Joel Edgerton is looking to take over Shantaram from Johnny Depp

Joel Edgerton

Being asked to replace Johnny Depp in a film is one thing, but being handpicked by Mr. Depp himself is another honor all together.  So it’s good to be Joel Edgerton these days.  If everything goes to plan, Joel Edgerton will step into the role recently vacated by Johnny Depp on the thriller SHANTARAM.  The film has been in some stage of development for a long time and if you read the synopsis below of the novel it’s based on, you can see why.  I can see Johnny Depp clearly in this role, but Joel Edgerton is more than talented enough to pull it off.  There’s still a lot to go on this project, but it’s nice to see things are starting to move again.

The official Amazon.com synopsis of David Gregory Roberts’ novel ‘Shantaram’:  Shantaram is the name given Mr. Lindsay, or Linbaba, the larger-than-life hero. It means “man of God’s peace,” which is what the Indian people know of Lin. What they do not know is that prior to his arrival in Bombay he escaped from an Australian prison where he had begun serving a 19-year sentence. He served two years and leaped over the wall. He was imprisoned for a string of armed robberies peformed to support his heroin addiction, which started when his marriage fell apart and he lost custody of his daughter. All of that is enough for several lifetimes, but for Greg Roberts, that’s only the beginning.

He arrives in Bombay with little money, an assumed name, false papers, an untellable past, and no plans for the future. Fortunately, he meets Prabaker right away, a sweet, smiling man who is a street guide. He takes to Lin immediately, eventually introducing him to his home village, where they end up living for six months. When they return to Bombay, they take up residence in a sprawling illegal slum of 25,000 people and Linbaba becomes the resident “doctor.” With a prison knowledge of first aid and whatever medicines he can cadge from doing trades with the local Mafia, he sets up a practice and is regarded as heaven-sent by these poor people who have nothing but illness, rat bites, dysentery, and anemia. He also meets Karla, an enigmatic Swiss-American woman, with whom he falls in love. Theirs is a complicated relationship, and Karla’s connections are murky from the outset.

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