Charlie Hunnam has been cast as the lead in the forthcoming Apple series “Shantaram,” based on Gregory David Robert’s novel, Variety has confirmed. Apple has greenlit the show, which will represent the first international production for Apple TV Plus, after acquiring the rights to the novel back in June 2018.
The 2003 novel tells the story of Lin (Hunnam), 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.
On the TV side, Hunnam is best known for playing the lead role in FX’s “Sons of Anarchy,” which ran for seven seasons and ended in 2014. On the film front, the British actor is best known for his roles in “Pacific Rim” and “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.” Hunnam is set to team up with “King Arthur” director Guy Ritchie once again for STX’s “The Gentleman,” set for a an early 2020 release.
Eric Warren Singer will serve as writer and executive producer on “Shantaram.” The series is produced by Anonymous Content and Paramount Television. Andrea Barron will also executive produce along with Steve Golin for Anonymous Content, Nicole Clemens and Dave Erickson. Justin Kurzel will direct the first two parts of the 10-episode series, as well as exec producing.
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 Jan. 2018 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.”
Deadline was first to report Hunnam’s casting.