ZEE5 released the trailer of one of the most anticipated series of the year Taj – Divided by Blood starring Naseeruddin Shah, Dharmendra, Aditi Rao Hydari, Aashim Gulati, Taha Shah Badussha, Shubham Kumar Mehra in the lead. Inspired by true events, Taj – Divided by Blood chronicles around King Akbar (played by Naseeruddin Shah) and the ensuing blood battle between his sons for the Mughal throne. The 10-part succession and family drama series will stream on ZEE5 from 3rd March 2023
Produced by Contiloe Digital along with William Borthwick as the showrunner, Simon Fantauzzo as the writer and Ron Scalpello as the director, Taj – Divided by Blood stars Naseeruddin Shah as King Akbar, Aditi Rao Hydari as Anarkali, Aashim Gulati as Prince Salim, Taha Shah Badussha as Prince Murad, Shubham Kumar Mehra as Prince Daniyal, Sandhya Mridul as Queen Jodha Bai, Zareena Wahab as Queen Salima, Padma Damodaran as Queen Ruqaiya Begum, Rahul Bose as Mirza Hakim and Dharmendra as Sheikh Salim Chishti. The series also stars Subodh Bhave, Aayam Mehta, Deepraj Rana, Shivani Tanksale, Pankaj Saraswat, Digambar Prasad and Zachary Coffin in supporting roles.
As seen in the trailer, the series encapsulates the reign of King Akbar who is on a quest to find a worthy successor for his grand legacy leading to a bloody battle between his sons for the throne. While most stories on the Mughal era have been portrayed through the rose-tinted glasses of romance, Taj – Divided by Blood will showcase these historical figures as humans with ambitions, desires and flaws. A complete visual spectacle, Taj – Divided by Blood is full of drama, politics and tragedy; jealousy, deceit and betrayal; love, lust and romance; arts, poetry and architecture and most importantly it’s a bloody war of succession in the quest for power.
Director Ron Scalpello said, “I have been an avid follower of Indian History hence when I got the opportunity to put forth a series on the Mughal empire, I was ecstatic. Since there have been so many versions of the Mughal history, I did have to research a lot to unravel the unknown facets of these historical figures and that is where our show stands out in Taj – Divided by Blood, you will get to see these historical figures as humans with ambitions, desires, greed and flaws which is rather an unseen side of the empire. Also, the theme of war and succession is global hence I am sure that the series will appeal to a global audience”.
Naseeruddin Shah said, “Taj – Divided by Blood is the story of war, succession and power set against the backdrop of the Mughal empire. The show unveils the inner workings that played out in the hallowed chambers of King Akbar’s empire. While many have recreated the Mughal history but Taj – Divided by Blood has taken an unexplored and unchartered take on it hence making it compelling for old and new viewers. A brilliant team from across the globe has brought this series to life and from whatever I have seen so far, I can tell that it is going to be one of the most riveting series of the year”.
Aditi Rao Hydari said, “I have always enjoyed history; there are always great stories many of which are outside of our textbooks. When I was asked to play Anarkali I was afraid as much as I was excited. Anarkali is an iconic character, her beauty and grace was considered unparalleled and enchanting beyond one’s imagination. I was intimidated at first and especially because of how it’s been portrayed by the mesmerising Madhubala in Mughal-e-azam. What made me take a leap was a meeting with the director Ron Scalpello and the writers William and Simon. Anarkali has been written very uniquely and so it felt like a new challenge to take on. The collaborative nature of our discussions also really added to my journey into this world to make it my own. It has been a privilege and responsibility to play Anarkali and I hope that I have done justice to it”.