After years of being in development limbo, Shantaram is in talks to finally rise above and continue production. Based on Gregory David Roberts’ novel of the same name, it follows an Australian convict who escapes and travels to Bombay to rebuild himself as a doctor. It is revealed that there is much more to the character as he becomes involved with the local mafia.
The rights to the film adaptation were purchased for $2 million back in 2004 and was set to star Johnny Depp, which I personally don’t think would have worked to its full potential. After the WGA strike in 2007-2008, Depp reportedly left the project as he found a problem with the shooting schedule and the monsoon season. Deadline reports that Depp is now trying to nab Joel Edgerton for the role, while staying on the project as a producer.
As someone who has become a huge fan of Edgerton over the past couple of years, not only could this be a great role for him, but finally a film to put him front an center as a lead. With his performances in Warrior, The Great Gatsby, and just a brief appearance in Zero Dark Thirty, he has proven his worth as a somewhat soft, yet strict and cold-hearted man; making me even more excited for this project. Who wouldn’t want to see Edgerton as a mysterious man disguised as a doctor who gets involved with the wrong people?
Screenwriter Eric Roth has written the script and the project is looking for a director.
So begins this epic, mesmerizing first novel set in the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Shantaramis narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear.
Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, the two enter Bombay’s hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere.
What do you guys think? Do you believe Edgerton will have what it takes for a leading role? Have you read the book and have an opinion? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.