Johnny Depp and Julian Schnabel Plan IN THE HAND OF DANTE

     July 11, 2011


You know what Johnny Depp needs?  More work.  The constantly-busy actor, who is currently attached to four upcoming projects is now partnering with director Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) to adapt author Nick Tosche’s novel In the Hand of Dante into a film.  But in an interview with The Playlist, Schnabel points out that there’s no time table for the project right now.

“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…”

Depp’s interest in adapting the novel is no surprise as his production company Infinitum Nihil, bought the rights to the book in 2008.  So what is the book about?  Well Schnabel sums the story up thusly, “It’s about everything.”  To read more, including what the book is actually about, hit the jump.

While adapting a book about everything would be a very ambitious project, Schnabel might be overselling it a bit.  The story is actually a multi-generational narrative revolving around Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy.  The novel intertwines three characters: 1) Dante, himself 2) Louie, a mobster who ends up with what may be an original manuscript of the Divine Comedy and 3) Nick Tosches, a man charged with verifying the book’s validity.

The story bounces between modern day and Dante’s Italy and mixes fictional elements with some legitimate biographical details.  Essentially it sounds like a mix between The Da Vinci Code and Darren Aranofsky’s The Fountain. There’s no word on when to expect the adaptation in theaters, but Depp originally bought the rights with his eye on the role of Tosche.


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