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Hollywood has been really impressed with Joel Edgerton, who recently starred in The Great Gatsby and Zero Dark Thirty. The Australian actor is now reportedly in talks to star in Shantaram, a project Johnny Depp once hoped to star in and had been stalled for years.
Thursday afternoon, Deadline reported that Warner Bros. is reviving the project, which is based on the novel by Gregory David Roberts. Depp is still attached to produce with his Inifinitum Nihil partner, Christi Dembrowski. GK Films’ Graham King is also on board as co-producer.
The studio reportedly spent $2 million to secure the rights to the book in 2004. It centers on Mr. Lindsay, a man named Shantaram ("man of God's peace”) by the people of Bombay, who know nothing of his past. Before he arrived there, he escaped from an Australian prison and was a heroin addict. During the story, he also uses counterfeiting skills to fight the Russian army in Afghanistan.
Depp had hoped to star in the film and Peter Weir was set to direct, but production was stalled by the Writer’s Strike. Deadline notes that Depp personally stepped in and started talking about the project with Edgerton starring.