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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 17 February 2019

Priyanka Chopra developing film on Netflix's 'Wild Wild Country' cult

The actress is expected to star as cult leader Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh's right-hand woman, Ma Anand Sheela

Priyanka Chopra will likely play Ma Anand Sheela, personal secretary of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, in the based-in-reality film. Photos: Getty 
Priyanka Chopra will likely play Ma Anand Sheela, personal secretary of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, in the based-in-reality film. Photos: Getty 

Priyanka Chopra has revealed that she is developing a feature film based on Wild Wild Country, the hit Netflix docuseries about a 1980s cult. Chopra will star as Ma Anand Sheela, the assistant to Indian religious guru and cult leader Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, also known as Osho.

The actress announced her plans during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Wednesday, adding that she’s partnering with Oscar-winning Rain Man director Barry Levinson to make the movie.

“We’re developing it as the character of Sheela, who was this guru who originated from India, [Osho’s] right-hand woman. And she was just devious and created a whole cult in America, brought people here,” Chopra told DeGeneres. “[Wild Wild Country] was amazing, and I’m developing that next for me to star in and produce, which I think would be really cool.”

Netflix’s Emmy Award-winning, six-part documentary series premiered at Sundance last year before launching on the streaming platform in March. The show followed the Rajneeshpuram community in Wasco County, Oregon, where they built their own utopian community, leading to conflict with locals thanks to their “free love” message and unusual activities.

Much like in real life, although Sheela was technically a supporting cast member in the docuseries, she stole the show. She was key member is moving the cult out of India and into the United Stats of America, and ended up pleading guilty to charges including attempted murder, electronic eavesdropping, immigration fraud, and engineering a salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 750 people.

Sheela now lives in Switzerland, where she runs a care home. Chopra hasn't yet confirmed she will take on the role of Sheela in the upcoming film, merely that she is developing and "starring in" the project.

Chopra’s new film Isn’t It Romantic releases in the US on February 13. A UAE release date is yet to be confirmed.

Updated: January 31, 2019 01:09 PM

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