Late last year, the news broke that Johnny Depp was to star in Shantaram, an Eric Roth-penned adaptation of Gregory David Roberts' novel of the same name. The novel is a story of drug addiction, armed robbery, prison and other similarly romantic subjects, and is based on Roberts' real-life experiences in Melbourne, Bombay, and Germany; it's thought that the movie will focus on Roberts' time in Bombay, where, among other things, he acted as a slum doctor and dabbled in organized crime.

Reportedly driven almost entirely by Depp's passion -- it was at his urging that Warner Brother's dropped $2 million on the rights to the story -- the movie was originally to be directed by Australian helmer
Peter Weir, he of Gallipoliand The Year of Living Dangerously fame (and Green Card infamy, though I admit I sorta liked it). This morning, though, Varietyreported that Weir has left the project. Depending on who you believe, Weir and Depp either disagreed over the direction of the film and parted amicably, or Weir was so out in left field with his interpretation that he had no one in the studio on his side, and finally just moved on. Either way, the movie has a star and a new rewrite (which Roth penned and Weir supervised), now all the cast needs is someone to tell it what to do. The hope is that production will being next spring.
categories Movies, Cinematical