Totally wild

Priyanka Chopra to take on role of mass-poisoner Ma Anand Sheela in new film

Priyanka Chopra attends the Longchamp Spring/Summer 2019 Runway Show at World Trade Center on September 8, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Sean Zanni/Getty Images for Longchamp)

Priyanka Chopra is set to produce and star in a new film about Ma Anand Sheela, the infamous guru and former spokesman for the Osho cult movement who was forced to flee the U.S. after poisoning more than 750 residents of an Oregon town in 1984.

Chopra, one of a few Bollywood stars to successfully make the transition to Hollywood, said that she had taken a personal interest in the story of Sheela, whose charismatic leadership of the Rajneeshpuram community in Oregon catapulted her to fame even before she poisoned an entire town in a failed attempt to retain political control of the surrounding area.

“I am developing a feature with Barry Levinson. He is an iconic American director. We are developing it as the character of Sheela who is this guru who originated from India,” Chopra told Ellen DeGeneres on Tuesday. “She was his right-hand woman and she was devious. She created a whole cult in America. He was called Osho. I am developing that next for me to star in and produce.”

The film will adapt aspects of the Netflix documentary Wild Wild Country, which tracked the rise and fall of Sheela and the Rajneeshpuram community. After the mass-poisoning, Sheela was forced to flee to Switzerland after the cult’s leader, Osho, further accused her of arson, wiretapping, and attempted murder.

Read the full story at Elle.

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