Johnny Depp to Direct First Film in 25 Years as He Explores the Life of Italian-Jewish Artist Amedeo Modigliani
Edited by: TJVNews.com
Actor Johnny Depp, 59, made headlines earlier this year during his bruising defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard, but now he is taking some steps to solidify his career in Tinseltown.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Depp will be directing his first film in 25 years. The movie focuses on 48 hours in the life of Jewish Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani.
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star — whose feature directorial debut was 1997’s “The Brave,” starring him and Marlon Brando — will co-produce “Modigliani” with fellow actor Al Pacino and producer Barry Navidi, as was reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
Based on the play by Dennis McIntyre and adapted for the screen by Jerzy and Mary Kromolowski, the film will tell the story of the painter and sculptor in Paris in 1916, as was reported by THR. Long considered by himself a critical and commercial failure, Modigliani navigates a turbulent and eventful 48 hours that will become a turning point in his life, ultimately solidifying his reputation as an artistic legend. THR understands that production is set to start in Europe in the spring of 2023, with casting to be revealed shortly.
“The saga of Mr. Modigliani’s life is one that I’m incredibly honored, and truly humbled, to bring to the screen,” said Depp, who produces for IN.2, the European arm of his production company Infinitum Nihil, THR reported. “It was a life of great hardship, but eventual triumph — a universally human story all viewers can identify with.”
Artnet News reported that Modigliani, who died in 1920, experienced anti-Semitism after arriving in Paris in 1906, in the frightening aftermath of the Dreyfus Affair. The report indicated that his experience helped shape his work during his short 14-year career.
“This project has been very close to Al’s heart. Al introduced me to the play ‘Modigliani’ many years ago and I instantly fell in love with it,” said Navidi. “This is 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.”
THR reported that the film also marks the next collaboration between Pacino and Navidi, who have previously worked together on features including The Merchant of Venice (2004), Wilde Salomé (2011) and Salomé (2013). Both produce alongside IN.2 and Depp.
A film about Modigliani starring Andy Garcia in the lead role was released in 2004.
In addition to directing Modigliani, Depp has taken on some acting roles including that of this portrayal of King Louis XV in French director Maïwenn’s historical love story Jeanne du Barry, which started shooting in late July and is Depp’s first feature in three years, as was reported by THR.