Shantaram to shoot in Australia and India

The Apple TV series will access a $5m tax incentive

By Chris Evans 18 Sep 2019

Shantaram to shoot in Australia and India
Charlie Hunnam. Credit: IMDB

Apple’s Shantaram TV series will start production in Australia and India in October with a $5m tax incentive from the Australian government.

Based on Australian author Gregory David Roberts’ best-selling novel, of the same name, the 10-part series will film in Victoria, Australia, including scenes to be shot at Docklands Studios, Melbourne and HM Prison Pentridge.

Shantaram tells the story 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.

Several parties have expressed interest in adapting the hugely popular book for the screen over the years, including Warner Bros. with Johnny Depp set to star in a movie version, based on a script from Roberts. Eric Roth was hired to rewrite the initial draft, and Peter Weir was brought on to direct. But the project never got off the ground.

Instead, Apple Inc are developing the TV series with Anonymous Content and Paramount Television on board as producers, and Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle) writing the script and executive producing, alongside Dave Erickson, Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin, as well as Nicole Clemens, Andrea Barron and Richard Sharkey.

Justin Kerzel (Assassin’s Creed) will direct the first two episodes and Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) is attached to star.

Australia offers a very enticing ‘producers offset’ rebate of up to 40% for Australian productions or co-productions, or 20% for productions with significant Australian content, and a 16.5% ‘location offset’ rebate that supports the production of large budget film and TV projects shot in Australia.

Letterbox image of Melbourne. Credit: Pixabay

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