Australian filmmaker Garth Davis has signed on to make his feature directorial debut with Warner Bros.' long-delayed adaptation Shantaram.

The project had been in development at the studio since 2004, when they acquired the rights to Gregory David Roberts' novel. Johnny Depp was initially set to star as the book's narrator, a heroin-addicted convict who escapes from prison, relocating to India to reinvent himself as a doctor. He also uses his illicit skills as a gun runner and counterfeiter, helping Afghanistan soldiers fight off the Russian invasion.

Now, Johnny Depp is only producing, breathing new life into the project when he hand-picked Australian actor Joel Edgerton to star. Eric Roth wrote the adapted screenplay, with Johnny Depp producing alongside Christi Dembrowski and GK Films' Graham King. No production schedule was given.

Garth Davis is best known for directing several episodes of the Sundance Channel mini-series Top of the Lake.