BREAKING NEWS–Acclaimed filmmaker Mira Nair to direct Johnny Depp in SHANTARAM!

Mira Nair will direct Johnny Depp in the upcoming Warner Bros. film SHANTARAM; a native of India, where much of SHANTARAM is set, Ms. Nair is ideally suited to bring Gregory David Roberts’ complex adventure tale to the screen. Variety reports that SHANTARAM is now “back on track” and may be Johnny Depp’s next film after SWEENEY TODD. “Production is likely to begin as soon as this fall,” says Variety, “with a possible 2008 release.” Great news!

“We are really enthusiastic about having Mira onboard this incredible project,” Graham King told the press. King’s Initial Entertainment Group is producing SHANTARAM along with Infinitum Nihil (Johnny Depp’s company) and Plan B. “With her lush visual style, she lends an authentic and vital eye to this story which has been beautifully adapted for the big screen by Eric Roth, a master storyteller. We are also thrilled to be pairing up Mira with the uniquely talented Johnny Depp.”

Mira Nair’s previous films include SALAAM BOMBAY!, her first feature, which was nominated for an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1988; MISSISSIPPI MASALA, an interracial love story starring Denzel Washington and Sarita Choudhury, which won 3 awards at the Venice Film Festival; MY OWN COUNTRY, which won the NAACP award as Best Fiction Feature in 1998; MONSOON WEDDING, which won the Golden Lion at the 2001 Venice Film Festival and received Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations as Best Foreign Film; the HBO film HYSTERICAL BLINDNESS, which won a Golden Globe for Uma Thurman and three Emmy Awards; and VANITY FAIR, starring Reese Witherspoon. Her most recent film, Fox Searchlight’s THE NAMESAKE, is currently in post-production and scheduled for release on March 9th.

Thanks to Theresa, emma, Gilbert’s Girl and DeppintheHeartofTexas for sharing the news and background on Mira Nair’s career; you can read articles from Variety, Screen Daily, and The Guardian on the Zone’s News & Views forum. Discussing the novel SHANTARAM, the Guardian observes,”Roberts’s mostly autobiographical book is the stuff film-makers dream of: the story charts his days as a heroin junkie to his decision to ‘clean up’ and become a gun-runner to pay for medicine supplies for homeless children in Bombay. The role would appear to be an ideal one for Depp, who has elevated roguery to new heights of popularity through his portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow.”