Roadside Attractions has acquired U.S. distribution rights to The Warrior Queen of Jhansi, an historical epic that tells the true story of a young provincial queen in British-ruled 1850s India who became a symbol of resistance, leading her people into a battle that would ultimately change the shape of history.
A fall release is in the works for the pic, which was was directed, produced and co-written by Swati Bhise, a British and Indian history scholar who produced 2015’s The Man Who Knew Infinity starring Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons. The international cast of The Warrior Queen is led by The Man Who Knew Infinity‘s Devika Bhise along with Rupert Everett, Derek Jacobi, Ben Lamb, Jodhi May and Hindi actors Yatin Karyekar, Milind Gunaji, Ajinkya Deo and Arif Zakaria.
Devika Bhise plays the Rani (translation: queen), who earned a reputation as the Joan of Arc of the East when in 1857 India, as a 24-year old general, she led her people into battle against the British Empire. Her insurrection shifted the balance of power in the region and set in motion the demise of the British East India Company and the beginning of the British Raj under Queen Victoria.
Swati Bhise, Devika Bhise and Olivia Emden co-wrote the script, and Devika Bhise is executive producer. CAA Media Finance brokered the deal.
“The Warrior Queen of Jhansi is an inspirational and powerful true story of a great leader who so clearly demands big screen treatment,” Roadside co-presidents Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff said Tuesday. “With her first film, Swati Bhise has created a beautiful epic about an amazing 19th century woman who controlled her own destiny and changed the world, by rallying her people and leading an army against British Imperialism. We’re proud to work with Swati in bringing her relevant and fascinating film to U.S. audiences this fall.”