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The Ivory Throne: 'Baahubali' Makers Option Manu S Pillai’s Period Drama

Manu S Pillai's 'The Ivory Throne' received several awards including Tata Literature Live! Best Debut (Non-fiction) Prize and Yuva Sahitya Akademi Award.

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Updated:March 18, 2019, 9:37 PM IST
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The Ivory Throne: 'Baahubali' Makers Option Manu S Pillai’s Period Drama
Manu S Pillai's 'The Ivory Throne' received several awards including Tata Literature Live! Best Debut (Non-fiction) Prize and Yuva Sahitya Akademi Award.

Arka Mediaworks, the makers of director SS Rajamouli’s epic Baahubali franchise, has finalised their next project. As per reports, they are going to adapt author Manu S Pillai’s book The Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore, into a film. The Ivory Throne (2016) is a HarperCollins publication.

Manu S Pillai received several awards after his book released in the market. Some of noticeable ones include Tata Literature Live! Best Debut (Non-fiction) Prize and Yuva Sahitya Akademi Award.

The Ivory Throne begins with Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama’s entry into India, and his subsequent political exploits that were motivated by the want of spices. In that, the novel follows the life and work of Sethu Lakshmi Bayi, the last queen of the House of Travancore (1924-1932) and granddaughter of artist Raja Ravi Varma, and her fued with junior queen Sethu Parvathi Bayi. It travels deep into Kerala’s matrilineal society that gave way to Victorian ideals of patriarchy.

Manu said, "It is a period drama. In general, I can tell you that the costume, hairstyle were distinct to Kerala. Similarly, the story of native queens, where the power comes to women that in itself is a very interesting setup-- the colonial era with princely states, powerful queens. Then there is a woman who was the last reigning queen of Travancore. They have optioned it right now."

Optioning is a two-step process. In the first step, the rights to the book are purchased for a certain period. In that duration, the makers start developing the script and decide on the format. The second step takes place after this. Here the makers, after reaching the production stage, the makers purchase the rights of the book.

Pillai has also written Rebel Sultans: The Deccan from Khilji to Shivaji in 2018.

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