Mahesh Rao’s 2018 novel Polite Society, a Delhi-set contemporary retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, will be adapted as a television series, Deadline reported. The series is being produced by Tomorrow Studios, a joint venture between ITV Studios and Marty Adelstein, who has produced Prison Break and Teen Wolf. Rao, who has previously written The Smoke is Rising, will serve as a consultant on the production.
Polite Society follows Ania Khurana, a denizen of Lutyen’s Delhi who enjoys being a matchmaker for her friends and family. Rao’s novel “shows us the champagne-fuelled, orchid-festooned bubble that (most of) his characters inhabit with a deliciously sly eye for the subtleties that those at the intersection of economic, social and cultural wealth pride themselves on,” Scroll.in said in its review. “It’s a Delhi twist on the perversely magnetic appeal of accounts of the obscenely wealthy, whether it’s The Great Gatsby or Crazy Rich Asians.”
Rao said in a statement reported by Deadline, “I’m excited to see my written words leap off the page and onto the television screen with Tomorrow Studios and its partnership with ITV Studios bringing this story to an audience worldwide.”
Austen’s Emma has previously inspired Rajshree Ojha’s Aisha (2010), which was also set in Delhi and starred Sonam Kapoor and Abhay Deol.