Upgrade! Johnny Depp is out and Joel Edgerton is in for Depp’s long-gestating adaptation of “Shantaram,” according to Deadline. Depp will stay on as a producer and personally courted the rising Aussie star to take his place in front of the camera.
Edgerton will play a guy clearly competing against Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie’ “Unbroken” for Biggest Overachiever. An Australian heroin addict who escapes from a maximum security prison, “Shantaram”‘s Lin was once thought to be a thinly veiled fictional avatar for the novel’s author, Gregory David Roberts. After reinventing himself as a doctor rising through the ranks in India, Lin ultimately ends up using his clever knowledge of counterfeiting and gun-running to help hold off invading Russian troops in Afghanistan. While Peter Weir had been attached to direct Depp in the film, the search is now on for a new director. Eli Roth wrote the script.
Depp and Edgerton is tentatively slated to star in Whitey Bulger biopic “Black Mass” together, with Depp in the Bulger role and Edgerton as his FBI informant/co-conspirator. Edgerton will be in Toronto next week to premiere indie drama “Felony,” which he wrote and stars in. Last seen in “The Great Gatsy,” he recently wrapped troubled Western “Jane Got a Gun” and his future projects include Jeff Nichols’ next, “Midnight Special” with Michael Shannon and Kirsten Dunst, as well as Ridley Scott’s biblical epic “Exodus” with Christian Bale and Aaron Paul.