Apple TV+ pauses production on Shantaram to seek new showrunner

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Apple TV+ series Shantaram seeking incentives in India
Shantaram has been published in 39 languages and sold 6 million copies.
Photo: St. Martin's Griffin

One of the most high-profile projects in development for Apple TV+ is already running into some huge problems while shooting its first season.

Apple reportedly shut down production on its TV series adaptation of the popular novel Shantaram in Australia. The reason: the writers can’t churn out scripts fast enough.

Even though all of the episodes have been outlined by the writers’ room, Shantaram showrunner and screenwriter Eric Warren Singer reportedly hasn’t finished all the necessary scripts. Singer is leaving the show and Apple is already on the lookout to hire his replacement.

Shantaram‘s rocky start

Variety reports that only 2 out of 10 episodes have been shot so far. Production isn’t expected to resume for a few months.

Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam was cast as the lead actor in Shantaram which follows the story of Lin (Hunnam), an Aussie bank robber who escapes the prison and flees to India. Shooting is set to take place in Australia and India, making it Apple’s first big international production. The company’s other high-budget novel adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s novel Foundation is being filmed in Ireland.

Production delays like this aren’t uncommon in the industry, especially with Apple’s shows. The company had to find new showrunners for Amazing Stories, The Morning Show and Foundation.

Apple scored $5 million in financing incentives from Australia’s government to film in the country. The company also hired Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel to direct five episodes.