French studio Gaumont (“Narcos”) is collaborating with Indian producer Dina Dattani (“The Ashram”) on a series adaptation of Preti Taneja’s debut novel “We That Are Young.”
A re-imagining of William Shakespeare’s “King Lear” set in contemporary India, the novel follows the tumultuous lives of the aging patriarch of a business empire, his three daughters and their vassals. The novel made it to several “book of the year” lists and won the $13,200 (£10,000) Desmond Elliott prize for new fiction in 2018.
“‘We That Are Young” is a work of epic scope and depth, providing a deep insight into today’s India, and the clash of tradition with modernization, as well as nuanced sexual politics,” said Gene Stein, president of television for Gaumont U.S. “We intend to shoot this series on location in India with the highest degree of authenticity while creating an elevated dramatic storyline with true global appeal.”
Dattani acquired the television rights to the book when it was published. “Preti Taneja’s ‘King Lear’ story works remarkably well with a critical look at the balance of power in contemporary India through its three female protagonists in charge of a powerful dynasty in a patriarchal society,” said Dattani.
Formerly a U.K.-based lawyer, and also head of business and legal affairs at Fox in India, Dattani also has in development two more as-yet-untitled series, and two India-set independent features. She also holds feature adaptation rights to “We That Are Young.”