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FilmDistrict Finally Dates Rum Diary, Starring Johnny Depp

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 29, 2011 at 5:25AM

It was just a matter of time before FilmDistrict would pick a date for The Rum Diary, starring Johnny Depp. It's going out during the prime fall season, October 28. The film, which has long been on the shelf, marks Depp's second flirtation with the work of Hunter S. Thompson, who became close with the actor during the filming of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and showed Depp the unpublished manuscript, says producer and FilmDistrict co-founder Graham King. “I am extremely proud to bring this novel to film and to honor Hunter’s legacy.”
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Thompson on Hollywood

It was just a matter of time before FilmDistrict would pick a date for The Rum Diary, starring Johnny Depp. It's going out during the prime fall season, October 28. The film, which has long been on the shelf, marks Depp's second flirtation with the work of Hunter S. Thompson, who became close with the actor during the filming of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and showed Depp the unpublished manuscript, says producer and FilmDistrict co-founder Graham King. “I am extremely proud to bring this novel to film and to honor Hunter’s legacy.”

FilmDistrict theatrical distribution chief Bob Berney made the announcement at CinemaCon. Directed by Bruce Robinson (Withnail and I) from his screenplay, The Rum Diary also stars Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard, Michael Rispoli, Richard Jenkins and Giovanni Ribisi. The film is produced by Infinitum Nihil, Depp and Christine Dembrowski's production company, along with GK Films' King and Tim Headington.  Anthony Rhulen and Robert Kravis also produce.

Here's the official synopsis:


"The Rum Diary” tells the increasingly unhinged story of itinerant journalist Paul Kemp (Depp). Tired of the noise and madness of New York and the crushing conventions of late Eisenhower-era America, Kemp travels to the pristine island of Puerto Rico to write for a local San Juan newspaper run by the downtrodden editor Lotterman (Jenkins). Adopting the rum-soaked lifestyle of the late ‘50s version of Hemingway’s “The Lost Generation,” Paul soon becomes entangled with a very attractive American woman, Chenault (Heard) and her fiancée Sanderson (Eckhart), a businessman involved in shady property development deals.  It is within this world that Kemp ultimately discovers his true voice as a writer and integrity as a man.

Founded in September by GK Films, in partnership with Peter Schlessel, FilmDistrict's first release will be fest horror flick Insidious (April 1), followed by surfer girl biopic Soul Surfer (April 8) and thrillers Drive (September 6) and Lockout (February 24, 2012). Yet to be dated is GK Films' crime drama London Boulevard, starring Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley, from writer-director William Monahan.

GK Films and Infinitum Nihil are also producing Martin Scorsese's Hugo Cabret (Paramount) as well as Tim Burton and Depp's next collaboration, Dark Shadows (Warner Bros.). Someday their long-in-development Shantaram, adapted by Eric Roth from the book by Gregory David Roberts, will get up and running with Depp. Mira Nair was to direct the film but it fell apart over budget issues.

This article is related to: Genres, Headliners, Independents, News, Books, Johnny Depp


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.