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Kunal Nayyar to star in Gurinder Chadha’s ‘Christmas Karma’ alongside Eva Longoria, Hugh Bonneville and Danny Dyer

Source: Rick Bhatia/Jenny Gage + Tom Betterton/True Brit

Kunal Nayyar, Eva Longoria, Hugh Bonneville, Danny Dyer

Kunal Nayyar, Eva Longoria, Hugh Bonneville and Danny Dyer head the ensemble cast of Gurinder Chadha’s Christmas Karma for which Zygi Kamasa’s True Brit Entertainment has UK and Ireland rights. 

Filming is set to start on April 22. It is being produced by Anushka Shah for Maven Screen Media, with Chadha’s Bend It Films. The executive producers are Kamasa, Paul Mayeda Berges, Sophia Pedlow, and Hannah with Celine Rattray, Trudie Styler and Amory Leader. Further backing is coming from Mumbai and London-based Civic Studios.

The Bollywood musical retelling of A Christmas Carol will also star musicians Boy George, Pixie Lott, Billy Porter, Eve, with Bilal Hasna, a 2023 Screen International UK Star of Tomorrow, Charithra Chandran, Leo Suter, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Nitin Ganatra, Allan Corduner and Rufus Jones.

Chadha’s credits nclude Bend It Like Beckham, Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, and Blinded by the Light. The latter premiered at Sundance in 2019.

“I am making a British Film from my unique, original point of view but one that resonates with Dickens’s masterful statement on the human condition,” said Chadha, who has also written the script. 

Take That’s Gary Barlow has written the music with All Saints singer Shaznay Lewis and composer Nitin Sawhney.

Christmas Karma will draw parallels between the cost-of-living crisis in contemporary London and the poverty in Charles Dickens’s London. The song-and-dance numbers, which blend rap, Christmas carols and bhangra, will cumulate in a set piece on Regent Street with 300 people.

At the UK Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) Committee in January, Chadha spoke about the difficulties she faced while trying to secure funding for a British film with an Indian lead. She also revealed that when she told UK prime minister Rishi Sunak about her film, he said, “Don’t make me look bad.” Chadha replied, “I don’t have to do that for you.”

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