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Mira Nair all set to revive Shantaram with Amitabh Bachchan

With Amitabh Bachchan also showing renewed interest, the filmmaker Mira Nair may start shooting Gregory David Roberts’ 2003 bestseller soon. Nair will plunge into the project next year after the release of her latest film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

hollywood Updated: Aug 21, 2012 17:13 IST

Mira Nair’s once terminated plans to shoot Gregory David Roberts’ 2003 bestseller Shantaram might finally commence, as reported by Mumbai Mirror.

If all goes according to plan, the filmmaker will plunge into the project next year after the release of her latest film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

Shantaram is the epic bestseller about a convict on the run who hides in Mumbai’s slums and chawls.

The lead character in the novel, Lin Baba or Lindsay, is most likely to be portrayed by Johnny Depp.

Filmmaker Mira Nair

The project got stalled in 2007, when the Writers’ Guild of America went on a strike. And alomng went Mira Nair’s dream of working with the Big B, who on his part, stoically maintained what isn’t meant to happen won’t happen. Besides, he wasn’t kicked about going international for the longest time, till Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby happened, as reported by Mumbai Mirror.

A source close to Amitabh Bachchan said, “Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, which he shot earlier this year, changed the Big B’s perception of how the West sees Indian actors. To his surprise, he was not only accorded the highest degree of attention and respect but also ensured prominent billing in the credits and publicity in the posters, etc. The Big B is no longer skeptical of international projects.”

So it wasn not much of a surprise when Mira Nair, during her last visit to Mumbai, was seen visiting Amitabh Bachchan’s Janak bungalow more than once, and with good reason.

A source close to the filmmaker told Mumbai Mirror, “Mira has not stopped dreaming of making Shantaram. It is very close to her heart. When it was temporarily aborted, she was heartbroken. Now with the Big B showing interest, she is all set to revive the project.”

When contacted, Nair did not rule out the possibility of Shantaram being revived but refused to divulge any details.

About working with the Amitabh Bachchan, she said, “By sheer chance, he was there for the first screening of Namesake in Mumbai. He was overwhelming in Black and Sarkar. The best part is he loves to act. He still enjoys the process. I can still close my eyes and see Mr Bachchan and Johnny Depp together."

Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist

First Published: Aug 21, 2012 16:42 IST