The story is based on Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's final article for The New Yorker, which was published in March before she died in early April. The plot centers on the complicated relationship between an Indian judge in New Dehli and his much younger wife. While they both share a home together, the husband and wife lead very separate lives. With the judge on his death bed, he makes sure she will be cared for and not shunned by society after he passes.
Alexander Payne has previously teamed with Fox Searchlight on Election, Sideways and last year's Best Picture nominee The Descendants. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala is best known for her work with filmmakers Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, writing the screenplays for classics such as Howards End, The Remains of the Day and many more.