After a quarter of a century hiatus, actor Johnny Depp will be returning behind the camera to direct Modigliani, a biographical drama revolving around the life of the Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani.
Depp will also be co-producing the film through IN.2, the European branch of his production company Infinitum Nihil. Al Pacino and Barry Navidi will also be joining Depp as producers.
According to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), the 59-year-old Depp told the publication that he is “incredibly honoured” to be able to bring Modigliani’s life on the screen.
Depp, who is best known as Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, made his directorial debut with The Brave (1997), in which he co-starred with Marlon Brando. It is also the only time he went behind the screen before the announcement of Modigliani.
He has, however, produced 10 films, including Hugo (2011) which won the Academy Awards for art direction and cinematography.
What we know about Johnny Depp’s Modigliani
Focus is on 48 hours of the painter’s life
Depp’s Modigliani isn’t the first film on the famed painter and sculptor. A film of the same name starring Andy Garcia in the titular role was released in 2004, but it was not critically appreciated.
According to THR, Depp’s Modigliani is about an eventful 48 hours in Paris in 1916 which changes the painter’s life and makes him the legend he is today known as.
The film is based on the play by Dennis McIntyre. Its screenplay has been written by Jerzy and Mary Kromolowski.
According to THR, production will start in spring of 2023. There is no information on the cast of the film.
This is the second major project involving Depp following the much-publicised trial against ex-wife Amber Heard.
Before the Modigliani announcement, Depp was revealed in character as King Louis XV in a poster of French director Maïwenn’s film Jeanne du Barry.
What Pacino says about Depp
“We’ve been involved with Depp on this project for a number of years. We start principal photography in the Spring 2023,” Pacino told THR.
Navidi said that the project is close to Pacino’s heart, while adding that the film is a “a slice of Modi’s life and not a bio.”
“It’s been a dream of mine to work with Johnny again — he’s a true artist with an amazing vision to bring this great story to the screen,” he said.
(Main and Featured images: Depp/@johnnydepp/Instagram)