Well it looks like we can chalk up another victim of the writers strike. Right after news broke that The Weinsteins had put their big-screen version of the musical Nine on hold, it now looks like Johnny Depp's Shantaram will be joining the list of casualties as well. Varietyreports that Warner Bros. has halted production on the adaptation of Gregory David Robert's best-selling novel. Depp was set to co-produce and star in the drama about "an Australian heroin addict who escapes a maximum-security prison, reinvents himself as a doctor in the slums of India and eventually uses gun-running and counterfeiting skills to fight against the invading Russian troops in Afghanistan". Mira Nair had signed on to direct back in January after Australian director Peter Weir left the project due to those pesky "artistic differences".

As was the case with The Weinsteins Nine, Shantaram's delay was a direct result of the strike. Mainly because it meant there was zero chance of any re-writes taking place before the film was set to begin shooting. According to Variety, screenwriter Eric Roth (Forrest Gump) was working on the project until the very last minute before the strike. But when combined with the problems securing a location for the shoot due to monsoon season in India, it looks like the film is going to be put on hold for the foreseeable future. I wouldn't worry though, the film has been a passion project for Depp for some time now, so I doubt he will let if fall by the wayside. There is no word yet on whether Depp is looking for a replacement project in the meantime, but stay tuned for any updates that come our way.
categories Movies, Cinematical