‘Mogul Mowgli’ Trailer Shows Riz Ahmed as a Hip Hop Star Battling an Illness

If you thought Riz Ahmed battling a degenerative disease during the rise of his music career in The Sound of Metal wasn’t enough, the first trailer for Mogul Mowgli offers up a similar narrative that continues his award-winning streak.

Directed by Bassam Tariq (who is currently attached to direct the Blade remake), Mogul Mowgli features Ahmed’s first co-writing credit on a feature film, and finally showcases his rap abilities that will remind audiences of his powerful music career. Mogul Mowgli first premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2020, and is finally opening in U.S. theaters later this year.

The film follows the story of Zed, a British-Pakistani rapper who is diagnosed with a degenerative autoimmune disease right before his European tour. In order to recover and grapple with this new disease, he returns to London to see his family. With a writing credit on the film, Ahmed drew from some of the elements from his own life for Mogul Mowgli. Additional cast members include Aiysha Hart, Alyy Khan, Sudha Bhuchar, Nabhaan Rizwan and Anjana Vasan.

Image via Strand Releasing

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The trailer is sure to advertise Ahmed’s rap performances, as well as his and the character’s connections to Pakistan and his Muslim identity. The lyrics of his raps in the film are politicized, echoing his own roots from his previous satirical social-commentary music numbers. Fans might be most familiar with his inclusion on the Hamilton Mixtape with “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done),” which won an MTV Video Music Award in 2017. Like his electric performance that serves is heard over the entire trailer, Mogul Mowgli asserts itself as an intense and deeply emotional film, full of life and movement. While I do not think it will gain the momentum that The Sound of Metal did, it’s sure to be another fantastic addition in Ahmed’s flourishing career.

Ahmed just finished filming Encounter, a sci-fi thriller for Amazon Studios that is set to premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Additionally, he is tied to a modern day retelling of Hamlet in London, with himself playing the titular character. Ahmed will also star in the highly anticipated adaptation of Exit West, Mohsin Hamid‘s stunning novel that follows a young refugee couple that finds secret portals to escape their war-torn country. Finally, Ahmed will create, write and produce his own project called Englistan, a miniseries that tells the story of a British-Pakistani family over three generations.

But first check out Mogul Mowgli, which will premiere in LA and NYC on September 3. Catch the first trailer below.

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