Pulitzer Prize finalist, was an in-depth exposé of a family living in a ruined palace in Delhi and claimed to be descendants of the royal family of Awadh.

Nair, who is best known for films like The Namesake and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, will serve as executive producer and director of the series.

Barry announced the news on Twitter Thursday night.

“Exciting news: The Jungle Prince, my piece about one of Delhi’s great legends, a mysterious family who lived in a ruined palace in the forest, will be adapted for a series by the great @MiraPagliNair, Amazon & Sister Pictures, the producers of Chernobyl,” she tweeted.


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Series to be produced by makers of ‘Chernobyl’ 

The series will also be produced by Stacey Snider, Jane Featherstone and Kate Fenske of Sister pictures, Gary Foster and Russ Krasnoff of Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment, Christina Lurie of Fourth and Twenty Eight Films, and Barry and Caitlin Roper, head of scripted entertainment for The New York Times, according to Variety.

Sister Pictures also produced the much-acclaimed 2019 television series ‘Chernobyl’ on the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the Soviet Union’s subsequent efforts to cover it up.

Executive Producer Caitlin Roper said, “The moving story, and the 3-part audio series for The Times’s podcast, The Daily, were the result of years of reporting and investigation across continents. Since its publication, The Times has been searching for the right partners to expand the story’s reach and we are thrilled to work with the incomparable Mira Nair, and to be producing ‘The Jungle Prince’ series with Amazon Studios alongside Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment, SISTER, and Fourth and Twenty Eight Films.”

Published on 22 November 2019, the ‘The Jungle Prince of Delhi’ is an evocative story about a family of three — Begum Wilayat Mahal, Ali “Cyrus” Raza, and Sakina Mahal — who had been living in a decrepit 14-century hunting lodge in Delhi since the 1970s and claimed to be Awadh royalty.

Barry detailed her interactions with Cyrus, including his death in 2017, following a brief illness and followed their tale across countries in an attempt to unravel the truth behind this self-proclaimed royal family.

She eventually found that the family was in fact not royalty but were descendants of a former Registrar of the Lucknow University.


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