Variety reports that Mira Nair will direct the big-budget Johnny Depp-starrer Shantaram for Warner Bros. Pictures, with Graham King's Initial Entertainment Group and Depp's Infinitum Nihil producing. Brad Pitt's Plan B is a producer as well.
Production is likely to begin as soon as this fall, with a possible 2008 release. Nair will direct from a script by Eric Roth, who is adapting Gregory David Roberts' novel of the same name. The novel is based partly on the author's own adventures, according to publisher St. Martin's Press.
In Shantaram, an Australian heroin addict escapes from a maximum-security prison and reinvents himself as a doctor treating the destitute in the slums of Bombay. His drive to procure medicine leads him into counterfeiting, gun-running and smuggling.
Nair's credits include Vanity Fair, with Reese Witherspoon, Monsoon Wedding, and upcoming The Namesake.