Kapur to helm ‘Elizabeth I’

LONDON — Indian director Shekhar Kapur is going from ”Bandit Queen” to the Virgin Queen.

Kapur has signed up to direct ”Elizabeth I” for Working Title Films, a biopic based on the early life of the 16th-century English monarch. He’s currently working on the script with writer Michael Hirst, with shooting scheduled for this summer.

”Elizabeth I” is Kapur’s first film since his international breakthrough with the Indian movie ”Bandit Queen” two years ago, and will mark his English-language helming debut.

Despite the huge cultural divide between the two pics, there are also some obvious similarities. Both are based on true stories about strong female leaders who bucked social and sexual convention — but ”Bandit Queen” was about a folk heroine outlaw in modern India, whereas ”Elizabeth I” is about the queen of Tudor England.

According to producer Tim Bevan, the aim with ”Elizabeth I” is to achieve a ”dirty” modern feel. ”We want to buck the trend of costume drama, and for the director we wanted someone who doesn’t hold the British monarchy in too much reverence,” he said.

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