"SHANTARAM is definitely on," director Mira Nair tells the Times of India

In a December 17th interview with The Times of India, director Mira Nair took the opportunity to set the record straight about her big-budget film for Warner Bros., SHANTARAM, starring Johnny Depp. SHANTARAM is not cancelled, she stresses; merely postponed because of the writers’ strike. Here are Mira’s comments to the Times:

Q: There are reports that your other ambitious project, SHANTARAM, with Johnny Depp and Amitabh Bachchan, has been shelved. What happened?

MIRA NAIR: It’s all untrue and I found it funny when reports said the film has been shelved because we couldn’t afford Johnny Depp. In fact, it was Johnny who came to me suggesting we make a film together and he’s the actual producer of the film. So, SHANTARAM is definitely on, but its on-hold at moment because of the on-going writers’ strike in Hollywood. We were supposed to get going on February 2, but now I guess it’ll take some more time to get started. [Note–in other interviews, Mira suggests a start date of fall 2008.]

Q: A lot of fans are excited about SHANTARAM , so can you tell us more about the project?

MIRA NAIR:Yeah, a lot of people have been pleased with the idea of seeing two mega stars together on screen. So now, in spite of all the problems, we’ve doubly resolved that no matter what, SHANTARAM will hit celluloid. Johnny will be playing Shantaram, who goes on to become an extra in Bollywood. We’re also making him do a Hindi number in the film, because Johnny has an amazing singing voice. There’s also an item song. Let me also clarify that Amitabh is still very committed to the film. We’ll be shooting the film in India and New Mexico.

You can read the full interview with Mira Nair, with details of her other film projects, on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

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