A start date for SHANTARAM? Mira Nair says January 19th!

While in Toronto for the film festival, director Mira Nair spoke to Wendy Mitchell of Screen Daily about her next project, the ambitious SHANTARAM, starring Johnny Depp and Amitabh Bachchan in Eric Roth’s adaptation of the novel by Gregory David Roberts. Mitchell reports that Ms. Nair was leaving Toronto and flying to Mumbai to prepare SHANTARAM: “The $100 million project [. . . ] starts shooting January 19 for what she estimates will be at least 75-80 days.” Adds Mitchell, “The book is set in Australia, India and Afghanistan, and Nair says that India is the only confirmed location so far.” Says Mira Nair, “In America I have to orchestrate the chaos, in India I just film it. It’s so visceral and lively.”

Rumors that Amitabh Bachchan would be going bald for his role are false, however. The very handsome and equally modest actor told Bollywood reporter Tanya Palta, “It’s completely untrue. When I heard about this, I spoke to Mira and she rubbished it. She hasn’t even envisaged me as bald for SHANTARAM, let alone share it with the media, which is so busy imagining me bald through morphed pictures on the net, etc. But sorry, I’m not obliging,” says Bachchan. “My face is ugly enough.” As for his feelings about the project, Bachchan told the Hindustan Times, “It’s an honour to be a part of a Hollywood film, which is going to be directed by an Indian woman.”

The Zone thanks emma for the SHANTARAM news; there are several stories on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet