Production comes to a halt on Apple TV+ series ‘Shantaram’ as showrunner departs

Back in 2018, Apple acquired the distribution rights for the series Shantaram, which is set to star Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy, The Lost City of Z) for Apple TV+.

We learned last year that the series is set to have ten episodes, all based on the novel of the same name written by Gregory David Roberts. However, it turns out that the series has run into a series of issues, some minor and some major, and production on the show has come to a halt. Variety has the report today, saying that production has come to a stop due, mostly, to a “writing backlog”.

The report states that the writer’s room for the show had outlined all ten episodes, but, at this point, only two episodes have actually been completely written. The series showrunner and head writer, Eric Warren Singer (American HustleTop Gun: Maverick), has apparently left the project altogether. Which means a new showrunner needs to be hired, which is expected to happen soon.

Here’s how the series is described:

The adventure drama is an adaptation of the eponymous epic novel by Gregory David Roberts, in which a drug-addicted former bank robber attempts to lose and reinvent himself in the slums of Mumbai. The novel has been published in 39 languages in 42 territories worldwide and sold six million copies.

Production initially stopped just before Christmas last year, and was expected to get back into gear this week. That plan has been scrapped, and now it’s expected to be months before the show’s production cycle restarts. The show is shooting in Australia, and weather is a concern, too.

A longer push became official when we determined that we would not be ready to shoot before monsoon season in India,” crew were told in a note. India’s Southwest summer monsoon is typically a four-month period that lasts from June to October.

Justin Kurzel (The True History of the Kelly GangAssassin’s Creed) is already set to direct five episodes, and so far producers are happy with what has been shot to date. However, it’s not known which director will be tasked to direct the other five episodes.

The silver lining here is that Hunnam, the star of the series, is still attached even with the delay. But it sounds like it’s going to be quite some time before we see this series debut on Apple TV+.