From the pages of Empire of the Moghul: Raiders from the North by Alex Rutherford comes the story of a young king who is faced with a seemingly impossible challenge as rampaging armies and brutal enemies threaten his destiny, throne and even survival. Disney+ Hotstar has joined hands with prolific filmmaker Nikkhil Advani of Emmay Entertainment to present the biggest show created in India, The Empire – a fiction saga of a warrior-turned-king and the kingmakers who forged his destiny. Mounted on an unrivaled scale that brings together India’s finest talent, spectacular visuals and a gripping narrative, the trailer of this much-awaited series garnered high praises from critics, media and audiences alike.
The saga in Hotstar Specials presents The Empire begins with a young 14-year-old ascending the throne of Ferghana, and follows his journey of becoming King Babur (Kunal Kapoor). The series highlights how a king is created by his people, kingdom and the significant role his family plays in building him. It largely features the earlier aspects of his life in Fergana and Samarkand with a focus on his personal life. Being politically astute with a razor-sharp mind, his foresighted fearless grandmother Esan Daulat (Shabana Azmi) plays the role of the ultimate kingmaker. Another powerful force behind him is the iron-willed Khanzada (Drashti Dhami) Babur’s sister and his guide, the epitome of royal grace who is vigilant, sharp and resilient; and as important as any general in his huge army. However, his greatest enemy is Shaibani Khan (Dino Morea), a menacing, overly-ambitious and ruthless emperor whose chase for desire knows no limits. Also featuring actors Aditya Seal (Humayun), Rahul Dev (Wazir Khan), Sahher Bambba (Maham) among others, in critical roles, the series showcases Babur’s battles to protect Ferghana and Samarkand, his time spent in Kabul as a nomad, and the ultimate capture of his personal turmoil.
Directed by Mitakshara Kumar who has also co-written this mammoth project with Bhavani Iyer, produced by Monisha Advani and Madhu Bhojwani, Hotstar Specials presents The Empire, set to release for all subscribers of Disney+ Hotstar on 27th August 2021.
Director Mitakshara Kumar said,“When I started working on The Empire, I treated it like a movie and not a show which allowed me to step into the big frame and create an experience on a massive scale where every detail was minutely taken care of, as we do for movies. Seeing the tremendous response from all quarters on the trailer has instilled confidence in me that we have indeed created something special! Right from the costumes, dialogues, backdrop, everything was well thought through and holds the narrative. I am lucky to have The Empire as my directorial debut and partners like Nikkhil Advani, Monisha Advani & Madhu Bhojwani at Emmay Entertainment and Disney+ Hotstar. Many years of dedication and hardwork has gone into creating this project, and I am eagerly waiting for viewers across India to enjoy it.”
Actor Drashti Dhami said, “It’s been an overwhelming experience – right from working with this brilliant team to actually seeing audience reaction on the trailer! Playing the role of Khanzada was challenging but equally empowering. Through Khanzada’s eyes you will see how strategy and planning comes into play and how easily allies become adversaries. Every day on the set of The Empire was an experience on its own and watching it all come together as a landmark in Indian entertainment, makes the journey even more gratifying.”
Actor Dino Morea said, “Shaibani Khan is the most dynamic and interesting antagonist I have played in my career. For the character I had to be a different person altogether – menacing, shrewd and sometimes downright scary! From the moment I would put my costume on, I had to become that person, ‘Shaibani Khan’. The detailing, complexity and the love and hate for this character is what makes him so special. Can’t wait for audiences to see a different avatar of me through The Empire.”