Watch: Johnny Depp Once Again Goes Into The Mind Of Hunter S. Thompson In 'The Rum Diary' Trailer

by Kevin Jagernauth
August 25, 2011 12:56 PM
16 Comments
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One film that has been curiously absent from the festival circuit in 2011 thus far is Bruce Robinson's long-awaited "The Rum Diary." It won't be in Venice, Toronto or New York and while Telluride or London are possibilities with the release date coming up in October, it seems FilmDistrict have been more busy building the buzz around "Drive." Well, the first trailer has arrived and it seems indicate why this movie has been flying somewhat under the radar.

Based on the novel by Hunter S. Thompson, the film has Johnny Depp playing Paul Kemp (reprising his role to a degree as the Thompson stand-in from “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”), a freelance journalist who finds himself drawn to the Caribbean at a critical turning point in his life. While there he meets the saucy Chenault (Amber Heard) who hangs on the arm of Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart) while he battles his editor (Richard Jenkins). We presumed self-reflection and destruction ensue, but instead, the trailer suggests the film plays much more tame. Despite Robinson claiming the film made him turn to drinking again, the boys from "The Hangover" could probably handle this gonzo trip with ease. And while there are some hints at more surreal happenings, the film certainly doesn't replicate the outrageous spirit Terry Gilliam captured so well in 'Loathing.' So yeah, we have to say it's a bit disappointing.

Anyway, we'll see how this all plays out when the film opens on October 28th. Check out the trailer below. [via Movieline]

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16 Comments

  • Brandt Hardin | August 26, 2011 12:00 PMReply

    I’m very anxious to see Depp embody the good doctor again! Thompson influenced the past few generations with his invention of Gonzo Journalism. His work and antics will live on to influence even more generations to come. I paid tribute to Hunter S Thompson and his work with my portrait and article on my artist's blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/02/in-memoriam-hunter-s-thompson.html

  • TimParker | August 26, 2011 11:59 AMReply

    Yeah have to agree, whoever wrote this piece doesnt seem to have read the book. It's way different than fear and loathing. while the trailer makes it seem like a different tone than i was expecting, trailers can be very misleading. So i still have high hopes. we should all be grateful that this was ever turned into a movie in the first place, regardless of how it turns out. And I feel like Bruce Robinson and Depp's involvement will steer it in at least semi-right direction

  • Danny McGavin | August 26, 2011 9:57 AMReply

    Amber Heard is lovely, gorgeous, sexy and beautiful. She's amazing. That woman is incredible.

  • Christopher Bell | August 26, 2011 8:14 AMReply

    It's great that you're familiar with Thompson's works enough to know that this movie won't be anything like "Fear and Loathing." But what about people who aren't?

    I assumed that it would be similar, especially considering they got Bruce Robinson, responsible for the wacky, cult black-comedy "Withnail and I." I think it's a fair assumption, all things considered. Now that the trailer's leaked we get more of a feel for the tone.

  • Edward Davis | August 26, 2011 5:32 AMReply

    @BuntyHoven re: Heard Vs. Marling.

    Yeah, Heard is really attractive, no two ways about it and if it were a looks contest, she would win.

    And as shallow as Hollywood is, what keeps my faith in movies relatively alive is that someone like Brit Marling can be up for bigger roles while Heard isn't. The reason is, while Marling has yet to prove she is an amazing actress, she has proved in 2 films ('11s Sundance pictures) that she is a better actress than Amber Heard, who seems ok, but frankly, isn't anything special; to boot has made many horrible career choices.

    As much as you love her, she's not going to be up there with the Carey Mulligans of the world, sorry.

  • cirkusfolk | August 26, 2011 4:05 AMReply

    It's been over a year since I read the book, but I was always wondering how they will make the movie interesting. If I remember correctly, nothing really happens in the book other than him going to South America, trying to keep a paper from going under eating alot of cheesburgers and of course drinking alot of rum.

  • BuntyHoven | August 26, 2011 3:54 AMReply

    Don't know why Amber Heard isn't a major star by now. She's smoking hot, effortlessly charismatic, much more star quality than half of the dullards linked with the top roles. She's plugging away on NBC's Playboy Club, while Brit "Even I Can't Remember What I Look Like" Marling is on every casting wishlist.

    Marling HAS NO FACE. She is a void.

  • hank | August 26, 2011 3:14 AMReply

    having been a fan of the book for nearly ten years, I can say that this trailer has my hopes high. it's not a drug book, so the 'fear and loathing' comparisons are useless guys.

  • Wray | August 26, 2011 2:58 AMReply

    I have no problem with Kevin's opinion of the trailer. The problem I had was the write up felt more like a pedestrian youtube comment, rather than a respectable writer with decent criticism. And Kevin and this site are better than that. Many times this site has mocked, or rolled its literate eyes, at someone (be commenter or public figure) who refers to anything, when it's painfully obvious they don't know what they're talking. And now they are doing the same thing. It's just sort of lazy. The story is definitely not about a "glamorous carribean vacay" . And maybe this film sat on the shelf because the distributer of the film was expecting another, or something similar to, Fear and Loathing. Because all Thompson's stories were like that, right?

  • Elias | August 26, 2011 2:38 AMReply

    The Rum Diary was written way before Raul Duke and Fear and Loathing. Why is this film continually compared to Fear and Loathing? It was never intended to be Fear and Loathing, part 2. Two different movies, told by Hunter, about 20 years apart. Thank god it's not comparable to The Hangover. Also, maybe if this writer waited until he saw the movie, he might be able to make a semi-serious judgment.

  • Noah R. | August 26, 2011 2:15 AMReply

    You don't have to have read the book to realize that this is a completely different story. Not every Thompson book is about getting wrecked on narcotics. Hell's Angels certainly isn't. We're also talking about a trailer here -- not a red-band trailer, incidentally -- so there's only so much they can show. As for the quip about The Hangover, I laughed out loud about three times watching this, whereas I only laughed once at that phenomenally overrated "comedy," so already it's ahead.

    The only thing I don't like about the trailer is the music, but I'm sure Robinson won't be sticking club music into a movie about drunks in the 1950s. Even Jeff Wells is being open-minded; why can't you?

  • yer | August 26, 2011 2:12 AMReply

    Lost interest after I found out the script cut out one of the most important characters from the story.

    "And while there is some hints at more surreal happenings, the film certainly doesn’t replicate the outrageous spirit Terry Gilliam captured so well in ‘Loathing.’ So yeah, we have to say it’s a bit disappointing."

    Have you read the book? It's definitely not as frantic as Fear and Loathing.

  • P862010 | August 26, 2011 1:57 AMReply

    looks phenomenal WTf play list has got to have the worst taste in movies

  • Kevin Jagernauth | August 26, 2011 1:50 AMReply

    I admit I haven't read the book, so yeah my comments are probably off base. That said, it doesn't diminish that the trailer still looks pretty uneven and when I think "Hunter S. Thompson" a glamorous Caribbean vacay doesn't exactly come to mind. But yeah, I could be totally wrong, but there is also a reason why this movie has been sitting on the shelf for a while.

  • Wray | August 26, 2011 1:47 AMReply

    I love this site and visit it everyday religiously. And the only movie site I frequent. But I'm embarrassed for Theplaylist over this write up. You'd have to be sort of a dumbass to even put this story anywhere near Fear and Loathing (not to mention the hangover reference). These stories are two different galaxies. You may want to take this article down and start over so this site can continue to keep it's head held somewhat respectably high.

  • tristan eldritch | August 26, 2011 1:12 AMReply

    Looks fun enough, but way too glamorous or something. It plays like Hunter S. Thompson crossed with James Bond.

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