The Mughal emperor King Akbar and the subsequent bloody battle between his sons for the throne are the subjects of Bollywood’s upcoming historical project starring Naseeruddin Shah, Aditi Rao Hydari, and Dharmendra.
At the 14th Karachi Literature Festival, a young person asked a panel consisting of director Nadeem Baig, actors Kubra Khan, Shahzad Sheikh, Shamim Hilaly, and writer Bee Gul. Why Pakistan does not produce films about its own history, and in particular, the Mughal empire, when so many other countries do?
“It’s very expensive to make movies about our great rulers, but I agree that we should,” Nadeem Baig said, laughing. That’s why most of the time we just have to import them from overseas. Instead of embracing the rich historical periods in Pakistani films. e suggested that we just watch what others are making right now.
King Akbar (Naseeruddin) is on a mission to find a worthy heir to his grand legacy, and the trailer for Taj: Divided by Blood captures the ensuing bloody struggle between his sons for the throne. Taj: Divided by Blood promises to be full of drama, politics, and tragedy; jealousy, deceit, and betrayal; love, lust, and romance; arts, poetry, and architecture; and, most importantly, a bloody war of succession in the quest for power, which is something most romantic stories about the Mughal era gloss over.
Taj: Divided by Blood was written by Simon Fantauzzo and directed by Ron Scalpello, and it starred Naseeruddin as King Akbar, Aditi as Anarkali, Aashim Gulati as Prince Salim, Taha Shah Badussha as Prince Murad, Shubham Kumar Mehra as Prince Daniyal, Sandhya Mridul as Queen Jodha Bai, Zareena Wahab as Queen Salima, and Queen Ruqaiy
For her part, Aditi, who plays Anarkali in the war-themed series. admitted to the Hindustan Times that she was nervous about taking on the role. Fear and excitement were equally present in my mind when I was offered the role of Anarkali. A legendary figure, Anarkali was admired for her stunning good looks and graceful demeanor. She admitted, “At first, I was intimidated, especially after seeing how it was portrayed by the mesmerizing Madhubala in Mughal-e-Azam.”
The ten-part succession and family drama series Taj: Divided by Blood will premiere on the over-the-top (OTT) platform Zee5 on March 3, 2023.