Irrfan Khan Pulls Out of Upcoming Amazon India Series Due to Health Issues
The actor is undergoing treatment in London for a rare form of cancer and will not topline the previously announced political satire 'Gormint.'
One of India's most recognized faces in Hollywood, Irrfan Khan, has pulled out of the upcoming Amazon Prime Video India series Gormint, which was earlier titled The Ministry, due to health issues.
The star of such films as Jurassic World and Life of Pi, Khan was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer early this year and has been undergoing treatment in London.
Last year, Amazon announced that Khan would topline the upcoming series playing a washed-up narcissistic Bollywood actor who is unwittingly appointed as temporary culture minister and battles various odds to "be loved by the masses once again."
In a statement Monday, the actor said that he had been working on the show, which "was one of my favorite ongoing projects," and that "after shooting for months and after having a ballistic time on set, I discovered my now ongoing physical condition."
In March, Khan, 52, revealed that he had been diagnosed with a high-grade neuroendocrine cancer.
"With a heavy heart I would like to say that due to this ongoing situation, I will not be able to fulfill my acting commitment to the show," Khan said. "I am gutted by this development because the character and the show thrilled me and I even lived with the character for several months before having to cut the journey short. But after extensive discussions, workarounds and sincere efforts by everyone involved, the situation prevents me from being able to do the show entirely. And thus, I must, at this time, exit stage left."
Khan also added that he remains "excited to see the final product and have complete faith in the creative team to deliver something that is unique and unseen in the Indian satire space so far, and I wish them the same good luck and love that they have always wished for me."
Gormint was created by Gursimran Khamba, one of the founding members of well-known Indian comedy collective All India Bakchod. The series is co-produced by entertainment company Only Much Louder, which last year inked a deal with Amazon Prime Video to produce 14 stand-up Indian comedy specials and an unscripted original series, Comicstaan, which is currently streaming on the service.
"Amazon Prime Video, along with the show’s creators and cast, are deeply saddened by this news," said Amazon Prime Video India director and content head Vijay Subramaniam. "Irrfan has been — and will continue to remain a part of the Amazon family. We wish him a speedy and successful recovery and look forward to watching the show with him sitting right next to us."
For now, Amazon has not shared further details about the show's production status or whether Khan will be replaced.
Khan's latest Bollywood release is Karwaan, while he recently starred in Marc Turtletaub's Puzzle, alongside Kelly Macdonald.