Johnny Depp is officially set to direct his first film in 25 years, following his highly-publicized trial against Amber Heard.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star successfully sued Heard, his ex-wife, for defamation after penning a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she claimed she had become “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”
This also followed Depp’s libel loss against The Sun in late 2020, with the judge earlier ruling claims he was a “wife-beater” to be “substantially true.”
The latter case saw the actor depart from the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Now, he’s lined up his next major role, and he’s set to direct a movie for the first time in 25 years.
Johnny Depp to direct new movie, with Al Pacino producing
While best-known as the star of Pirates of the Caribbean and Edward Scissorhands, Depp directed 1997’s The Brave, in which he appeared alongside Marlon Brando.
With the trial against Heard in his rearview mirror for now, pending her appeal, he’s lined up his second-ever directing gig, with Al Pacino set to be a co-producer on the project.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, Depp will direct Modigliani, a biopic about Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani.
The synopsis reads: “Based on the play by Dennis McIntyre and adapted for the screen by Jerzy and Mary Kromolowski, the film will tell the story of the painter and sculptor in Paris in 1916.
“Long considered by himself a critical and commercial failure, Modigliani navigates a turbulent and eventful 48 hours that will become a turning point in his life, ultimately solidifying his reputation as an artistic legend.”
Johnny Depp says he’s “honored” to direct Modigliani biopic
Depp told the outlet: “The saga of Mr. Modigliani’s life is one that I’m incredibly honored, and truly humbled, to bring to the screen.
“It was a life of great hardship, but eventual triumph – a universally human story all viewers can identify with.”
Pacino will co-produce alongside Barry Navidi, who said the project has been “very close to Al’s heart.”
“Al introduced me to the play Modigliani many years ago and I instantly fell in love with it. This is a slice of Modi’s life and not a bio. It’s been a dream of mine to work with Johnny again – he’s a true artist with an amazing vision to bring this great story to the screen.”
Depp will also play King Louis XV in Jeanne du Barry, a film following the final mistress of the controversial royal.
No casting or release date has been announced for Modigliani.