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It has been known for some time that Gregory David Robert's novel Shantaram is being turned into a movie by none other than Johnny Depp's production company formed 2 years ago. Johnny had snatched up the rights to the movie and will play the lead character. Originally Peter Weir was to direct, but last week it was announced that Mira Nair is now directing. And now, deewani can die happily because her dream has come true, Amitabh (click for article) has agreed to be in it! Depp, Amitabh, together on big screen. wub.gif I cannot wait for this movie! (Chunky is also supposed to do a cameo as himself, as he is in the book in a scene where he is filming the song Aage Chor Peeche Chor from Paanch Paapi). Shilpa Shetty is currently in talks as well.

A bit about the movie:
The film would be based on he book by Gregory David Roberts, a book that is said to be partly autobiographical. The story follows an Australian heroin addict who escapes from prison and disappears into the slums of Bombay, where he poses as a doctor helping the poor. His mission becomes real, and he delves into counterfeiting, smuggling and gunrunning to finance his medical efforts.

The author's website - though the book is a piece of fiction, it is based on events largely in Mumbai in the 80s.

This is a good project and i have no doubts if its true
Whatever Mira Nair does attracts a lot of attention. Be it the star cast or her film subjects. Like now everyone is waiting to hear more on her next film Shantaram (adapted from a book of the same title). She’s roped in Hollywood actor Johnny Depp and Bollywood’s biggie, Amitabh Bachchan for the film, and now she’s roping in some more Indian actors to complete the star cast. Rumours doing the rounds are that Nair has expressed a desire to rope in Shah Rukh Khan for a cameo in the film. None of them have confirmed this news, but the story seems to be warming up already. For obvious reason, you know!


Johnny Depp to get a real taste of Bollywood. Reportedly, he will be doing a masala item number in Shantaram
Bharati Dubey

Johnny Depp
Will Vishal Bharadwaj make Johnny Depp do another 'Beedi jalaye le'? The buzz going around is that the director-composer has got the music assignment of Mira Nair's Shantaram. The composer has been asked by Mira to compose four Sufi numbers, and a masala Bollywood item number for the film.

"It is learnt that the item number will be picturised on Depp," a source said.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that Nitin Desai's Studio is getting ready for Depp's shooting in Mumbai. The art director's team is busy recreating Dharavi, the place where Shantaram lived most of the time when he was in Mumbai.

"Most of the shooting is likely to take place in the studio and very little of it may happen at actual locations. Depp, it is learnt, may arrive in India after Christmas for the shooting of the film. Mira Nair has asked Amitabh Bachchan who plays a pivotal role in the film to block his dates for the film at that time," adds the source. Bachchan will be playing a kind-hearted gangster in the film.

When contacted Amitabh Bachchan said, "Yes, they have asked me to block my dates from January 2008 to May 2008."

Mira Nair

There were reports about Gregory David Robert aka Shantaram wanting Shah Rukh Khan to play the character of Qasim Ali Hussein, but it is still not clear if Khan will be doing the project. Also, Irrfan Khan too may be part of Shantaram although there is still uncertainty over which character he will be playing in the film.

Shantaram is an adaptation of Gregory David Roberts's book of the same name. The film is about Robert, a convicted Australian bank robber and heroin addict who escapes from Pentridge Prison, Australia, and flees to India to live in Mumbai.
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