Depp Plays Thompson For Second Time

Despite being written when the good doctor was but a lad, The Rum Diary was held back from publication for thirty odd years. And now after an already lengthy journey its finally made it to the screen, albeit after a similarly lengthy hiatus. This embryonic gonzo fayre stars Johnny Depp in his second outing as Hunter S. Thompson (the first being the spot on if slightly hammy turn in 'Fear & Loathing) based on another of his 'semi' autobiographical novels.

It's perhaps a bit of a push for Depp to play the main character/hero Paul Kemp (despite his suspiciously Dorian Gray like ageing issues). In the novel Kemp is only 30 and that was even a projection for Thompson at the time. Nevertheless, it's a welcome departure from the horror that has become the Pirates franchise and the continued debacle over the upcoming 'Lone Ranger'. Definite good news is that it's been written and directed by living cult legend Bruce Robinson (responsible for 'The Killing Fields' & 'Withnail & I') so expect there to be a healthy dose of additional humour and pathos in there.

The Rum Diary is set in 1950's Puerto Rico and focuses on Kemp as he leaves an unfulfilling post in New York behind, in order to work for a major newspaper there. It follows his subsequent relationships with the rest of the rum sozzled staff on the paper, jealousy, adultery and drinking; lots of drinking.

The trailer looks pretty solid and pacey but it's hard to judge how much of a departure from the book it will be (rather a lot by all accounts) and if Depp can still carry off what is ostensibly a young mans role. Only time will tell. The Rum Diary opens in UK cinemas on 4th November.


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