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Contrary to the flights of fancy in certain media circles about Mira Nair"s ambitious adaptation of Gregory David Roberts' bestseller Shantaram being aborted due to Johnny Depp"s fancy fee, the project is very much on.
Reacting with her usual chortle of incredulity talk back home, Mira says, "Alas, We have been stalled temporarily due to the crippling nature of the writers' strike in Hollywood. Johnny Depp assures me that this is just a pause, and that we'll rev up to go again once the strike is resolved. I"ve spent a year of creative endeavour in realising Shantaram, so I look forward to the time when it will all come together."
The cast which initially boasted of Bachchan with Depp now has, among others, the rapidly-rising Konkona Sen in a very special role. Divulges Mira, "In addition to Johnny Depp and Amitabh Bachchan, I'd confirmed Irrfan Khan in a major role and Konkona Sen for a one big dramatic scene. I've also been in talks with Prabhudeva, Arshad Warsi, Shreyas Talpade and Ranvir Sheorey. I'd also love to work with Pankaj Kapoor. We have such an extraordinary bunch of great actors in India!"
Mira should know. She worked with a slew of them in her career-defining musical Monsoon Wedding. And now as Shantaram gets shifted to end of 2008, Mira prepares to do a Broadway-styled stage adaptation of Monsoon Wedding.