William Dalrymple’s best-selling historical book on colonialism “The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company,” is being adapted into a series by independent studio Wiip and India’s Roy Kapur Films.
Set during 1599 to 1802, “The Anarchy” traces the ascent of The East India Company against the decline and fall of the Mughal Empire. It provides an account of how a provincial trading start-up, run by 30 people from an office in a nondescript London building, became rulers of an entire sub-continent. The novel was listed by former U.S. President Barack Obama as among his top 10 recommended books of 2019.
Roy Kapur Films acquired rights to the book in June. Executive producers on the project include Wiip’s Paul Lee (“Dickinson”) and Mark Roybal (“No Country for Old Men”), Roy Kapur Films’ Siddharth Roy Kapur (“Dangal”) and XPat Productions’ Naz Haider and Siva Natarajan.
The series will be set up as an international co-production between Wiip and Roy Kapur Films to be produced across the U.S., U.K. and India. Wiip and RKF will assemble a diverse international team of writers to create a global series both in scale and quality.
“Siddharth is not only India’s most formidable producer, but he is also a true gentleman,” said Roybal. “We are beyond thrilled to be partnering with him, along with our good friends at XPat, on ‘The Anarchy.’ Paul, the Wiip team and I are humbled — and to be honest, slightly terrified — that Mr. Dalrymple has entrusted us with his epic masterpiece. There couldn’t be a more opportune moment for adapting ‘The Anarchy’ into a television event.”
Roy Kapur, former MD of The Walt Disney Company India and current president of the Producers Guild of India, produced 2016’s “Dangal,” India’s biggest worldwide grosser of all time. His recent credits include “The Sky Is Pink,” starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Farhan Akhtar, and Netflix original “Yeh Ballet.”
“I believe that stories that are compelling, relevant and authentic have the potential to resonate with audiences across all nationalities and cultures, whichever part of the world those stories may come from,” said Roy Kapur. “We are delighted to be working with Paul, Mark and their team at Wiip to bring to life this fascinating book and to create what we envision to be the definitive story of the colonization of the Indian sub-continent.”
Dalrymple, serving as a creative consultant on the project, is the bestselling author of “In Xanadu,” “City of Djinns,” “From the Holy Mountain,” “The Age of Kali,” “White Mughals,” “The Last Mughal” and most recently, “Nine Lives.”
Wiip’s projects including Peabody winner “Dickinson,” for Apple TV Plus, “The Uninhabitable Earth” for HBO Max and “Queen America” for Facebook Watch. Wiip also serves as the co-studio alongside HBO on limited series “Mare of Easttown” and “The White House Plumbers.”