Filmmaker Nikkhil Advani-created series “The Empire” will debut on Disney+ Hotstar on August 27, the streamer announced on Saturday. Based on Alex Rutherford’s “Empire of the Moghul: Raiders from the North”, the show is directed by Mitakshara Kumar, who has also co-written it with writer Bhavani Iyer. The epic period-action-drama traces the saga of an empire from the valley of Ferghana to Samarkhand and beyond.
“The king of Ferghana dies in an accident and a young prince is now tasked with taking over the throne. It’s a time of great distress due to imminent danger from an evil warlord.
“An assassination attempt on the king that further deepens the worries about the vulnerability of Ferghana. The young king must now take responsibility for an entire kingdom,” the official synopsis of the show read.
Actor Kunal Kapoor, who is making his digital debut, features as an emperor and is joined by an ensemble cast including Shabana Azmi, Drashti Dhami, Dino Morea, Aditya Seal, Sahher Bambba and Rahul Dev.
Advani, who serve as the showrunner, said “The Empire” is a dream project that he has nurtured for years.
He added that the show will provide an unforgettable viewing experience to the audiences.
“The narrative we are exploring is something none of the makers have ever attempted in the history of Indian entertainment and given this story a fictional and creative bent.
“It”s overwhelming to see the trailer receive resounding praises and we hope that it makes for an unforgettable viewing experience,” Advani, known for directing films such as “Kal Ho Na Ho” and “D Day”, said in a statement.
Azmi said she has always been spellbound by the “imperial lives from the pages of history”.
“We have seen and read many stories but the ones that I love the most are where women play strategic roles; much like my character in ‘The Empire’, she is fierce, confident and knows what she wants.
“I hope the audience enjoys watching her as much as I enjoyed playing her,” the 70-year-old actor said.
Talking about his character, Kapoor said it was intriguing for him to play an emperor in the series as the character has a lot of complexities.
“We have heard many stories about Babur and the Mughals, but very little about who they were, where they came from and how they came into India.
“In this fictional take, this is a character with a lot of complexities, and that is what intrigued me as an actor,” he said.
The eight-episode series has been shot across multiple locations in India and Uzbekistan.
“The Empire” is produced by Advani’s sister Monisha Advani and Madhu Bhojwani under their banner Emmay Entertainment.