Shantaram drama series lands at Apple
Apple has landed the rights to develop Shantaram, an international drama series based on the bestselling novel by Gregory David Roberts, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed. Back in January, Paramount Television and Anonymous Content gained the rights to the novel, with a deal made for the rights to the sequel, The Mountain Shadow, as well.
Shantarum tells the story of Lin, a man on the run from an Australian prison looking to get lost in the teeming city of Bombay. Cut off from family and friends by distance and fate, he finds a new life in the slums, bars, and the underworld of India. The novel is a thrilling and profound exploration of love, forgiveness, and courage on the long road to redemption.
Roberts’ novel was published in 39 languages in 42 territories worldwide and has sold more than six million copies. Oscar and Golden Globe-nominee Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle) is writing the script. Singer will also executive produce alongside Emmy-nominee David Manson (Ozark, Bloodline) and Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin and Nicole Clemens along with Andrea Barron.
Shantaram has been in development at Warner Bros. as a feature film since 2003. Johnny Depp was attached to the lead for several years, with Peter Weir (Master and Commander) attached to direct and Roberts penning the script alongside Eric Roth. Mira Nair (Vanity Fair) took over as director before the film was ultimately cancelled in 2009. In 2013 Warners wanted to go ahead once again with Joel Edgerton in the lead and Garth Davis (Lion) directing from Roth’s script, but then nothing came of that.
Apple’s other upcoming series includes three from Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine: a morning-show drama starring Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, Are You Sleeping starring Octavia Spencer, and a comedy led by Kristen Wiig. Apple’s slate also includes Steven Spielberg’s upcoming Amazing Storiesreboot, a Ronald D. Moore space drama, a Damien Chazelle series, world-building drama See from Steven Knight and Francis Larence, an M. Night Shyamalan psychological thriller, and the comedy Dickson starring Hailee Steinfeld.