Johnny Depp set to direct first film in 25 years as he teams up with Al Pacino to create biopic

Johnny Depp set to direct first film in 25 years as he teams up with co-producer Al Pacino to create biopic about artist Amedeo Modigliani… after Amber Heard defamation trial

  • Johnny Depp is set to direct his first film in 25 years as he returns to Hollywood following his defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard 
  • The actor, 59, will be directing the film Modigliani, a biopic about Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani, according to The Hollywood Reporter
  • Production is set to begin in Europe in spring 2023 and casting will also be revealed soon, according to THR 
  • News of the movie comes after Depp took on the role of King Louis XV in Jeanne Du Barry, his first film role since his defamation trial against Amber 

Johnny Depp is set to direct his first film in 25 years as he returns to Hollywood following his defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard.

The actor, 59, will be directing the film Modigliani, a biopic about Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Depp will be co-producing the film with Al Pacino and Barry Navidi in what will be the first flick he has helmed since making his feature directorial debut with the 1997 film The Brave. 

Johnny Depp is set to direct his first film in 25 years as he returns to Hollywood following his defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard; pictured 2017

Johnny Depp is set to direct his first film in 25 years as he returns to Hollywood following his defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard; pictured 2017

Modigliani, which is based on the play written by Dennis McIntyre and has been adapted for the silver screen by Jerzy and Mary Kromolowski, follows the artist in Paris in 1916.

‘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 writes.

Production is set to begin in Europe in spring 2023 and casting will also be revealed soon, according to THR.

‘The saga of Mr. Modigliani’s life is one that I’m incredibly honored, and truly humbled, to bring to the screen,’ Depp told The Hollywood Reporter. ‘It was a life of great hardship, but eventual triumph — a universally human story all viewers can identify with.’

Co-producer! Depp will be co-producing the film with Al Pacino and Barry Navidi in what will be the first flick he has directed since the 1997 drama The Brave

Co-producer! Depp will be co-producing the film with Al Pacino and Barry Navidi in what will be the first flick he has directed since the 1997 drama The Brave

The Edwards Scissorhands actor will produce the film through IN.2, the European leg of his production company Infinitum Nihil. Pacino and Navidi will be producing the movie alongside Depp and IN.2.

This is not the first time Pacino and Navidi have worked together, with the duo also collaborating on the likes of The Merchant of Venice and Wilde Salomé. 

‘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,’ Navidi told THR. ‘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.’

News of the movie comes after Depp took on the role of King Louis XV in Jeanne Du Barry, his first film role since his defamation trial against Amber.

Trial: Jeanne Du Barry marks a return for Johnny after much of Hollywood blacklisted him following domestic violence accusations from Amber (pictured in June 2022)

Trial: Jeanne Du Barry marks a return for Johnny after much of Hollywood blacklisted him following domestic violence accusations from Amber (pictured in June 2022)

Jeanne Du Barry marks a return for Johnny after much of Hollywood blacklisted him following domestic violence accusations from Amber.

Filming on the project reportedly began in July – following the end of the trial – and is expected to last for 11 weeks, according to Deadline.

The story follows title character Jeanne, a working-class woman who climbs the Paris social hierarchy and eventually comes to the attention of King Louis XV.

Jeanne Du Barry follows title character Jeanne, a working-class woman who climbs the Paris social hierarchy and eventually comes to the attention of King Louis XV; Depp pictured in character

Jeanne Du Barry follows title character Jeanne, a working-class woman who climbs the Paris social hierarchy and eventually comes to the attention of King Louis XV; Depp pictured in character

In 2020, a British court ruled that 12 of 14 violence incidents claimed by Amber were ‘substantially true,’ and Johnny was subsequently forced to resign from the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise at the request of Warner Bros.

But, after his own defamation suit against Amber in the U.S., in which he was awarded $15 million, the star seems to be attracting interest again.

Johnny is reportedly in talks to star in another Pirates of the Caribbean film and reprise his role as Captain Jack Sparrow after a $301 million offer from Disney.

According to reports, Johnny allegedly joked he wouldn’t return to the Pirates franchise even if he was offered $300 million, which led Disney to offer him $1 million more than that.

His last film, Minimata, about war photographer W. Eugene Smith, was released in 2020.

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