Charlie Hunnam has just landed his first television role in five years, earning himself the lead role in Apple TV+‘s upcoming Shantaram. The last time we saw Hunnam on TV, it was 2014 and he was playing the lead role of Jax Teller in FX’s Sons of Anarchy. Hunnam has spent the last few years appearing in big-budget flicks both well-received, like Crimson Peak, and oft-criticized, like King Arthur. Now, he’s going back to familiar territory.
Per Deadline, Hunnam will play Lin, a man who is evading the grips of Australian prison by forging a new identity in Bombay, India. Lin loses himself in the pace of the city, leaving behind his friends and family while ingratiating himself into the city’s underworld. The 10-episode series will be adapted from the novel of the same name written by Gregory David Roberts.
Shantaram is Apple TV+’s first international production and it comes from Paramount TV and Anonymous Productions. Writer Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle) has adapted Roberts’ novel into a series. Singer and director Justin Kurzel (Assassin’s Creed) will serve as executive producers on the series. Kurzel will also direct the first two episodes of the Shantaram, effectively setting the tone for the rest of the season. This is Kurzel’s second time working with Hunnam (the actor appears in Kurzel’s True History of the Kelly Gang, out later this year) and his first time directing for television or a streaming service. Additional executive producers on Shantaram include Dave Erickson, Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin, Paramount TV president Nicole Clemens, Andrea Barron, and Richard Sharkey.
If the title of Shantaram sounds familiar, it might be because it was originally set to become a feature film after Warner Bros. bought the rights to the book in 2004 for $2 million, per Deadline. Johnny Depp was attached to the project for a spell, with the 2008 writer’s strike halting production plans and derailing Depp’s plans to star. Joel Edgerton was brought in by 2013 to star but there was a continued failure to launch the feature film adaptation.
Shantaram will be released on Apple TV+ following the streamer’s launch in November.