Johnny Depp to Star in Adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson Novel

By: E&P Staff Johnny Depp is set to star in and produce an adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson?s 1959 novel, ?The Rum Diary,? The Hollywood Reporter announced today.

Depp, working with Warner Independent Pictures and Graham King?s GK Films, will depict Thompson in the film, which focuses on the latter?s experiences as a freelance journalist in Puerto Rico in the late 1950s. The screenplay, which is being adapted by director Bruce Robinson (?Withail & I?), follows Depp?s reporter character and his colleagues at a struggling San Juan newspaper, where relationships soon turn complicated.

Thompson?s ?Rum Diary? has been the subject of interest for many Hollywood heavyweights over the years. In 2000, the production company Shooting Gallery, along with SPi Films, optioned the rights for the novel; Depp was slated to star in the film alongside Nick Nolte. In 2002, Film Engine picked up the project and decided to produce it with Shapiro, a partner company of Nolte?s Kingsgate Entertainment production company. At that time, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Hartnett were also attached to the production as cast members. Del Toro was to direct the film as well.

However, the project did not gain momentum, and the suicide of Thompson in February 2005 only hindered the production further.

Currently, Depp and Robinson remain signed on to the project, while Del
Toro, Nolte, and Hartnett are no longer attached.

Depp previously depicted Thompson in Terry Gilliam?s 1996 adaptation of the novelist?s book ?Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.?


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