Created bySteve Lightfoot
Based onShantaram
by Gregory David Roberts
Written bySteve Lightfoot
Directed by
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producers
ProducerNiall Delaney
CinematographyAnthony Dod Mantle[1]
Production companies
DistributorApple Inc.
Original networkApple TV+

Shantaram is an upcoming drama thriller television series based on the novel of the same name by Gregory David Roberts. The story drew inspiration from Roberts' own life which is about a bank robber from Australia who flees the country to India. The series will consist of ten episodes directed by Justin Kurzel and Bharat Nalluri. Steve Lightfoot wrote the script after Eric Warren Singer departed the project as showrunner. It is produced by Anonymous Content and Paramount Television Studios and was distributed by Apple Inc. for their streaming service Apple TV+.



No.TitleDirected byTeleplay by [2]Original release date
1TBAJustin Kurzel[3]Eric Warren Singer and Steve LightfootTBA
2TBAJustin Kurzel[3]Eric Warren Singer and Steve LightfootTBA
3TBATBADavid Manson and Eric Warren Singer and Steve LightfootTBA
5TBATBAKen KristensenTBA
6TBATBAMarion DayreTBA
7TBATBABornila ChatterjeeTBA



When the novel Shantaram was published in 2003, several parties expressed interest in a film adaptation. As Warner Bros. purchased the film's rights for $2 million, Brad Grey, an executive of the company, decided to hire Johnny Depp due to his expression of love for the book, which was to be based on a script written by the book's author Gregory David Roberts.[4] In October 2005, Warner Bros. hired screenwriter Eric Roth to rewrite the initial draft created by Roberts.[5] The following November, Peter Weir was hired by the studio to take care of the direction and also to develop the script with Roth.[6]

Originally planned to schedule production for late 2006, in June of that year, Weir departed from the project with a studio spokesperson citing different interpretations between the director, the studio, and producers, and was replaced by Mira Nair in January 2007.[7] The studio initially wanted to start production in early 2007, which was later cancelled by Warner Bros, citing the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike's interference with the script's readiness, the schedule, and climatic conflicts with the difficulties in filming between India and New Mexico in the United States.[8]

Although in November 2008, The Independent reported the project had been cancelled,[9] a report in May 2013, from the Mumbai Mirror stated that Warner Bros. had negotiated to retain the film rights until 2015, speculating that a film adaptation of Shantaram was still in the works.[10] The following October, Depp approached Joel Edgerton to star in his place also being involved in the project as a producer.[11] Warner Bros. was in early talks with Garth Davis, co-director of the Emmy-nominated Top of the Lake, to make his feature film directing debut on the movie which also failed to happen.[12][13]


In January 2018, Anonymous Content and Paramount Television Studios acquired the rights to Shantaram, with plans to repurpose it as a television series.[14] In June 2018, it was announced that Apple Inc. was developing a television adaptation of the novel for Apple TV+, becoming one of their first international production with two other series announced during its launch.[15][16] Eric Warren Singer was appointed as the screenwriter, who was to also serve as the executive producer alongside David Manson, Nicole Clemens, Steve Golin, and Andrea Barron with Charlie Hunnam in the lead role.[17] Singer took more than year to complete the writing of the series, with the pre-production works being completed by August 2019. In September 2019, Charlie Hunnam, Richard Roxburgh and Radhika Apte were cast to star in the series, with Justin Kurzel set to direct the first two and last two episodes of the ten-part series.[18][19]

Shantaram was set to begin in Victoria, Australia, and Bhopal, India, as the primary locations. The Australian Government planned to provide $5 million for the production of the project through its Location Incentive program, with the Victorian Government also supporting the series through Film Victoria's Production Incentive Attraction Fund.[20] An estimated budget of $100 million was said to be spent on this project.[21]

In February 2020, Singer stepped down as showrunner of the series,[3] stating that the delay in shooting may conflict with other works where he contested.[22] In November 2020, Apple hired Steve Lightfoot as the new showrunner for the series,[23][24] who completed writing the remaining episodes; Alexander Siddig joined the cast in March 2021. Siddig was approached to play the role of Kader Khan, which was initially meant for Amitabh Bachchan who rumoured to be a part of the series,[a] until the former bagged the role.[26] Bharat Nalluri was announced to direct the remaining six episodes.[27]


Filming of the series began in October 2019 in Australia,[28] followed by a move to India in November 2019, with a significant portion of the film expected to be shot over the course of a year in Bhopal and various other locations in Madhya Pradesh.[21] Shooting of the series was suspended in February 2020 due to the Indian monsoon season which happens in the June–October period, adding to the reasons were Singer's departure from the series leading to a writing backlog,[3] as well as the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.[22] Production restarted in Melbourne, Australia in May 2021 before additional filming was moved to Thailand due to India's worsening COVID-19 outbreaks.[27][29] Production returned to Melbourne in August 2021. All Principal photography completed in mid-December 2021.


  1. ^ Amitabh Bachchan was initially a part of Mira Nair's proposed film adaptation of the novel.[25]


  1. ^ On the sets of Wes Anderson, Martin Scorsese and more: Sanjay Sami is the world famous key grip you've probably never heard of
  2. ^ "Shantaram (2021-2022)". Writers Guild of America West. 29 March 2022. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (20 February 2020). "'Shantaram': Production Of Apple Series On Pause, Showrunner Search Underway". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 24 March 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Fleming, Michael; Dunkley, Cathy (6 October 2004). "WB books adventure for Depp". Variety.
  5. ^ Fleming, Michael (25 October 2005). "Scribe's in custody". Variety.
  6. ^ Fleming, Michael (30 November 2005). "Weir to steer Depp pic". Variety.
  7. ^ Fleming, Michael (11 June 2006). "'Shantaram' shuffling". Variety.
  8. ^ Fleming, Michael; Anne Thompson (19 November 2007). "Strike delays 'Shantaram,' 'Nine'". Variety.
  9. ^ Akbar, Arifa (13 November 2009). "Underworld tale won't see light of day". The Independent.
  10. ^ "After nine years, ray of hope for Shantaram film". Mumbai Mirror. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  11. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (5 September 2013). "Warner Bros Revives 'Shantaram', Johnny Depp Taps Joel Edgerton For Lead". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 24 March 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ Guidry, Ken (10 October 2013). "Joel Edgerton-Starring, Johnny Depp-Produced 'Shantaram' Lands A Director". IndieWire. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  13. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr (9 October 2013). "Warner Bros Taps Aussie Garth Davis To Helm Joel Edgerton In 'Shantaram'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (10 January 2018). "'Shantaram': Anonymous Content & Paramount TV Acquire Book To Develop As TV Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 24 March 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "Apple Acquires Shantaram Series, Its First International Original". NDTV Gadgets 360. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  16. ^ "'Shantaram' Lands at Apple as First International Production". The Hollywood Reporter. 7 June 2018. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (7 June 2018). "'Shantaram': Apple Nabs TV Series Adaptation Of Novel For Development". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 24 March 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (16 September 2019). "Charlie Hunnam To Headline 'Shantaram', Apple Series Based On Novel". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 24 March 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (16 September 2019). "'Shantaram': Richard Roxburgh & Radhika Apte To Co-Star In Apple Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 24 March 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. ^ "Shantaram: Apple TV's miniseries, based on Gregory David Roberts' bestselling novel, to be helmed by Justin Kurzel - Entertainment News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 17 August 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  21. ^ a b "Bhopal: $100 million Hollywood web series to be shot in Bhopal". Free Press Journal. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  22. ^ a b Frater, Patrick (20 February 2020). "Apple TV's 'Shantaram' Halts Production Amid Search for New Showrunner, Weather Problems". Variety. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  23. ^ Petski, Denise (20 November 2020). "'Shantaram': Steven Lightfoot Named Showrunner Of New Apple Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 24 March 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. ^ "Apple Taps Steven Lightfoot As Showrunner For 'Shantaram' Series". 21 November 2020. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  25. ^ K Jha, Subhash (21 December 2019). "Amitabh Bachchan still a part of Shantaram?". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  26. ^ "Amitabh Bachchan Joins Radhika Apte & Charlie Hunnam In Apple TV's Shantaram, Read DEETS". Koimoi. 8 October 2020. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  27. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (24 March 2021). "'Shantaram': Alexander Siddig Joins Apple Series Ahead Of Production Restart". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 24 March 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  28. ^ Quinn, Karl (15 August 2019). "Shantaram to start filming in Australia for Apple TV+". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 March 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  29. ^ Frater, Patrick (14 May 2021). "Apple TV Series 'Shantaram' Moves to Thailand From India (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 14 May 2021.