Depp, Weir & Roth to Visit "Shantaram"

by Scott Weinberg | Friday, Dec. 02 2005

Variety brings news of a cinematic pairing that should thrill most of the hardcore movie geeks out there. How about Peter Weir directing Johnny Depp? Yup, thought that'd get your attention.

"Peter Weir will direct "Shantaram," the Warner Bros. adaptation of the Gregory David Roberts novel that will star Johnny Depp.

Weir will develop the script with Eric Roth. WB hopes to begin production late next year.

Pic is being produced by Initial Entertainment Group's Graham King along with Depp's Infinitum Nihil banner and Plan B's Brad Pitt.

When negotiations are complete, Weir -- who last directed Russell Crowe in "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" -- will take on a tale with the political and wartime tensions reminiscent of his early efforts like "The Year of Living Dangerously" and "Gallipoli."

Protag is an Australian heroin addict who escapes a maximum-security prison and reinvents himself in India as a doctor in the slums of Bombay. His attempt to find medicine for his destitute patients leads him into counterfeiting, gunrunning and smuggling."
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One of moviedom's most consistent directors, Peter Weir also brought you "Picnic at Hanging Rock," "Witness," "The Mosquito Coast," "Dead Poets Society," "Green Card," "Fearless," and "The Truman Show." Mr. Roth's previous screenplays include "Forrest Gump," "The Insider," and "Ali." And Johnny Depp? Well, if I have to list Johnny Depp's credits for you, then you're clearly at the wrong website. (Note: He was in some really great movies before "Pirates"!)

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