'Mughal Mowgli': Riz Ahmed to play British-Pakistani rapper in new role

The British 'Star Wars' actor will play a performer whose career is threatened by illness

Riz Ahmed of Britain poses for pictures during a presentation of Shooting Stars, a selection of upcoming actors, at the 62th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 13, 2012.   REUTERS/Thomas Peter (GERMANY  - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) *** Local Caption ***  TPE18_GERMANY-FILM-_0213_11.JPG

Riz Ahmed will play the lead in upcoming film Mughal Mowgli, a drama about a British-Pakistani rapper whose big break is derailed by serious illness.

Ahmed, who won an Emmy in 2017 for his role in American series The Night Of, has co-written Mughal Mowgli and will produce the film in collaboration with Pulse Films. Mughal Mowgli is to be directed by acclaimed documentary maker Bassam Tariq, whose Ghosts of Sugar Land won the non-fiction short film award at the Sundance Film Festival and was subsequently acquired by Netflix.

“I’m excited to be finally be working on a feature with my friends at Pulse Films and my co-conspirator Bassam Tariq,” Ahmed said. “We are setting out to do something different, and do it in a bold way.”

The CEO of Pulse Films, Thomas Benski, added: "Collaborating with Bassam and Riz on Mughal Mowgli goes to the heart of our studio's ethos, to tell human stories that capture moments of culture.

“Bassam and Riz are among the most exciting creators around, and both embody true talent. Their stories will provide audiences with work that not only stands out, but pushes the boundaries of cinema and storytelling. I am equally thrilled to be producing this project with Riz and excited to watch his talents as a producer, songwriter and performer take centre stage.”

Ahmed, 36, has plenty of first-hand experience of the music industry. A fixture of the London hip-hop scene, he released his debut solo album in 2011 before forming the popular duo Swet Shop Boys in 2014. Swet Shop Boys released a critically acclaimed album in 2016 and performed at Glastonbury and Coachella.