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Withnail's Bruce Robinson To Direct The Rum Diary
With Johnny Depp starring in the Hunter S Thompson adaptation

18 May 2005  |  Written by   

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Watch any of Johnny Depp's recent work, and you'll realise at once that this is an artist in touch with his gonzo side. From Pirates of the Caribbean to the upcoming Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Depp has made weirdness mainstream – and he's out to do it again in The Rum Diary, Hunter S Thompson's novel about boozing and carousing in Puerto Rico in the 1950s, which Depp has just hired Bruce Robinson to direct.

Robinson is still best known to a generation of public school boys as the writer and director of Withnail & I, but he also wrote The Killing Fields and In Dreams. He hasn't directed since Jennifer 8 in1992, but Depp, who's a fan, has tried to hire him on four previous projects. This is apparently the first time that their schedules have permitted them to work together.

Depp's executive-producing the film, hence his involvement in hiring the director, but is also expected to star. Given that the last time he collided with gonzo journalist Thompson was in Terry Gilliam's demented Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, we have hopes that this film too could be a pleasant break from the norm.

Production is due to get underway once Depp has finished shooting the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels. In the meantime, Robinson will be keeping busy adapting Thompson's novel into screenplay form, and picking a cast from among the hundreds of Hunter S Thompson fans in Hollywood.

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