India's Jungle Book Teams With Fuchs

Drama series to be produced with Canada’s Take 5

LONDON — India’s Jungle Book Entertainment is targeting the U.S. market, working with Canadian producer Fred Fuchs to develop big-budget English-language TV drama “Greeks,” in association with Canada’s Take 5 Prods. (“Vikings”).

“Greeks” is set in 326 BC during Alexander the Great’s invasion of the Indian subcontinent. The skein focuses on two boys who study together, the Greek Seleucus Nicator and the Indian Chanakya, who find themselves in opposite camps years later when the former becomes a general in Alexander’s army and the latter is adviser to Indian ruler Chandragupta Maurya.

Cast is not yet set.

Budget will be around $3 million per hourlong episode, according to writer-director Pan Nalin (“Valley of Flowers,” “Samsara”), who set up JBE in November with producer Gaurav Dhingra (“Peddlers”).

Nalin says JBE hopes to tap Canadian tax rebates for the project, which will film in India and Canada with the company also considering Canada for post.

Fuchs is currently exec producing “Transporter: The Series,” a spinoff from the film franchise, now airing on HBO Canada and in Quebec on Super Ecran, RTL in Germany and M6 in France. He also exec produced 10-part miniseries “Camelot” in 2011.

JBE has offices in Mumbai and New Delhi with plans to open branches in Los Angeles and Paris.

JBE is spending $2.1 million to develop other English-language projects. First on the slate is Nalin-helmed documentary “Faith Connections,” about Maha Kumbh Mela, India’s largest religious festival, which is held every 12 years and attracted 120 million pilgrims from around the world in January. A co-production with Gallic producer Raphael Berdugo (“The Other Son”), the film is in post.

Next up is “Beyond the Known World,” a spiritual thriller set in New Zealand and India. The film, helmed by Nalin, begins shooting in October as a co-production with Kiwi producer Matthew Horrocks’ Reservoir Films (“Accidents”) and Gallic producer Ilann Girard (“March of the Penguins”) via his Arsam Intl.

JBE has signed a co-production deal with Germany’s Sam Film Prods. (“The Last Station”) for Buddha-themed “Siddhartha: The Inner Warrior,” also to be directed by Nalin.

Nalin said: “I saw tremendous potential and dedicated nearly five years with researchers and writers to develop India-centric content with universal appeal. India is an ocean of stories and we want to make the West believe that we can make international movies.”

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