Joel Edgerton Is Wanted To Lead Shantaram

Joel Edgerton

Warner Bros. is reviving Shantaram, Eric Roth’s adaptation of the Gregory David Roberts novel of the same name, and they now want Warrior star Joel Edgerton to play the lead.

Edgerton, while not yet signed on, is in talks to play an Australian heroin addict who finds a way to escape from prison and moves to India. While there he reinvents himself as a doctor in the slums, and eventually his gun-running and counterfeiting skills are used to combat the invading Soviet troops in Afghanistan.

The rights to the novel were originally bought in 2004, but various delays over the years have stalled production. Johnny Depp was once supposed to lead the film, but now is only serving as a producer. He’s actually the one who began courting Edgerton for the role.

Edgerton is Australian, and seems to fit the description of the protagonist pretty well. He was quite good in The Great Gatsby and Zero Dark Thirty, so I’m excited to see anything he lines up these days.  

In this age of books being optioned before they’re even released to the public, it’s nice to see a book that plenty of people have read making its way to the big screen. While the novel is touted as being based on Robert’s real experiences, it’s really more in the way James Bond is based on Ian Fleming’s career as opposed to an actual non-fiction story. Still, the book has mostly very positive reviews, which always helps a film start off strong.

No director or anticipated production date has been announced, but if Edgerton does sign on, that information will likely be headed our way soon.

What do you think of Shantaram beings led by Joel Edgerton? Is he right for the role? Those of you who’ve read the book, are you excited to see it adapted to the big screen? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.