By Jeff Sneider

LOS ANGELES ( - "The Great Gatsby" star Joel Edgerton is in talks to replace Johnny Depp in Warner Bros.' adaptation of Gregory David Roberts' novel "Shantaram," an individual familiar with the long-gestating project has told TheWrap.

Depp remains onboard to produce the movie along with Christi Dembrowski through their Infinitum Nihil banner, along with Graham King of GK Films.

Warner Bros. paid a steep price of $2 million to acquire rights to "Shantaram" in 2004, though the project languished in the wake of the Writers Strike.

It gained new momentum when Depp reached out to Edgerton, who fits the mold of the book's protagonist. Depp has once been slated to star in a previous incarnation of the project that would've been directed by Peter Weir.

Depp, King and Warner Bros. will now look for a new director to work off of Eric Roth's script, which follows an Australian heroin addict who escapes from jail and reinvents himself as a doctor in India, only to get caught up in a war in Afghanistan.

Edgerton recently starred in "Zero Dark Thirty" and will soon begin filming Ridley Scott's "Exodus" with Christian Bale. He's represented by CAA.


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