'Immigrant': Kumail Nanjiani Will Star in Hulu Series About the Founder of Chippendales

Kumail Nanjiani is using his recently acquired swole-ness to star in the Hulu limited series Immigrant. Nanjiani will play Somen “Steve” Banerjee, the creator of the male stripper dance troupe Chippendales. Chippendales rocketed Banerjee to fame and fortune, but he also was later caught up in a criminal scandal and went on to plead guilty to attempted arson, racketeering, and murder for hire.

Hulu has given a straight-to-series order for Immigrant, an 8-episode limited series created by Robert Siegel and executive produced by and starring Kumail Nanjiani. The series is based on the “true story of Somen ‘Steve’ Banerjee (played by Nanjiani), the Indian-American entrepreneur who started Chippendales. The series will detail the insane, darkly comedic, crime-ridden story behind the unique male revue that became a cultural phenomenon.”

Banerjee emigrated from India to Los Angeles with dreams of fame and fortune. He found it with the creation of Chippendales, a dance troupe of male exocit dancers. Soon he was pulling in $8 million a year – but it would eventually all come crashing down due to a series of criminal activities. Wikipedia has some more info on that:

Banerjee was later charged with having enlisted the aid of Ray Colon, in 1990 and 1991, to help carry out a plot to kill Michael Fullington, a former Chippendales dancer and choreographer, and two other ex-Chippendales dancers, who Banerjee felt were competition to the Chippendales franchise. He was also indicted for allegedly orchestrating the 1987 murder of his former choreographer/added partner Nick De Noia. It was also alleged that it was his intent to also have Nahin murdered. He eventually pleaded guilty to attempted arson, racketeering, and murder for hire. He entered into a plea agreement that would have led to 26 years in prison, loss of his share of the Chippendales’ parent company (Nahin retaining his share), and most of his estate.

Hulu’s Immigrant will be written by Robert Siegel and executive produced by Siegel, Nanjiani, Dylan Sellers, and Emily V. Gordon as well as Rajiv Joseph and Mehar Sethi who will also write on the series.

Interestingly enough, Immigrant isn’t the only project about Banerjee in the works. In 2020 it was announced that I, Tonya and Cruella director Craig Gillespie would direct a movie about the Chippendales founder, with Dev Patel playing the role. However, there’s been almost no news about that since the announcement, so it’s unclear if it’s still moving forward at this point.

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