Bridgerton star Charithra Chandran has been cast as the lead in Olivia Hetreed’s upcoming drama series, Song of the Sun God. The actress will also act as associate producer on the six-part series based on Shankari Chandran’s novel.
As revealed in a recent Deadline report, Chandran will both star and produce the upcoming drama series based on the 2017 novel. “We are excited that Charithra is both joining the cast and the producing team,” Claire Mundell, Synchronicity’s executive producer of the upcoming series said. Chandran, who is best known for her breakout role as Edwina Sharma in the second season of Netflix’s hit regency drama, Bridgerton, will play lead character Leela. Leela is a young Australian woman living in London, unaware of her family’s long-held secrets and disconnected from her own culture. Chandran, who is represented by Jonathan Arun Group in the UK and Gersh in the US, also stars in the September-released rom-com podcast A Mid-Semester Night’s Dream and in Prime Video’s Alex Rider as Sabina Pleasance.
Song of the Sun God will be duel-produced by indie Synchronicity Films and Australia’s Photoplay Films, with author Chandran working as creative consultant on the project. Mundell (Synchronicity Films) will work alongside Karen Radzyner (Photoplay Films) on the series. Synchronicity picked up the project as part of its “drive and passion for adapting powerful and important books for the screen,” Mundel said. “Shankari Chandran’s novel is a poignant, and deeply moving story of the Sri Lankan conflict seen through the prism of one family,” she said. “With its timely and universal themes, we feel the project will resonate with global audiences.” The movie will be financed by Cineflix Rights, who will also have the first option for exclusive worldwide distribution.
Hetreed’s adaptation of Song of the Sun God will follow Leela and her family. Hetreed, who worked as a writer on Girl with the Pearl Earring, will focus on the love, lies, and misdemeanors of three generations of Sri Lankan women, spanning across the UK, Australia, and Sri Lanka. It will follow Leela’s dangerous yet personal journey in trying to find her lost aunt and discovery of the reason behind her disappearance. In the 2017 novel, the story of Nala and Rajan, who begin their arranged married life in 1946 (the eve of Sri Lanka’s independence from Britain) is explored. Against a backdrop of increasing ethnic tension and its descent into a bloody civil war, the couple grow to love each other and must make hard decisions in order to protect their growing family.
No date has been confirmed for Song of the Sun God’s release. Seasons one and two of Bridgerton are currently streaming on Netflix.