Kunal Nayyar’s ‘Christmas Karma’ Has Begun Filming in London

London welcomed Christmas earlier this year with Bollywood tunes! The filming of Gurinder Chadha’s ‘Christmas Karma’ has begun in the English capital city on April 22. The principal photography will culminate with a set piece on Regent Street in central London, with 300 people participating. The musical comedy involves a star-studded cast, including Kunal Nayyar, Eva Longoria, Boy George, Billy Porter, Hugh Bonneville, Leo Suter, and Charithra Chandran.

‘Christmas Karma’ narrates an immigrant’s story set in London, taking inspiration from the classic Charles Dickens novella ‘A Christmas Carol.’ Several parallels can be drawn with the seminal work as Kunal plays an ill-tempered immigrant, while the film mirrors the original text’s poverty-stricken setting with London in the throes of a cost of living crisis. The narrative will balance the darker themes of its real-world struggles with messages of hope and compassion, partly conveyed through song-and-dance numbers, which blend rap, Christmas carols, and Bhangra.

Acclaimed filmmaker Gurinder Chadha is an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and is recognized for ‘Bend It Like Beckham,’ ‘Blinded by the Light,’ and ‘Viceroy’s House.’ While announcing the project, she said, “By adapting one of history’s greatest novels – Charles Dickens’ ‘Christmas Carol’ – I am making a British film from my unique, original point of view but one that resonates with Dickens’ masterful statement on the human condition.” Chadha also talked about her team, “I am blessed with such a great diverse cast and eclectic music team – the soundtrack will be banging, influenced by Gospel, Bhangra, Carols, and classic pop songs. You will not be able to sit still.”

While developing the film, Chadha also claimed to have spoken with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. When discussing the upcoming film, the head of government allegedly asked her not to make him look bad. Chadha has a few more projects in the pipeline. She will helm Netflix’s animated film ‘Pashmina,’ an adventure comedy following a young Indian-American girl who rediscovers her heritage through a magical pashmina (shawl). She is also working on another musical project involving Mark Tunstall.

The Big Bang Theory’ star Kunal Nayyar leads the Christmas film as the miserly Scrooge and was quite excited at the prospect of putting a new spin on the character. “To explore a beloved holiday tale through the eyes of an immigrant story (much like my own) is exactly the kind of movie that I believe will resonate with so many of us who are searching for the meaning of home,” he commented. “It takes a visionary like Gurinder to take a chance on a story like this, and I am humbled to be a part of it,” he added. In an Instagram post, he joked, “Now I can be grumpy for 2 months and no one can complain about it.”

Kunal played Rupert Brown in ‘How to Date Billy Walsh‘ and Peter in ‘Spaceman.’ Longoria was part of the cast of ‘A Circus Tale & A Love Song’ and ‘Tell It Like a Woman.’ Porter is known for his performances in ‘Our Son’ and ‘Cinderella.’ Bonneville was last seen in Apple TV+’s ‘The Completely Made-Up Adventures of Dick Turpin‘ as Jonathan Wilde, while Suter played Harald Sigurdsson in ‘Vikings: Valhalla.’

Charithra starred alongside Kunal in ‘How to Date Billy Walsh.’ The rest of the cast includes Pixie Lott, Danny Dyer, Bilal Hasna, Allan Corduner, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Rufus Jones, Eve, and Nitin Ganatra.

The production is joined by acclaimed British singer-songwriter Gary Barlow, Shaznay Lewis, and Nitin Sawhney to compose the jubilant tunes. Barlow is a star of the English pop band Take That and has received six Ivor Novello Awards from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the late Queen Elizabeth II in 2012.

London is currently hosting the shooting of upscale productions like Prime Video’s ‘Levon’s Trade,’ Tom Cruise’s ‘Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part Two,’ Tom Kingsley’s action comedy ‘Deep Cover,’ and the fifth season of Apple TV’s ‘Slow Horses.’

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