Things are looking up for the long-delayed literary adaptation The Rum Diary, Johnny Depp’s second run at writer Hunter M. Thompson. Whenever a movie sits on the shelf for long, it starts to small a little. But while FilmDistrict did not take the film to early fall film fests, they have booked it as the opening of Elvis Mitchell’s Film Independent series at LACMA and will play the upcoming Hamptons Film Festival.
So far the alcoholic Rolling Stone writer and movies have not mixed well, from Depp’s first foray into channeling the boozehound, Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, to 1980’s Where the Buffalo Roam, starring Bill Murray, and Alex Gibney’s noisy doc Gonzo. Thompson has a great voice as a writer. It’s possible that he’s better read than seen and heard.
But producers Depp and Graham King and writer-director Bruce Robinson are trying to buck that trend. Robinson rounds up a strong cast to support Depp as a guy testing the ethics of journalism at a dying newspaper in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the swinging 60s. Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard, Michael Rispoli, Giovanni Ribisi and Richard Jenkins co-star. Check out the new trailer below.
Hunter S. Thompson talks about The Rum Diary on Charlie Rose.