Johnny Depp to direct first movie in 25 years with ‘Modigliani’


Johnny Depp reportedly began production last month for the French film 'Jeanne du Barry', which he’s starring in as King Louis XV. Photo: AFP

Johnny Depp is returning to the director’s chair.

The actor will direct his first feature film in more than two decades with Modigliani, a biopic about Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani that will be produced by Al Pacino, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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

The announcement comes two-and-a-half months after a jury sided with Depp in his defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard, whom he sued over a 2018 op-ed in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse”.

Heard didn’t name Depp in the op-ed but previously accused him of domestic violence, which he denies.

Heard’s team on Monday (Aug 15) announced the hiring of new lawyers to lead her appeal efforts after a Virginia jury said Depp should receive more than US$10mil in damages. Heard was awarded US$2mil in a counterclaim over comments made by a Depp attorney painting her abuse claims as a hoax.

Production for Modigliani begins next year. The cast has not been announced.

It will be the second feature-length movie directed by Depp, whose first came in 1997 with The Brave, which he also starred in alongside Marlon Brando.

Depp, 58, reportedly began production last month for the French film Jeanne du Barry, which he’s starring in as King Louis XV. – New York Daily News/Tribune News Service

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