Shantaram is one of those films that's been on Hollywood's To Do list for quite some time. Warner Bros. first bought the rights in 2004, with Johnny Depp attached to produce and star and (at one point) Peter Weir set to direct. Now Depp's merely producing, with Joel Edgerton in the lead, and the potential director in talks is Top Of The Lake's Garth Davis.
The 2003 novel, by Gregory David Roberts, is a semi-autobiographical account of an Aussie armed robber and heroin addict who escapes from prison in Australia in 1980 and finds himself in India. There, he opens a health clinic and integrates himself into the local community. After another stint in jail, this time in India, he also ended up smuggling weapons to the Mujahideen as they fought the invading Soviets.
It's a sprawling, epic story with one or more sequels planned, so it's not the easiest plot to begin your big-screen career. But Davis did great work on mystery series Top Of The Lake, so we're optimistic that he can make it work if he signs on.
Edgerton will next appear in Jane Got A Gun and is currently filming his role as Rhamses in Exodus, opposite Christian Bale as Moses.