EXCLUSIVE: Kunal Nayyar has been cast in Sikhya Entertainment’s sci-fi drama Punha, marking The Big Bang Theory star’s first acting role in Hindi.

Directed by Arati Kadav, Punha revolves around technology that enables people to create a replica of a deceased loved one, to help them cope with their loss. Nayyar will play the only son of a couple who dies in an accident and is replicated by his parents, but becomes conscious that he’s not really human.

Kadav, who previously worked for Microsoft and has made several short films, wrote the script with Zain Matcheswalla.

Sikhya Entertainment’s Guneet Monga is producing the film with Ben Rekhi. “It’s a story with international appeal and having Kunal will help us reach both Hindi and English-speaking markets,” Monga said.

Rekhi added: “It’s an opportunity to look at how we tackle issues like death and loss in the age of technology.”

Production is scheduled to start next May-June during a break in Nayyar’s TV schedule filming hit US comedy series The Big Bang Theory.

He is also starring in Sooni Taraporevala’s upcoming 31/2 and Aditya Bhattacharya’s A Momentary Lapse Of Reason.

Born in the UK, Nayyar moved to Delhi at the age of four, so grew up speaking Hindi. He moved to the US in his late teens.