Why Shaun Toub Should Play Nader Shah in a Biopic

By Iman Sadri

April 25, 2022

Iranian history is rich with major battles, prominent monarchs and epic adventures. Persian history pre-dates the Achaemenid empire in the sixth century B.C. It’s long over due for one of the many powerful Persian kings to have a biopic film made of their lives. There is an ample array to choose from. Cyrus the Great. Darius the Great. Xerxes. (The rendition of which was completely inaccurate and historically deceiving in the film 300.)

There is the story of Ardeshir I of the Sassanian Empire who overthrew Artanabus IV in the Battle of Hormozdgan in 224 A.D. The result was the Sassanian Empire overthrowing the Parthian Empire. Fast forward to 1736 A.D. when Nader Shah became the King of Persia. Nader was the founder of the Afsharid Dynasty. He is widely regarded as one of the most powerful rulers in Persian history. Ruling from 1736 to 1747 he was assassinated during a rebellion. He fought and won many major battles while King.

Some of the most notable military campaigns are the battles of of Khorasan Herat, Mihmandust, Murche-Khort, Agh-Darband, Yeghevard, Khyber Pass, Karnal and Kars. Nader is known to many as ‘The Napoleon of Persia.’ Nader Shah is famous for sacking India. Crushing the Mughal army at the Battle of Karnal in 1739. Nader took the Peacock Throne and the Darya-e-Noor diamond. Nader Shah defeated Mohammad Shah in Delhi and went back to Iran with a booty worth 700 Million Rupees. The treasures he brought back to Iran allowed him to stop taxation for three years.

Nader became King in 1736 and only ruled for 11 years. He changed the coinage system and minted coins, called Naderi ‘s. He proposed treaties with the Ottomans and largely increased the size of Iran’s military. He grew up idolizing the military exploits of Genghis Khan and Timur. In a short span he modernized Iran’s military and fended off the Russians, who had prior to Nader Shah’s reign, taken much of Iran’s land near the Caspian Sea.

Nader had defeated the last of the Safavid rulers, Abbas III, who had conceded much territory to the Afghans, Ottomans and Russians. In fact, Isfahan was starved for 6 months after the Afghans had taken over the Safavid Dynasty. Nader Shah quelled many rebellions and rose in the ranks of power. A biopic of his life can be made starring Shaun Toub, seasoned actor of over 40 films and 100 episodics. He is now starring in the Emmy Award winning series Tehran on Apple +.

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