Depp does film based on book 'Shantaram'

Oct. 9, 2004 at 3:39 PM

MELBOURNE, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Gregory David Roberts, known as Melbourne's Building Society Bandit, has secured a deal with Johnny Depp to adapt his book into a film.

The Weekend Australian reported Saturday that Roberts made a deal with Depp for $2 million to have the U.S. actor produce and star in an adaptation of his book, "Shantaram."

Roberts is a former heroin addict who was convicted of armed robbery for using a toy gun in several hold-ups during the 1970s.

His novel, "Shantaram," was inspired by events in his life.

"It was an extremely humbling experience to have great actors wanting to play the part of a character you have created, a huge compliment," Roberts told the Australian. But in the end it was the level of artistic commitment to the project, particularly from Johnny and his producer Brad Grey, that I found to be profoundly inspiring."

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