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In the Works: 'Top of the Lake' Director Garth Davis In Talks to Helm 'Shantaram,' Starring Joel Edgerton

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood October 10, 2013 at 1:06PM

Aussie director Garth Davis impressively held his own alongside auteur Jane Campion in five-part mini-series "Top of the Lake," which scored them both 2013 Emmy nominations for directing. Now Davis is in talks with Warner Bros. to direct his first feature, "Shantaram," with Joel Edgerton attached to star.
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Garth Davis, left, with Jane Campion, talking "Top of the Lake" at Sundance
Garth Davis, left, with Jane Campion, talking "Top of the Lake" at Sundance

Aussie director Garth Davis impressively held his own alongside auteur Jane Campion in five-part mini-series "Top of the Lake," which scored them both 2013 Emmy nominations for directing. Now Davis is in talks with Warner Bros. to direct his first feature, "Shantaram," with Joel Edgerton attached to star.

Joel Edgerton
Joel Edgerton

The film is adapted by scribe Eric Roth ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Oscar winner for "Forrest Gump") from Gregory David Roberts' novel. Sprawling in scope, it centers on a heroin addict who escapes maximum-security prison to take on a new persona as a doctor in the slums of India, eventually going on to use his gun-running and counterfeiting know-how to work against invading Russian troops in Afghanistan. 

The film has long been with Warner Bros., since they purchased the screen rights back in 2004. It's started and stopped a few times since then, with producer Johnny Depp at one point attached in the lead (this was quashed due to the Writer's Strike), and Peter Weir attached to direct; Mira Nair has circled the project, too. Depp personally approached Edgerton to star in order to get the movie back on track. 


This article is related to: News, In The Works, IN THE WORKS, Joel Edgerton, Warner Bros.


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.