Brit film on Nehru-Edwina Mountbatten affair put on hold due to recession

      Universal Pictures has postponed plans to start filming the adaptation of Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire by the historian Alex von Tunzelmann, according to Variety magazine. The film planned to lift the lid on one of the most sensitive chapters of the last days of the Raj - the love affair between Edwina Mountbatten and Jawaharlal Nehru. It had sent waves of panic through the modern-day Indian establishment when it was announced earlier this month, reports The Independent. The Indian Government has demanded that some of its scenes be rewritten and depictions of physical intimacy be banned in exchange for granting permission to film. Actress Cate Blanchett was to star as the amorous English aristocrat, with Hugh Grant as her socially ambitious husband and India's last viceroy, Lord Louis Mountbatten. Studio bosses are said to have baulked at the 30 to 40 million dollar price tag for the venture with Working Title Films. Director Joe Wright, who had hoped to start filming on location in India next year, said the budget pressures in a difficult market had added to the already troublesome conditions of shooting a major film in India and forced the delay. It was claimed he had considered going ahead on a reduced budget of less than 30 million dollars, but decided to hold on for the extra cash with Universal. The film was due to tell the story of Lady Mountbatten's passionate relationship with the Cambridge-educated scion of the ruling Congress Party. Although their intimate friendship was an open secret among the upper echelons of Raj society, it has long been insisted that the affair never tipped over into the physical. Nehru's niece acknowledged in a television interview that, while they were most likely in love, it was a relationship based on "genuine respect and admiration". Such was the level of admiration that, when Lady Mountbatten died in 1960, Nehru sent a frigate to lay a wreath of marigolds at sea in her honour in the English Channel. Her body was said to be surrounded by letters from her Indian beau.

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