Variety reports that Johnny Depp’s production company Infinitum Nihil has nabbed film rights to the 2002 novel In the Hand of Dante by Nick Tosches. Depp will potentially star in the new project.
“Dante” revolves around Dante’s masterwork The Divine Comedy, and tells parallel storylines involving Dante in 14th-century Italy, as he tries to complete the work, along with a modern-day storyline involving the author, who is asked to authenticate what might be Dante’s original manuscript. Depp would play Tosches’ character.
Depp has a full slate in front of him, including playing the Mad Hatter in the Tim Burton vision of Alice in Wonderland, another Pirates of the Caribbean sequel, The Lone Ranger, and voicing the title character in the Gore Verbinski animated film Rango, about a household pet goes on an adventure to discover its true self. He is also rumored to be playing Wallace in Frank Miller’s Sin City 3, which is currently in pre-production.
At the same time, his production company has become more ambitious, and is getting close to the starting line on its first movie.
Depp’s company is also close to beginning production on its first project, which he will topline in March, when he’ll play journalist Hunter S. Thompson in The Rum Diary, an adaptation of the Thompson’s book detailing the life of Paul Kemp, a freelance journalist who finds himself at a critical turning point in his life while writing for a run-down newspaper in the Caribbean. Bruce Robinson is directing the film, from his own script.
His company is also developing an update of Dark Shadows, with Tim Burton again at the helm, that will have Depp playing vampire Barnabas Collins, in a film based on the cult TV series detailing Collins’ run-ins with various monsters, witches, werewolves and ghosts.
Infinitum Nihil is also working on The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which has Chris Wedge (Ice Age, Robots) attached to direct; an adaptation of the Gregory David Roberts book Shantaram that was penned by Eric Roth
If that’s not enough, they also have the screen rights to The Bomb in My Garden, based on a book by former Iraqi nuclear scientist Mahdi Obeidi and journalist Kurt Pitzer, with a script by Robert Edwards. This book describes how Iraq acquired the means to produce highly enriched uranium, the key ingredient to building a nuclear weapon, by the eve of the first Gulf War. It follows Obeidi, who spearheaded the search for a working centrifuge after the bombing of Iraq’s Osirak reactor by Israel in 1981, helped prevent Iraq from moving further with their nuclear ambitions, by burying nuclear materials and instructions in his backyard, then later turning them over to Coalition forces before emigrating to the U.S.