Johnny Depp to direct film for first time in 25 years


Johnny Depp to direct film for first time in 25 years

Johnny Depp is set to direct a movie for the first time in more than two decades, with fellow star Al Pacino onboard as producer. 

Depp will be making a change from appearing on screen to direct Modigliani – a biographical drama about Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani, based on a play of the same name by Dennis McIntyre. 

The flick is set in Paris in 1916 and tells the story of painter and sculptor Modigliani, who died in poverty aged just 35. 

According to a release about the movie, Modigliani ‘long considered by himself a critical and commercial failure, navigates a turbulent and eventful 48 hours that will become a turning point in his life, ultimately solidifying his reputation as an artistic legend’. 

Johnny Depp will direct the upcoming movie. Credit: Stephen Bisgrove / Alamy Stock Photo
Johnny Depp will direct the upcoming movie. Credit: Stephen Bisgrove / Alamy Stock Photo

In a statement, Depp said: “The saga of Mr. Modigliani’s life is one that I’m incredibly honoured, and truly humbled, to bring to the screen.  

“It was a life of great hardship, but eventual triumph – a universally human story all viewers can identify with.”

Alongside Pacino, Barry Navidi will also produce the movie – as yet no details around casting have been released, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, it goes into production in Europe early next year. 

Navidi said: “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.

Johnny will direct while Al Pacino will serve as producer. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Johnny will direct while Al Pacino will serve as producer. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

“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.”

It will be Depp’s first directing role since the 1995 movie The Brave, in which he also starred, alongside Marlon Brandon.

It’s not known if Depp, or Pacino, will also be appearing in front of the camera in Modigliani, but given that the artist was in his early 30s when the movie is set, it’s unlikely that either of the stars, aged 59 and 82 respectively, will be taking the titular role. 

The announcement comes just months after Depp won his high-profile defamation suit against ex-wife Amber Heard. 

The jury unanimously found in favour of Depp, and Heard was ordered to pay her ex-husband $10.35 million (£8.2 million).

Depp was also ordered to pay Heard $2 million (£1.5 million) in a counterclaim.


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