Monday, August 28, 2006 15:21 IST
Chunky Pandey has been confirmed for a major role in Warner Bros production Shantaram starring Johnny
The film is based on an adventure-packed autobiographical novel by Gregory David Roberts and details the
story of Lindsay, an Australian junkie who escapes a maximum security prison and ends up in the slums of
Bombay where he masquerades as a doctor.
He is eventually sucked back into a life of violence
through his links with a Bombay don. He becomes a forger and gun-runner and ultimately winds up fighting
with the mujaheddin forces in Afghanistan.
The 1,000-page book published in 2003 was the first that Roberts has written and is based on his own
Johnny Depp's Infinitum Nihil Production bought the rights to the book at a whopping $2 million in 2004. It
has been reported that Russell Crowe, keen to be a part of the project, offered to be the executive producer
just to be associated with the film.
The break in a mainline Hollywood film is likely to give a fillip to Pandey's career as an actor.
Pandey embarked on his Bollywood career in 1987 but, despite some notable performances over the years,
failed to make it to the A-list. During the mid 90s he switched to Bengali films produced in Bangladesh and
notched up several successes.
He returned to Bollywood in 2003 and won critical acclaim for his performance in Ram Gopal Varma's D
(2005). He will next be seen in a special appearance in Farhan Akhtar's remake of Don (2006).