The Rum Diary, an adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s first novel, has had a decade long journey to the big screen – and today, we’ve got the first photos of Depp as protagonist Paul Kemp. The film went through several directors, producers, and actors before Depp’s own production company secured the rights and brought it back on track.
While Depp’s portrayal of Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas has become the stuff of legend, the two were also close friends. Thompson’s own desire to see The Rum Diary get made no doubt played a part in Depp’s resilience with the project.
The film began shooting in March of last year and although there’s still no date for a US release, it will premiere in the UK on September 24th.
In the meantime, FilmTotaal has secured the first two Rum Diary production photos.
The story is set in the 1950s and follows Kemp as he abandons big city life in New York and takes a job at a small newspaper in San Juan. After arriving he becomes infatuated with a woman named Chenault (Heard). Unfortunately she’s engaged to a wealthy landowner named Sanderson (Eckhart). A complex and unusual love story unfolds and, because it’s Thompson, let’s face it – alcohol practically becomes a character in its own right.
Although Kemp is essentially a stand-in for Thompson himself (or rather how a twenty something Thompson feared he might wind up), anyone that’s read The Rum Diary can attest to the fact that it’s a very different story (and therefore film) than Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
It’s too bad there’s no official word on a US release because I’m pretty excited to see this. I’ve grown somewhat bored with Depp falling back on crazy costumes, make-up, and accents (I’m looking at you Tim Burton) so this and a film like The Tourist seem like a welcome change of pace.
Are you excited for The Rum Diary? How do you think it looks so far?