Jonathan Rhys Meyers is to play the lead role in hotly anticipated survivalist drama, Shambhala.  

The Dublin-born actor, who portrayed Henry VIII in BBC2 drama The Tudors and Dracula in the US series of the same name, is cast as the lone survivor of a plane crash who finds himself stranded in the mountains of Northern Pakistan. As his character is forced to deal with the trauma against the backdrop of an alien culture and language, Shambhala becomes an emotional story of enlightenment and redemption.

Shambhala’s producer Huw Penallt Jones said: “We always wanted Jonathan as our lead, we’re delighted he’s taking part. His character goes on a real journey and Jonathan will portray it with unique skill. It’s an affecting story, the landscape will be stunning.”

Golden Globe-winning Jonathan, 38, whose upcoming roles include gay rights drama Stonewall and Cold War thriller Damascus Cover, in which he appears alongside John Hurt, will be joined in Shambhala by Pallavi Sharda. The Australian/Indian actress has been equally as busy as her co-star, having only just completed filming on Lion, the story of a lost Indian boy, alongside Hollywood actress Nicole Kidman and Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel.    

Jomon Thomas, CEO of Xeitgeist Entertainment Group, the production company behind the drama, said: “Shambhala is a provocative, moving story. The locations are challenging but really spectacular. And Jonathan and the rest of the cast are going to help make this a spellbinding movie.” 

Filming on the drama is due to begin later this autumn. No word on a UK broadcaster yet.