Warner Bros. acquired the rights to Gregory David Roberts' novel way back in 2004. Johnny Depp was set to play the book's Australian narrator, a heroin addict who escapes from prison and relocates to India to reinvent himself as a doctor, but now the Australian-born Joel Edgerton is taking the lead role. The character ends up using his skills to become a gun runner and counterfeiter to fight off Russian troops invading Afghanistan.
Eric Roth wrote the screenplay adaptation, but no director is attached at this time. Peter Weir was once attached to direct in 2005 before leaving the project a year later. Mira Nair then signed on to direct in 2007, and production was slated to begin later that year, before Warner Bros. pulled the plug on the project, due to the Writers Guild of America Strike.