It’s gotta be pretty neat being Johnny Depp now, especially since his presence in Pirates of the Caribbean is (rightfully) perceived as a major reason for that flick’s colossal success.  Now if Depp wants to adapt a book for the screen, he gets top treatment.

The book is called Shantaram, and the treatment will come from Oscar-winning writer Eric Roth, who has worked on scripts for people like Michael Mann, Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg.  Oh, and… The Postman.  Still, those are some high caliber directors, so maybe Depp’s latest will draw similar talent to the camera.

The story, set in the 80s (cue nostalgic soundtrack), is a thriller about an Australian man who escapes from a hellish prison and journeys to India and beyond, where he ends up doing everything from playing doctor to laundering money and forging passports to engaging in guerrilla warfare against Russians.  The novel is loosely based on events in the life of the book’s author Gregory Roberts.

For me, the real question is: which Depp will we get? Pretty Longhair Depp? Crazy Facial Hair Depp? Well-Kept Depp? Pompadour Depp? Grungy Depp? Some combination thereof? The guy’s not our generation’s greatest actor for nothing, you know. 

Meanwhile his swaggering, staggering pirate will return next summer (and the summer after that) to continue plundering the high seas and audiences’ wallets.

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