Johnny Depp has head-hunted Vanity Fair film-maker Mira Nair to direct his new film.
SHANTARAM will star Depp in the lead role, and will be co-produced by Depp's Infinitum Nihil and Brad Pitt's production company Plan B, who bought the rights to the GREGORY DAVID ROBERTS-penned book for $2 million (GBP1 million).
Indian-born Nair, who directed Monsoon Wedding in 2001, admits she is a big fan of the book and is looking forward to the challenge of working behind the camera with Depp.
She says, "I just got the offer a few days back but I will start with it soon. It is a book that completely gripped me as it did millions of others.
"Johnny Depp is such an extraordinary human being and an extraordinary actor. He embodies so much what Shantaram is and so when he asked me to direct him it was obviously a great honour and challenge for me."
Shantaram will be based on the life story of GREGORY DAVID ROBERTS, who escaped from an Australian prison and fled to Mumbai, India, where he became involved with the city's powerful mafia dons.
Acclaimed Indian director Mira Nair is set to bring THE Beatles' era-defining visit to the Rishikesh ashram in India back to life in a new movie - with a little help from her friend Sir Paul McCartney.
The Monsoon Wedding film-maker's documentary will piece together the Fab Four's music with archival footage and interviews dealing with the legacy of their 1967 stay at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's spiritual centre in 1967.
She says, "It is not just an anthology of the Beatles. It will be more eternal. What they left over is amazing. They were really free-wheeling in their thoughts when they stayed at the ashram.
"Inspiration is the core. It is a question of how someone finds it at the least expected places that always interests and intrigues me. In my view, there is no formula."
Bollywood action star Randeep Hooda needed 13 stitches after accidentally slashing his hand on the set of new film RU-BA-RU
The accident, which happened in Bangkok, Thailand, on Tuesday (10OCT06), brought shooting to a standstill after Hooda's hand hit broken glass while filming a love scene with co-star SHANANA GOSWAMI.
The Monsoon Wedding actor is still embarrassed by the accident because the tough guy star, who prides himself on not getting hurt on his action films, received the injury while filming a romantic comedy.
He says, "Isn't that ironical. So far, I've done only tough action films like D and RISK, which required risky shots. I never got a scratch doing those action scenes. I never thought love could be so dangerous. Now I know why they say love hurts."
CAPOTE was given a last-minute Oscars boost at the Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California yesterday (04MAR06) when the biopic claimed three of five honours, including a Best Actor prize for Philip Seymour Hoffman. The film also claimed the Best Screenplay award and new mum Caroline Baron took home the event's Producers Award. Meanwhile, CRASH, TRANSAMERICA and Brokeback Mountain picked up two awards each - the latter claimed the Best Feature prize. The irreverent anti-Oscars was hosted by provocative comedienne Sarah Silverman, who shocked guests and the live TV audience with quips about feminine hygiene and sex. The full list of winners is: Best Supporting Female - Amy Adams (JUNEBUG) Best First Screenplay - DUNCAN TUCKER (TRANSAMERICA) Best Supporting Male - Matt Dillon (CRASH) Best Screenplay - Dan Futterman (CAPOTE) Best Foreign Film - Paradise Now Best Documentary - ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM Best First Feature - Paul Haggis (CRASH) Truer Than Fiction Award - GARRETT SCOTT + IAN OLDS (OCCUPATION: DREAMLAND) Someone To Watch Award - IAN GAMAZON + NEILL DELA LLANA (corr) (CAVITE) Producers Award - CAROLINE BARON (CAPOTE + Monsoon Wedding) Best Female Lead - Felicity Huffman (TRANSAMERICA) Best Cinematography - ROBERT ELSWIT (GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK) The John Cassavetes Award - CONVENTIONEERS Best Director - Ang Lee (BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN) Best Male Lead - PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN (CAPOTE) Best Feature - BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN.
Indian-born director Mira Nair will be honoured at New York's WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL on Sunday (16OCT04).
The Monsoon Wedding filmmaker will receive the Honorary Maverick Award - an award which recognises life and work based on independent vision and social activism - even though she didn't initially understand its meaning.
She says, "I had to look it up in the dictionary, but I like what I saw."
Continue reading: Nair Up For Woodstock Honour
The Monsoon Wedding movie-maker is currently reading the script for HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX and considering whether she wants to join the string of directors - including Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron and MIKE NEWELL - who have made the big screen adaptations of Jk Rowling's best-selling books.
Nair says, "I read it over the weekend. I'm still deciding.
Continue reading: Nair Pipped For Harry Potter Job
BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM star Parminder Nagra is disturbed by Hollywood's sudden embracing of Indian culture.
Her movie, about a London-based Indian couple trying to raise their daughter in the traditional ways while she dreams of playing soccer professionally, became a surprise hit in America, following in the footsteps of 2002's Monsoon Wedding.
And while American cable networks have started airing Bollywood movies and actresses like Nicole Kidman have popularised ethnic-inspired dangling earrings, Nagra fears her culture will be trivialised to the point of becoming a fad.
Continue reading: Bend It Like Beckham Star Disturbed By Indian Trend
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