They first got together to bring on the silver screen the life of England’s Queen Elizabeth I. And now, as Oscar-nominated filmmaker Shekhar Kapur has expressed his desire to make a movie series on Lord Krishna, one of Hinduism’s most adored gods, English screenwriter Michael Hirst is willing to help him write the narrative for the project.
With actress Cate Blanchett in the lead role, Kapur panned his camera to narrate the journey of a girl to the throne. The first film came out in 1998 and the sequel, “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”, was released in 2007. The films won Kapur international acclaim with “Elizabeth” bagging the prestigious BAFTA Award and the second movie earning Oscar nominations.
Hirst, who is also the creator of “Vikings” — the fifth season of which is aired in India on AXN — says his idea of creating something on Indian gods could turn into reality soon.
“I would love to (work on an Indian show). I wrote ‘Elizabeth’ with Shekhar. I love Shekhar. I am still in touch with him. We talk a lot, we talked about doing something on Indian gods and hope one day we will be able to do that because I would love to be able to work with him again,” Hirst told IANS on the phone from Los Angeles.
Kapur, the man behind cinematic gems like “Masoom”, “Mr. India” and “Bandit Queen”, had told IANS that his “big dream is to make a series of films on the life of Krishna”.
Talking about the prospect of both of them getting back together, Hirst said: “I might be able to help him write Krishna… That would be a dream for me.”
Hirst, who also wrote Emmy Award-winning television series “The Tudors”, is busy with the fifth season of “Vikings”.
First it narrated the story of Ragnar Lothbrok, a legendary Viking hero. Lothbrok died in the fourth season, and the storyline is now focusing on the new generation of Vikings.
Hirst feels there is a strong connection between Vikings gods and Indian gods.
“I am fascinated by the Vikings sagas and pagan gods… As a writer, it is wonderful material. Some Indian gods are the same…They are wonderful, paradoxical, contradictory… In fact, the roots of the Vikings and Scandinavian paganism go back to the roots of Indian culture.
“There is definitely a connection between some of the Viking gods and some of the Indian gods. I wanted people, certainly Western audiences, to understand where some of there ideas came from. Most of our Christian holidays are based on pagan holidays, a lot of rituals are actually pagan rituals. I am not trying to educate them but trying to show that we are still connected to these people for many reasons.”
He says his mission is to “connect the past with the present”. “Vikings” has a universal appeal, and that helps the show cross boundaries and find an audience around the world, including India.
“I think about the characters in human terms and to think about their dilemmas — they are universal. And (treat them) as people from another planet.
“I hate all those historical dramas where I can’t connect to the characters.”
(Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
By Sugandha Rawal