EXCLUSIVE: Historian William Dalrymple and journalist Anita Anand’s well-received history book Koh-i-Noor: The History Of The World’s Most Infamous Diamond has been optioned for a TV drama series adaptation by Paris, LA and Mumbai-based producers 185 Carat Films.
The book charts the winding true story of the Indian diamond, the 27th largest in the world, which is currently part of the British Crown Jewels. The precious stone changed hands between various factions in south and west Asia, until being ceded to Queen Victoria after the British annexation of the Punjab in 1849. The diamond has inspired much folklore over the decades and has become a symbol of power as it passed from one royal to another.
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Producing for 185 Carat Films are Paris-based actress-turned-producer Koel Purie Rinchet (Rock On!!), LA-based international sales consultant and producer Raquel Carreras (All’s Faire in Love) and Mumbai-based producer Kamayani Punia (Crazy Mad Lover: Once Again). The producers struck the option with UK firm David Godwin Associates.
The trio, who are interviewing potential show-runners and writers now, told us: “This famous and cursed diamond wreaked untold devastation as it was viciously ripped from one royal hand to another. It has ended up in its final home, the Tower of London, after being gruesomely wrested from the hands of its last owner, a nine-year-old Maharaja. The international TV and web space has never witnessed a historical story of this magnitude, where bloodshed, love, sex, intrigue, beauty and cruelty all come together to create a layered narrative. This story, rooted in South Asia and traversing countries like Afghanistan and Iran, has a unique international appeal. It is a timely story of greed, power and appropriation regardless of cost.”
Indian actress, producer and TV presenter Rinchett has starred in movies including Everybody Says I’m Fine, Road To Ladakh and Rock On!!
Scottish historian, writer and broadcaster Dalrymple previously wrote and presented TV series Stones Of The Raj and Indian Journeys, which won him the Grierson Award for Best Documentary Series in 2002. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Princeton University and a Distinguished Lecturer at Brown University. UK radio and TV presenter and journalist Anand has also written books on Indian princess Sophia Suleep Singh and Indian revolutionary Udham Singh.