It was announced today at CinemaCon, by Bob Berney, President, Theatrical Distribution that FilmDistrict will release The Rum Diary, based on the early Hunter S. Thompson that was ultimately published in 1998. It stars Johnny Depp and will be released on October 28, 2011. The film is directed by Bruce Robinson (Withnail & I) from his own screenplay and also stars Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard, Michael Rispoli, Richard Jenkins and Giovanni Ribisi. The Rum Diary is produced by Infinitum Nihil, the production company headed by Depp and Christi Dembrowski, along with Graham King and Tim Headington. Anthony Rhulen and Robert Kravis also produce.
The Rum Diary tells the increasingly unhinged story of itinerant journalist Paul Kemp (Depp). Tired of the noise and madness of New York and the crushing conventions of late Eisenhower-era America, Kemp travels to the pristine island of Puerto Rico to write for a local San Juan newspaper run by the downtrodden editor Lotterman (Jenkins). Adopting the rum-soaked lifestyle of the late '50s version of Hemingway's "The Lost Generation," Paul soon becomes entangled with a very attractive American woman, Chenault (Amber Heard) and her fiancée Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart), a businessman involved in shady property development deals. It is within this world that Kemp ultimately discovers his true voice as a writer and integrity as a man.
"Hunter S. Thompson became close with Johnny Depp during the filming of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and showed Depp the unpublished manuscript for The Rum Diary," says producer and FilmDistrict co-founder Graham King. "I am extremely proud to bring this novel to film and to honor Hunter's legacy."
Peter Schlessel, CEO of FilmDistrict and President of GK Films, says, "The Rum Diary is a special project for all of us here, as it is a true collaboration between both of our entities. Depp gives an extraordinary performance in this remarkable adaptation."