Johnny Depp has signed on to star as war photographer W. Eugene Smith in director Andrew Levitas‘ new movie “Minamata“.
Based on the book of the same name by Aileen Mioko Smith, the project will be adapted by David K. Kessler.
The project will centre on Smith’s time in Japan in the 1970s, when he documented the destruction the Minimata disease caused among those living in a coastal community following an environmental disaster – many citizens suffering from the neurological disease, caused by mercury poisoning, are still fighting for compensation today.
The movie will begin production in Japan and Serbia next year (2019).
“Working with Johnny to give voice to those who have been silently suffering is a responsibility we do not take lightly,” director Levitas says. “Much like Eugene Smith in 1971, we could not feel more privileged or humbled to be tasked with the mission of bringing this incredible story to the world.”
The film will be developed under Depp’s production company Infinitum Nihil.
News of Depp’s casting comes a day after “The Pirates of the Caribbean” star and filmmaker Andrea Iervolino announced they had formed a new production partnership and planned to develop film and digital projects. Depp and Iervolino’s first project will be the feature film “Waiting for the Barbarians“, which the actor will star in and produce.
Mark Rylance and Robert Pattinson have also signed up for the movie adaptation of J.M. Coetzee’s novel of the same name, which will be directed by Ciro Guerra.
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