Tabu and Ishaan Khatter are among the cast members of the television adaptation of Vikram Seth’s acclaimed novel A Suitable Boy, producer BBC announced in a press release.

Directed by Mira Nair and adapted by miniseries veteran Andrew Davies (Les Misérables, War & Peace), the six-part series stars Tanya Maniktala in the lead role of Lata, the university student who is torn between three suitors, including one who runs a shoe company modelled on Bata. Khatter will play Lata’s relative Maan, who is enamoured of the courtesan Saaeda Bai (Tabu).

Vikram Seth’s 1,349-page novel, published in 1993, is set in 1951, four years after Independence and a year before the first general election. A Suitable Boy is “a vast, panoramic tale charting the fortunes of four large families and exploring India and its rich and varied culture at a crucial point in its history”, the BBC press release said. The adaptation, which will begin filming in several locations in India, including Lucknow and Maheshwar, will be “fired by Andrew Davies’ mastery of plot and character and the peerless talent of Mira Nair”, the press release added.

“Today, A Suitable Boy is timelier than ever,” Nair said in the press release. “With a mix of legendary and cutting-edge actors from the subcontinent, shooting entirely on location in palaces, villages and streets across northern India, we will keep the history and dream of an alternate India alive.”

In 2002, BBC Radio broadcast a series based on the novel. The mini-series marks Mira Nair’s debut on television. Her most recent film was Queen of Katwe in 2016.

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