Deadline.com and Variety, two leading trade sources in Hollywood, have confirmed reports that the talented Poorna Jagannathan has landed herself a starring role in HBO's drama series Criminal Justice. HBO has given a pilot order to the drama project, Schindler's List Oscar winning writer Steven Zaillian will co-pen the pilot and direct, with The Color of Money Academy Award nominee Richard Price on board to co-write as well.
The A-list ensemble cast is headlined by James Gandolphini (of The Soprano's fame) and also includes Riz Ahmed (The Reluctant Fundamentalist), Bill Camp (Damages) and Peyman Moadi (A Separation). Filming is expected to start mid-October.
Criminal Justice is a New York-set crime drama loosely based on Peter Moffat. The show has been awarded BAFTA Awards for best drama and best writer, three Royal Television Society Awards and an International Emmy. In this series, Jagannathan will play Safar Khan, a Pakistani woman whose son is accused of committing a murder.
About her new role, Jagannathan says, "This is one of the most incredible projects I've ever been a part of: everyone involved is best in class." When asked about her character, she said, "Safar Khan is the polar opposite of my character in Delhi Belly! I've never played someone like her but the writing is so strong that it makes playing her feel like second nature. Her journey is a roller coaster: she goes from knowing her son is innocent to eventually thinking he might be guilty."