'Not chronicling history but staying true to book'
Mumbai: Filmmaker Nikkhil Advani says the team of his upcoming series 'The Empire' made the period action drama with the intention of doing justice to the source material, Alex Rutherford's historical fiction novel 'Empire of the Moghul: Raiders from the North'.
Advani is the showrunner of the series which chronicles the era of the Mughal empire founder Babur, played by actor Kunal Kapoor, from the age of 14 till his death at 47.
While retelling of the Mughal history can be considered by many as politically sensitive, Advani said the team has followed the book's narrative faithfully.
"I don't think I am retelling any story, I am just telling the story that is there in
the source material. There
will be contrasting views, interpretations, people might say, 'This other book says this.' We are not claiming that we have been factual, we are claiming that we are following the book. The book, for all intentions and purposes, is historical fiction," he said in an interview.
The filmmaker said while the team did have a historian to monitor everything - from the costumes to the dialogues - their priority was to simply rely on the source material.
"While we have got the era, period, dates and the events right, there could be things that the book claims which people might not agree
with. But my only responsibility is towards the book.
The advantage here was that Diana and Michael Preston - pen name Alex Rutherford - are avid history buffs themselves.
"They are crazy about the Mughal empire and the period. We did have a historian onboard to guide us, but we were lucky that the source material was so compelling. For me, it is not really about chronicling history but staying true and responsible to the book."
Directed by Mitakshara Kumar, who has also co-written it with writer Bhavani Iyer, 'The Empire'' will premiere on Disney+ Hotstar on August 27.
He said the first decision his banner Emmay Entertainment took was to get Kumar on-board.
"Where I try to make everything more realistic, grungy and gritty, it was important to bring a different lens to the storytelling.
To bring a certain level of patience which allows you
to get into the meticulous detailing of the costumes, make up, prosthetics, the writing and even the performances. To get her on-board was the best decision we made," he added.