Despite winning praise for featuring one of Johnny Depp’s best performances in years, biographical drama Minamata has proven to be a point of contention between director Andrew Levitas and studio MGM.
Production initially wrapped in early 2019, and then the movie screened for the first time in February 2020, but it didn’t receive a theatrical release in many international markets until this past August. Levitas blasted MGM for effectively burying the film due to the controversy swirling around Depp’s personal life, accusing them of sweeping his passion project under the rug.
In news that will no doubt please the filmmaker, Minamata has finally locked in a domestic debut of December 15, but there’s one notable caveat. MGM won’t be distributing the project at all, after Deadline reported that Iervolino and Lady Bacardi Entertainment were partnering up with Samuel Goldwyn Films to handle the rollout.
It’s been a long and winding road to get to this point, but at least domestic audiences now know when they’ll be able to see Minamata on the big screen, close to three years after Levitas first called action on the drama detailing how photographer Eugene Smith traveled to Japan in the 1970s to investigate and document the effects of mercury poisoning on the locals.