Garth Davis to Direct 'Shantaram' Adaptation Starring Joel Edgerton
If there are any fans of the miniseries Top of the Lake, this news is for you. Deadline is reporting that Australian filmmaker Garth Davis, best known for directing five episodes of Jane Campion's Top of the Lake series, has landed his first feature directing gig. Warner Bros is in "early talks" with Davis to helm the adaptation Shantaram, based on the bestselling Gregory David Roberts novel about an Australian heroin addict who escapes a maximum-security prison, reinvents himself as a doctor in the slums of India and later helps fight against the invading Russian troops in Afghanistan. This sounds like a hugely ambitious project.
Already set to star in the lead role of Shantaram or Mr. Lindsay, or Linbaba, is Joel Edgerton, who just worked with Warner Bros starring in The Great Gatsby (as Tom Buchanan) and also stars in Felony (which he wrote), Jane Got a Gun, Ridley Scott's Exodus and Barry Levinson's Black Mass coming up. The studio has been developing this ambitious Shantaram adaptation for a while, acquiring rights to the book back in 2004 and originally attaching Johnny Depp to the role with Peter Weir directing. Depp is still involved as a producer and apparently was involved in "personally courting Edgerton." Now it sounds like they're going to give it another shot with Garth Davis in the director's chair bringing this enthralling story to the big screen.
Warner Bros tends to shy away from working with first-time directors, but Garth Davis did receive an Emmy nomination for his work directing Top of the Lake. This sounds like it could be pretty neat if everything comes together and Davis pulls it off. We'll be keeping an eye on the latest developments with this project.