Johnny Depp likes Hunter S. Thompson. A lot. He’s been involved in several films about the man, most notably playing Thompson’s alter ego Raoul Duke in Terry Gilliam‘s terrific adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He then kind of parodied that role most recently in Rango, where he voiced the lead character of a lizard in a very Thompson-esque Hawaiian shirt. He also narrated Alex Gibney‘s insightful documentary Gonzo. This Fall we will see him in another classic Thompson work: The Rum Diary, which we now have the trailer for.
The film is about a journalist Paul Kemp who moves from New York to work as a major journalist in Puerto Rico, but uncovers, as usual for Thompson, a darker heart behind the surface of paradise. The book is another of Thompson’s Gonzo journalism works, a fictional story that was heavily influenced by his own trip to Puerto Rico where he raised hell and got involved in alcohol and various mayhem that this trailer depicts with zeal.
The Rum Diary has been a long time coming, after being stuck in development hell for director Bruce Robinson it was finally shot in 2009 and has only recently picked up distribution. Robinson is still probably best known for his directorial debut Withnail & I, a brilliant British comedy, and it’s nice to see him returning behind the camera after a long time away from it.
By the looks of this trailer, he has managed to capture the wackiness of Thompson pretty much perfectly. However, unlike the film of Fear and Loathing, Robinson has grounded The Rum Diary in some sort of realism, thereby capturing that sense of what Thompson was trying to do in his writing.
The Rum Diary will hit theatres on October 28th.