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Joel Edgerton Starring In Shantaram
He'll take over the novel adaptation from Johnny Depp

05 September 2013  |  Written by James White  |  Source: Deadline

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Joel Edgerton Animal Kingdom

Though it came loaded with a juicy, Oscar-potential leading man part that Johnny Depp was solidly down to play, somehow the adaptation Gregory David Roberts’ novel Shantaram just couldn’t overcome the slings and arrows of director changes and a writers’ strike and quietly faded back into the development mire somewhere around 2007. Now, however, it appears to be pulsing with fresh life, snagging Joel Edgerton as its new star.

Warner Bros. has been trying to get this one made since 2004, when it bought up the rights to Roberts’ story. With thinly veiled nods towards the writer’s own life, it follows an Australian heroin addict who escapes a maximum-security prison and heads for Bombay, where he poses as a doctor. While he does a lot of good, his path leads him to Afghanistan, where he uses his gunrunning and counterfeiting skills to fight invading Russian troops. Like we said: juicy leading man part.

Directors such as Mira Nair and, most prominently, Peter Weir have been attached to Eric Roth’s script, but the situation is currently vacant. Though Depp is no longer looking to star, he’s still on as a producer and in fact personally reached out to Edgerton to pitch him the job.

Edgerton has plenty of work lined up already, with several films in the can. He’s written The Rover and scripted/starred in Felony. He’ll also be seen in Midnight SpecialJane Got A Gun and Ridley Scott’s Exodus.

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Your Comments

RE: RE Hope they pull this off
Oh didn't mean to say I don't like Depp, he's a great actor that goes without saying, but the character, at least as written in the book, is an unattractive thug and about as un-Johnny-Depp-y as you can imagine More

Posted by bleugh07 at 23:14 on 07 September 2013 | Report This Post

I'm mildly interested to see how this pans out, but...
can't help but lament how special the Depp/Weir could have turned out. There was a real promise of magic there. More

Posted by partybee at 10:39 on 07 September 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Hope they pull this off...
Joel is miles better than Depp ,huh? are you kidding? he can't handle a candle to Depp. More

Posted by Koka19 at 09:32 on 06 September 2013 | Report This Post

Hope they pull this off...
They'll need a decent budget - $50million or so I'd say - to do the novel justice. I have a lot of affection for Shantaram but it'll need a serious paring-down to get it to a manageable length if they aren't planning to split into into more than one book, and they won't be because it's really not for kids. Having seen what roberts actually looks like, I was really hoping for Daniel Craig in the role but Edgerton isn't a bad substitute; miles better than Depp anyway. I'm saying this just to pe More

Posted by bleugh07 at 08:47 on 06 September 2013 | Report This Post

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