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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Amazon Studios Backs Priyanka Chopra Jonas Starrer ‘Sheela’

As per media reports, Amazon Studios has backed Sheela, a drama directed by Barry Levinson with Priyanka Chopra starring as Ma Anand Sheela.

Sheela is an individual who perpetrated what is known to be the largest bio-terrorist attack executed on American soil.

According to Deadline Hollywood, the project has been set there and that Permut Presentations’ David Permut will produce with Levinson.

It will be bankrolled with his Baltimore Pictures along with Jason Sosnoff and Chopra Jonas through her Purple Pebble America banner.

The script will be reportedly written by Nick Yarborough, who is writing the Training Day prequel for Warner Bros. This is another international project for PeeCee.

She also is the lead in The Matrix reboot at Warner Bros and stars in the Netflix original films We Can Be Heroes for director Robert Rodriguez and the Ramin Bahrani-directed The White Tiger.

In addition, she will also be starring alongside Richard Madden in the Amazon series Citadel.

For the uninitiated, Sheela was the personal secretary of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh from 1981 through 1985 and supervised the relocation of his numerous followers (known as the Rajneesh) to the small town of Wasco County, Oregon.

Sheela was appointed president but unbeknownst to both of them, this move would be met by resistance from the local community that led to a full-blown war within the county.

As a way to claim to govern the control of the land, Sheela devised a plan to fix the election by recruiting hundreds of homeless people to register to vote in their favour.

Ultimately, she was convicted of conspiring to poison local restaurants with salmonella to prevent the opposing locals from voting.

This became known as the 1984 Rajneesh bioterror attack. Shortly after, Sheela fled to Europe as a fugitive accused of arson, wiretapping, attempted murder, and mass poisonings.

She pleaded guilty to attempted murder and assault for her role. Subsequently, she was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison and paroled after 39 months.

A series featuring Ma Anand Sheela’s involvement and life is documented in Netflix’s Wild Wild West. 

Priyanka having announced this project on The Ellen Show a couple of months ago, it will be interesting to see her enact such a challenging character!

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