Mumbai, Oct. 12 -- About six or seven years ago, it was announced with a lot of fanfare that a film adaptation of Gregory David Roberts's Shantaram would soon hit screens.
But the project never took off. The film that was supposed to star Johnny Depp, and be helmed by Mira Nair, was considered to have been shelved especially after it was derailed due to the writer's strike (2007-2008) in Hollywood. Now, buzz is that the movie is back on track again, but Mira might not be a part of it anymore.
Certain sections of the media have reported that Depp might not star in the project anymore, and will only produce it. In fact, it's believed that after a couple of failed attempts to kick off the film, Depp himself resumed the entire process by personally seeking out Joel Edgerton (of Star Wars and Zero Dark Thirty fame) for his part.
What's most interesting is that the makers are allegedly in talks with Emmy nominated-director Garth Davis to replace Nair. Shantaram is a 2003 novel in which an Australian heroin addict convicted of robbery escapes from a maximum-security prison and flees to India and reinvents himself as a 'doctor' in the slums of Mumbai. Earlier this year, Nair had stated, "I still yearn to make Shantaram. It is a beautiful tale. It has been put to bed and, when it rises, I hope I will be making it." Nair couldn't be reached for a comment.