Joel Edgerton’s star is certainly rising in Hollywood, and now he’s big enough that he’s able to take over roles from Johnny Depp (although only once Depp has left them behind). Deadline reports that Edgerton has now replaced Depp in Shantaram, which is quite surprising as it was once Johnny’s pet project.
However Depp’s still involved as while he’s decided not to star, he still intends to produce and personally courted Edgerton to take on the part.
Shantaram is an adaptation of the Gregory David Roberts novel about ‘a remarkable protagonist who, at the time the book became a sensation in Hollywood, was said to have been modeled after the author in a thinly veiled memoir. He starts as an Australian heroin addict who escapes a maximum-security prison, reinvents himself as a doctor in the slums of India and eventually uses gun-running and counterfeiting skills to fight against the invading Russian troops in Afghanistan.’
Eric Roth wrote the script but at the moment there’s no director (Peter Weir was once involved but he’s long gone).