Charlie Hunnam Cast as Lead in Apple TV+ Series 'Shantaram'

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Apple has cast actor Charlie Hunnam in its upcoming series "Shantaram," which will air on Apple TV+ sometime after the service debuts this November (via Variety). The series is an adaptation of the Gregory David Roberts novel of the same name, the rights to which Apple acquired back in June 2018.

Image via Variety/Eric Charbonneau


The novel is based somewhat on Roberts' real life, focusing on a character named Lin (Hunnam), who is a convict that flees from an Australian prison and hopes to get lost in the city of Bombay. In the city, Lin stumbles across an underworld of criminals while individuals from his life in prison hunt him down.

Apple won the rights to the book amid a competitive bidding war that was said to include multiple streaming companies. Previously, plans to adapt "Shantaram" included Joel Edgerton in the role as Lin for a feature film, but plans fell through, leading to the idea of a streaming TV series.

"American Hustle" screenwriter Eric Warren Singer will serve as the showrunner and executive producer of the new Apple series. Singer also worked on "The International", "Only the Brave", and wrote the script for the upcoming sequel "Top Gun: Maverick." Hunnam is known for his roles in "Sons of Anarchy," "Pacific Rim," and "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword."

It's not clear yet when "Shantaram" will premiere on Apple TV+, but since casting has just gotten underway and filming has not yet begun, it's likely that we won't see the show debut until mid-to-late 2020 at the earliest.

Article Link: Charlie Hunnam Cast as Lead in Apple TV+ Series 'Shantaram'
 

deeddawg

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Jun 14, 2010
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Interesting. I read the book on the recommendation of an Indian colleague and enjoyed it. It'd be neat to see it on-screen.
 
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gleepskip

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Apr 29, 2005
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A show that hasn't even begun production yet is being announced that will air in 2021/2022. Disney has many titles that fit that category, but they have decades of work that can be used to entertain for a family's $6.99 while they await the latest Marvel or Star Wars spinoff show.

To me, this announcement further reinforces the lack of content at launch.
 

ryanwarsaw

macrumors 68030
Apr 7, 2007
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Sounds interesting. I only know of this book from when I was running a backpacker hostel on an island in SE. Asia. Every dreadlock hippy coming through had this really huge book with a weird name.
 
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jlseattle

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Jan 9, 2007
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All the shows I've seen previews for are not for a viewer like me that likes comedy, SIFI and horror. I'm not into war, espionage, or period pieces. So I know it will be a pass for me when regular series like AHS and Mr Robot is coming out for the fall. I would love to see apple pick up a series on LGBTQ issues. A good comedy or drama would be awesome. So far its sleepers that I won't be watching.
 

JBGoode

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Jun 16, 2018
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Hmmmm....I actually have a copy of this. It was 1.99 on Kindle one day and I purchased because it sounded really good and figured I’d eventually read it. I think eventually might be sooner than expected as I’m trying to decide if I want Apple TV plus.
 

SAIRUS

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Aug 21, 2008
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Followed by Tim Cook having his feelings hurt resulting in cancelation in 5..4..3...
 

Meandmunch

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Jan 3, 2002
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$4.99 seems right as the amount of content is going to be quite limited for sometime. As that library grows and hopefully its very good quality stuff, holding that $4.99 line will become more and more compelling. With Netflix going up and up there is no way they can come back "down".

Giving a year away with new hardware purchases will be a brilliant little strategy if that becomes a regular thing.
 

ipedro

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Nov 30, 2004
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Netflix just got the rights for Seinfeld from 2021. Is Apple going after any legacy content?

https://www.theverge.com/2019/9/16/20868736/seinfeld-is-heading-to-netflix-in-2021
No, AppleTV+ shows are all new productions curated and funded by Apple.

Legacy content will be available through third parties in Channels in the AppleTV app. If you think about it, it’s a smart move. Apple doesn’t have to license content. Instead, they give license owners access to AppleTV viewers in the same app. The license owners makes their money in subscriptions and Apple gets a cut and an AppleTV app full of content both from their own studio and from legacy shows.
 
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Brandhouse

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Aug 6, 2014
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who is a convict that flees from an Australian prison and hopes to get lost in the city of Bombay. In the city, Lin stumbles across an underworld of criminals while individuals from his life in prison hunt him down.
Might want to change 'convict' MacRumors. 'Convict' in Australian history means someone who was sent to a penal colony from England for 7 years, or the term of his natural life. Wikipedia says this a whole lot better than you've tried to do.

So when I read that I'm thinking, that doesn't add up. A convict escapes a penal colony, somehow gets to Bombay and somehow other escaped convicts track him down to Bombay. Which for the time period that 'convict' was used in Australian history, is absolutely far fetched and not plausible. But then anything could happen in Hollywood and story doesn't matter over history.

"Shantaram is a 2003 novel by Gregory David Roberts, in which a convicted Australian bank robber and heroin addict escapes from Pentridge Prison and flees to India. The novel is commended by many for its vivid portrayal of tumultuous life in Bombay. The novel is reportedly influenced by real events in the life of the author, ... A few parts of the story, such as Roberts' criminal ..."
 

truthertech

macrumors 68000
Jun 24, 2016
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$4.99 seems right as the amount of content is going to be quite limited for sometime. As that library grows and hopefully its very good quality stuff, holding that $4.99 line will become more and more compelling. With Netflix going up and up there is no way they can come back "down".

Giving a year away with new hardware purchases will be a brilliant little strategy if that becomes a regular thing.

They won't need to give it away, and it seems unlikely they would do so and forgo the billons in streaming revenue. Unless Apple felt that a year free incentivized a greater amount of revenue from hardware sales.

This year it will become the largest streaming service in the world by far with over a quarter of a BILLION users. They will be adding new content every month, and at only $4.99 a month it will be a no brainer for folks to keep it, and may likely be a key part of an Apple bundle that folks will buy.
 

Bishope1999

macrumors regular
Dec 31, 2010
206
10
No, AppleTV+ shows are all new productions curated and funded by Apple.

Legacy content will be available through third parties in Channels in the AppleTV app. If you think about it, it’s a smart move. Apple doesn’t have to license content. Instead, they give license owners access to AppleTV viewers in the same app. The license owners makes their money in subscriptions and Apple gets a cut and an AppleTV app full of content both from their own studio and from legacy shows.
Those content owners already have their apps on all the TV's on the market, there isn't anything that AppleTV can offer content owners that they don't already have on TV's.

Even Netflix struggles with original programming, maybe Stranger Things stands out, but Apple would need original shows like Breaking Bad, Dexter, Games Of Thrones or The Sopranos to name a few. So far, these show might be in a similar league to the original Amazon Prime programming, but at least they offer the Prime service.

Apple needs original programs/movie that will appeal to the general public and continue to include the AppleTV app on all the TV's, players, streaming devices and Console's they can. At best, this is a battle to the bottom while they try to compete with Amazon and Netflix. Disney will easily steamroll across all these streaming services with the strong catalog they have in movies, kids show, Fox Studios, Hulu and ESPN.

As it is, content seems slim on Netflix even with all the original movies and shows they offer.
 

truthertech

macrumors 68000
Jun 24, 2016
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Those content owners already have their apps on all the TV's on the market, there isn't anything that AppleTV can offer content owners that they don't already have on TV's.

Even Netflix struggles with original programming, maybe Stranger Things stands out, but Apple would need original shows like Breaking Bad, Dexter, Games Of Thrones or The Sopranos to name a few. So far, these show might be in a similar league to the original Amazon Prime programming, but at least they offer the Prime service.

Apple needs original programs/movie that will appeal to the general public and continue to include the AppleTV app on all the TV's, players, streaming devices and Console's they can. At best, this is a battle to the bottom while they try to compete with Amazon and Netflix. Disney will easily steamroll across all these streaming services with the strong catalog they have in movies, kids show, Fox Studios, Hulu and ESPN.

As it is, content seems slim on Netflix even with all the original movies and shows they offer.

You haven't watched Apple if you really think they are "in a battle to the bottom as you claim." People get confused. People think it is all about being number 1, but Apple never approaches any market/product that way. Apple's goal is always to bring forth a quality product that adds value to their ecosystem. In the case of video streaming, just like with music streaming, Apple doesn't have to be #1 to "win." Ironically, though, in this case, this year Apple will be the number one video streaming service in the entire world with over a quarter of a billion subscribers to Apple TV plus, dwarfing everyone else. That's amazing!
 

Bishope1999

macrumors regular
Dec 31, 2010
206
10
You haven't watched Apple if you really think they are "in a battle to the bottom as you claim." People get confused. People think it is all about being number 1, but Apple never approaches any market/product that way. Apple's goal is always to bring forth a quality product that adds value to their ecosystem. In the case of video streaming, just like with music streaming, Apple doesn't have to be #1 to "win." Ironically, though, in this case, this year Apple will be the number one video streaming service in the entire world with over a quarter of a billion subscribers to Apple TV plus, dwarfing everyone else. That's amazing!
AppleTV was never #1, it was more of a niche device.

For the general public, the ones that drive tv ratings up and push the Box Office revenue, they won't care that they have AppleTV shows if the content isn't good. Name me a hit AppleTV show or movie?

Without having a biased towards Apple and considering that the Disney app is showing up on all TV's and streaming devices, really look at the arsenal of content Disney has and the name recognition, and tell me how is AppleTV+ going to be the top streaming service and how is it going to dwarf Disney?

Just look at the top 10 Box Office movies this year and see how many spots and how much revenue Disney made, and the year isn't over. Plus all the content Disney has from the Fox studios purchase they made earlier this year, the bundled Hulu and ESPN+ service. How exactly will "Apple will be the number one video streaming service in the entire world with over a quarter of a billion subscribers to Apple TV plus, dwarfing everyone else."?
 

DotCom2

macrumors 601
Feb 22, 2009
4,104
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I think it's just a matter of time before Apple offers a bundle price. Music, TV, Arcade and News+, all for one lower price.