Julian Schnabel and Johnny Depp to Reunite for 'In the Hand of Dante'
The two previously collaborated on Before Night Falls, but now director Julian Schnabel and international super star Johnny Depp are looking to work together yet again. The Playlist just recently talked with the filmmaker who revealed that Depp asked him to take a look at the Nick Tosches' book In the Hand of Dante as a potential next project. Depp bought the rights to the book a few years back, and is apparently keen on getting it off the ground. Revolving around Dante's classic work The Divine Comedy, this is definitely sounding like one of those lower profile films that keeps Depp interesting to cinephiles.
In what sounds like a Charlie Kauffman level of meta-storytelling, The Playlist says the book, "interweaves two separate stories, one set in 14th century Sicily, Italy featuring the legendary poet Dante Alighieri, and another set in the autumn of 2001 featuring a fictionalized version of Nick Tosches as the lead. Both stories alternate as Dante tries to finish writing his magnum opus and goes on a journey for mystical knowledge in Sicily. Meanwhile Tosches the Dante expert, living a quiet life in New York is swept up into an underworld of danger and mystery when black market traders ask him to authenticate what might be Dante’s original manuscript." Doesn't like like the usual fare everyday audiences want to see Depp in, but for my money, that's exactly why it sounds particularly interesting.
However, Schnabel says the project is still a ways off, "It belongs to Johnny, but I’m not going to make it for a couple of years. We’re gonna work on writing it, developing it. We didn’t sign anything. It’s just something Johnny asked me to read and I think it’s a great book so maybe you should read it. It’s pretty beautiful. It’s about everything.” So unfortunately it sounds like we won't see this film all that soon, and likely after the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean will probably hit theaters. Anyway, outside of the generic blockbuster, this is exactly the kind of film that I love to see Depp take on at this stage in his career.