Trailer Watch: Johnny Depp Reunites with Hunter S. Thompson

by Maggie Lange
August 26, 2011 4:40 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood
One of the movies that is not hitting the fall fest circuit this year is The Rum Diary, Bruce Robinson's long-delayed film adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's semi-autobiographical novel. The new trailer (below, which will be attached to new release Don't Be Afraid of the Dark) begins with a burp. FilmDistrict opens the film October 28.

Written in 1959, well before the iconic Gonzo journalist developed his freewheeling style, the movie marks Johnny Depp's return to his favorite author's work. He played Thompson in the controversial 1998 film adaptation of his 1971 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and provided a heartfelt narration to Alex Gibney’s 2008 documentary Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson following the author’s 2005 death.

Thompson on Hollywood
However, at almost fifty, Depp is a tad long in the tooth for The Rum Diary's portrait of a young journalist. The book follows a booze-filled idealistic young writer working for a local newspaper in San Juan, Puerto Rico, trying to figure out whether he wants to be a Hemingway cliché. Thompson wrote the small but fierce novel in his mid-twenties, although the book wasn’t published until some 30 years later.

The film stars Richard Jenkins as the newspaper editor, Amber Heard as the love interest and Aaron Eckhart as her boyfriend. Here's the official GK Films synopsis:

“The Rum Diary tells the increasingly unhinged story of itinerant journalist Paul Kemp (Depp). Tiring 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 newspaper, the San Juan Star, run by downtrodden editor Lotterman (Jenkins). Adopting the rum-soaked life of the late-’50s version of Hemingway’s “The Lost Generation,” Paul soon becomes increasingly obsessed with Chenault (Heard), the wildly attractive Connecticut-born fiancée of Sanderson (Eckhart), a businessman involved in shady property development deals.”

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  • Brandt Hardin | August 26, 2011 11:57 AMReply

    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

  • Bretton James | August 26, 2011 4:49 AMReply

    Love Amber Heard, very attractive and sexy. She’s amazing. That woman is incredible. I was so disappointed when she came out as a lesbian. She doesn’t know what she’s missing.

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