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Riz Ahmed, the British star of Rogue One, Jason Bourne and HBO’s The Night Of, is working with the BBC on his first self-penned TV drama.
Englistan — which Ahmed first revealed to The Hollywood Reporter in 2016 — is a nine-part series telling the story of three generations of a British-Pakistani family, following them as they pursue their dreams over four tumultuous decades, navigating shifting circumstances and evolving loyalties.
The project, announced Monday, is being produced by BBC Studios Drama London in association with Left Handed Films for BBC Two.
“I’m excited to be working with [BBC Studios executive producer] Esther Springer and all the team at BBC Studios,” said Ahmed. “Englistan is an untold British story with universal themes and resonance. It’s the story I always wanted to tell, and it’s a privilege to have the opportunity to do so.”
Added BBC Drama controller Piers Wenger: “Set against the familiar backdrop of the late 20th century but from a point of view which feels entirely new, Englistan is the story of the birth of multicultural Britain as seen from the inside. We are honored to be working with Riz on this epic, deeply personal story.”
Englistan was commissioned by Wenger, Patrick Holland, controller of BBC Two. Executive producers are Ahmed for Left Handed Films, Springer and Hilary Salmon for BBC Studios Drama London and Lucy Richer for BBC Two.
Speaking to THR in 2016, Ahmed said that he hoped to direct as “much as possible” of his drama, following up on his debut short film, Daytimer, which bowed in Sundance in 2015, but added that he didn’t intend to cast himself.
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