Johnny Depp Drama Pushed Back by Strike
'Shantaram' joins Rob Marshall's 'Nine' on the shelf
According to Variety, also going on hold is Rob Marshall's big screen version of the Tony-winning "Nine."
Mira Nair was set to direct "Shantaram," based on the ultra-thick novel by Gregory David Roberts. Depp was also producing the potentially epic film, which focused on an Australian heroin addict who changes his life after breaking out of a maximum security prison. Indian actor Abhishek Bachchan was attached to co-star.
"Shantaram" had already proved a difficult project to mount due to budgetary and location concerns and Eric Roth was rewriting right up until the Nov. 1 WGA deadline trying to bring the elements together.
With films still scrambling to line up actors for pre-SAG and DGA strike productions, Depp now seems to have a space on his dance card.
While there's no timetable for when "Shantaram" will be restarted, Weinstein Co. hopes to have "Nine" ready to go in the second half of 2008, which assumes that the industry won't be dealing with a different strike then.
Marshall ("Chicago") had assembled a cast that included Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Sophia Loren and Marion Cotillard. The plan was to shoot the musical, inspired by Fellini's "8 1/2," in March, but rewrites from Anthony Minghella weren't completed in time.
The "Shantaram" and "Nine' delays come a day after Variety reported that Ron Howard's "Angels & Demons" and Oliver Stone's "Pinkville" will have to wait.