Priyanka Chopra appeared on The Ellen Show Wednesday and revealed that she would be working with Barry Levinson on a movie based on the Netflix documentary, Wild, Wild Country. If you’re reading this you will probably be more enthused than Ellen’s audience.
“We’re developing it as the character of Sheela, who was this guru who originated from India, his right-hand woman. And she was just devious and created a whole cult in America, brought people here.”
Chopra will presumably play Ma Anand Sheela, since she said she’s got the lead role and the movie will be based on that character. Even for someone like Chopra who has done some truly groundbreaking things in her career, portraying Sheela is a tall order. The actual Ma Anand Sheela was immortalized as a larger than life character in the documentary. Then there was Nasim Pedrad dead-on portrayal of Sheela on Saturday Night Live. And she’ll also have to compete with whoever shows up in a similar role on Documentary Now!
Barry Levinson, who won an Oscar for Rain Man, is “developing” the film with Chopra. Just as she isn’t officially Sheela, he isn’t officially the director. Levinson’s latest projects were HBO original movies The Wizard of Lies and Paterno. So between that and the Netflix ties, who knows where this project will end up.
If you’re like Ellen’s audience and you aren’t familiar with Bhagwan Rajneesh, aka “Osho,” check out this Uproxx interview with a cameraman who was embedded with the Rajneeshees. And watch the actual documentary on Netflix because if it is worth Priyanka Chopra’s time, it is worth your time.