Photo Credit: Shanker Raman, Simon & Schuster India, Pawan Kumar, and Deepa Mehta
Adding to its earlier announcement of Deepa Mehta directing episodes of Leila, Netflix has announced two new directors for its dystopian India original series: Shanker Raman (Gurgaon) and Pawan Kumar (Lucia). The three will handle the total of six episodes among themselves, with Mehta helming the first two. Huma Qureshi (Badlapur) and Siddharth (Rang De Basanti) are currently the only known cast members. Leila will release in 2019 on Netflix.
Based on journalist-turned-writer Prayaag Akbar's 2017 book of the same name, Leila is currently in production in New Delhi. Urmi Juvekar (Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!) is the showrunner, while Mehta also serves as a creative executive producer for the Netflix series. Mehta is best known for her Elements trilogy — 1996's Fire, 1998's Fire, and 2005's Water — and 2012's Midnight's Children. She was officially announced as a director for Leila at a Netflix event in Singapore earlier in November.
Raman turned director on 2017's Gurgaon, which he also co-wrote, after working as a cinematographer for over two decades on films such as Anurag Kashyap's Mukkabaaz. Kumar is mostly known for his work in the Kannada film industry, including the 2013 psychological thriller Lucia and the 2016 mystery-thriller U Turn, which he remade himself in Tamil and Telugu this year.
Here's the official synopsis for Leila from Netflix:
“In a digitised city, sometime in the near future, as an obsession with purity escalates, walls come up dividing and confining communities. Behind the walls, high civic order prevails. In the forgotten spaces between, where garbage gathers and disease festers, Shalini must search for Leila, the daughter she lost one tragic summer two years ago. Skirting surveillance systems and thuggish repeaters, Shalini - once wealthy, with perhaps a wayward past; now a misfit, pushed to the margins - is propelled only by her search.”