Bollywood star Ishaan Khatter (Beyond the Clouds, Dhadak) leads the cast of BBC One’s adaptation of author Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy.
Set to soon begin filming in India, the first screen adaptation of the novel will also star Tabu (The Namesake, Life of Pi, Andhadhun) and Tanya Maniktala. The six-parter will tell the story of Lata (Tanya), a spirited university student coming of age in North India in 1951 as the country is about to go to the polls for its first democratic general election.
While Lata’s mother endeavors to find her a husband, she’s torn between family duty and her desire for the excitement of embarking on a journey of love and self-discovery. Khatter plays the wayward Maan, who is infatuated with the beautiful courtesan Saaeda Bai (Tabu) in the series.
A Suitable Boy has been adapted by Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice, War & Peace, Les Misérables), with Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake, Queen of Katwe) directing. The series is produced by Lookout Point.
Tabu said: “Coming together with Mira after The Namesake is a thing of great joy for me. And to collaborate with her and the BBC for Vikram Seth’s book is something I’m so looking forward to. Along with being a dedicated and engaging filmmaker, Mira is also someone who is the most fun to work with.”
Davies said: “I am truly thrilled to be chosen by Vikram Seth to adapt his masterpiece A Suitable Boy for the screen. It’s a charming, almost Austenesque story, with a delightfully relatable heroine, set against the turbulent background of India in the years following Partition. It has been a total joy to work on, and I hope that audiences will love it as much as I do.”
Nair said: “Vikram tells the story of a free India and our people with wit, clarity and love—I am deeply honored to be the one bringing this intimate, epic tale of an unseen India to the world. Today, A Suitable Boy is timelier than ever. 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.”
Seth commented: “It was with some anxiety that I agreed to my book being put on the screen, but I’m glad I did. With Andrew adapting and Mira directing, I feel that my story is in safe yet inspiring hands. We all passionately believed that the series should be filmed in India with an Indian cast, and we have got great locations and wonderful actors. I am confident they will bring my characters brilliantly to life—and I hope they have a really good time doing so.”
Faith Penhale, executive producer for Lookout Point, said: “Like all great stories, A Suitable Boy has the power to thrill and move audiences everywhere, but what makes it truly special and unique is that it is a story born of India and about its people. So we’re thrilled to be able to celebrate this wonderful country on the international stage by working with an incredibly talented ensemble of Indian actors and by shooting everything on location. We hope to create a truly ground-breaking drama for the BBC and with the creative powerhouse of Vikram, Andrew and Mira at the helm we have every chance of doing so.”
Mona Qureshi, executive producer for the BBC, added: “We are truly honored that the first-ever screen adaptation of Vikram’s iconic novel will be on BBC One. To have such remarkable talent involved in the show—an incredible all-Asian cast, the esteemed Andrew Davies and the wonderful Mira Nair—makes it very special. Production in India is about to start and we couldn’t be more excited.”