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Apple to Develop Novel ‘Shantaram’ as Series With ‘American Hustle’ Writer

In a competitive situation, Apple has landed the rights to develop Gregory David Robert’s novel “Shantaram” as a drama series.

The 2003 novel tells the story of Lin, a man on the run from an Australian prison looking to get lost in the teeming city of Bombay. Cut off from family and friends by distance and fate, he finds a new life in the slums, bars and underworld of India. The novel has been published in 39 languages in 42 territories worldwide and sold six million copies.

There had previously been plans to develop “Shantaram” as a film. Johnny Depp had acquired the rights to the book with Warner Bros. developing it most recently. Joel Edgerton was attached to star. In January, it was announced that Anonymous Content and Paramount Television had won the rights to the book after a bidding war. The two companies have also acquired the rights to the sequel novel “The Mountain Shadow.”

Eric Warren Singer will serve as writer and executive producer of the series. Singer’s past screenwriting credits include “American Hustle,” “The International,” and “Only the Brave.” He has also worked on the screenplay for the upcoming sequel “Top Gun: Maverick.”

The series will produced by Anonymous Content and Paramount Television. David Manson and Andrea Barron will also executive produce along with Steve Golin and Nicole Clemens for Anonymous Content. Manson has served as an executive producer on shows like “House of Cards,” “Bloodline, and “Big Love.”

Singer and Manson are both repped by CAA.

News of “Shantaram’s” development comes just a day after Apple announced a series order for a half-hour dramedy series titled “Little Voices.” J.J. Abrams and Sara Bareilles will executive produce that series, which hails from Jessie Nelson. Last week, Apple also ordered a half-hour series based on the life of Emily Dickinson, with Hailee Steinfeld set to star in the lead role.

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