Priyanka Chopra and Barry Levinson are developing a movie based on Netflix's acclaimed documentary Wild Wild Country. The actress announced the project earlier this week, saying that she'll be on board as producer while taking on an undisclosed role in the movie. Levinson (Rain Man) is on board, but it isn't clear if he's directing or not. However, his inclusion will take the project to the next level. Chopra refers to Levinson as an "iconic American director."
Wild, Wild Country premiered on Netflix in early 2018 and quickly gained praise. The documentary is about the controversial Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, aka Osho, his one-time personal assistant Ma Anand Sheela, and their community of followers in the Rajneeshpuram community located in Wasco County, Oregon during the early to mid-1980s. Priyanka Chopra's movie will focus on Ma Anand Sheela and her work with Osho. Priyanka Chopra had this to say about the project.
"We're developing it as the character of Sheela, who was this guru who originated from India, his right-hand woman. And she was just devious and created a whole cult in America, brought people here."
Ma Anand Sheela was the right hand woman for Osho, who also had some ulterior motives. In 1985 she pleaded guilty to attempted murder and assault for her role in the 1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack. Sheela was trying to influence the local Wasco County Court and used "bacteria and other methods to make people ill," to prevent them from voting in an attempt to gain court seats and take over the county. She was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison and later paroled after only 39 months.
Wild, Wild Country is a fascinating story on its own, but a movie focusing on Ma Anand Sheela has the potential to be pretty big. After the six-part documentary on Netflix, many wanted to know more about the mysterious Sheela and her actions. The sprawling story contains many elements that seem like complete fiction, but it's all true and corroborated by witnesses and those who participated in the acts (including Sheela) throughout the four-year stronghold on Wasco County. Sheela' story starts off innocently, but later unravels into something else entirely.
Ma Anand Sheela was the voice for Osho since he took a vow of silence. She took a small commune and turned it into a thriving community within Wasco County. The community had its own water, electricity supply, banks, stores, and restaurants, plus a hotel, a dance club, a beauty salon, and a landing strip for flying supplies in. In 1986 when Rajneeshees declared bankruptcy, the land was valued at $120 million. The Wild, Wild Country movie is currently in development. A title and release date have yet to be announced, but that news should drop in the near future. You can watch Priyanka Chopra announce the Wild, Wild Country movie below, thanks to the Ellen Show YouTube channel.