Johnny Depp Still Looking to Make Adaptation of 'The Ginger Man'
Since as far back as 2006, international superstar Johnny Depp has been interested in one day adapting J.P. Donleavy's novel The Ginger Man. Obviously he's been a little busy over the past five years, so it's not surprising it hasn't happened yet. However, in speaking with Fox News (via Cinematical), Depp said he still has every intention of making the project. While speaking of the roles he'd like to step into before he retires (don't worry, it won't be anytime soon), the actor said, "There's certain books that I've been in love with for years that I'd love to bring to life." One is h Ginger Man, and the other is a title that hasn't come up before.
Depp said he's interested in "things like Tom Robbins Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates that's a great, great book." For those interested, here's the wholly peculiar synopsis for Robbins' story:
The fierce invalid in Tom Robbins's seventh novel is a philosophical, hedonistic U.S. operative very loosely inspired by a friend of the author. "Sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll are enormously popular in the CIA," claims Switters. "Not with all the agents in the field, but with the good ones, the brightest and the best." Switters isn't really an invalid, but during his first mission (to set free his ornery grandma's parrot, Sailor, in the Amazon jungle), he gets zapped by a spell cast by a "misshapen shaman" of the Kandakandero tribe named End of Time. The shaman is reminiscent of Carlos Castaneda's giggly guru, but his head is pyramid-shaped. In return for a mind-bending trip into cosmic truth--"the Hallways of Always"--Switters must not let his foot touch the earth, or he'll die.
Not that a little death threat can slow him down. Switters simply hops into a wheelchair and rolls off to further footloose adventures, occasionally switching to stilts. For a Robbins hero, to be just a bit high, not earthbound, facilitates enlightenment. He bops from Peru to Seattle, where he's beguiled by the Art Girls of the Pike Place Market and his 16-year-old stepsister, and then off to Syria, where he falls in with a pack of renegade nuns bearing names like Mustang Sally and Domino Thirry. Will Switters see Domino tumble and solve the mystery of the Virgin Mary? Can the nuns convince the Pope to favor birth control--to "zonk the zygotic zillions and mitigate the multitudinous milt" and "wrest free from a woman's shoulders the boa of spermatozoa?
As for The Ginger Man, Depp says, "We're in the works now to put The Ginger Man by J.P. Donleavy up, get that on its feet, so that's a very exciting possibility.” Apparently Jared Harris was set to star in a film adaptation back in 1998, but that project never came to fruition. Here's the synopsis which makes the role sound perfect for Depp:
Feckless, unwashed, charming, penurious Sebastian Balfe Dangerfield, Trinity College Law student, Irish American with an English Accent, maroon in the ould country and dreaming of dollars and ready women, stumbles from the public house to the pawnbrokers, murmuring delusive enticements in the ear of any girl who’ll listen, in delirious search of freedom, wealth, and the recognition he feels is his due. Lyrical and ribald, illuminating, poignant and hugely entertaining,' The Ginger Man' is a work of authentic comic genius.
Of course there's no telling when these projects may get off the ground. In speaking with Fox News, Depp merely mentioned these projects as adaptations he'd like to do before he retires. Don't worry, Depp won't be leaving acting anytime soon, but he has a slight idea of something he might do just before he quits the business. He says, "I'm going to have to play [King] Lear or [Don] Quixote or something. It would have to be something like that. And then just walk away.” I guess it's a good thing that Depp ended up not doing Terry Gilliam's long gestating Don Quixote project after all. What do you think of these two potential adaptations?