Julian Schnabel (Basquiat, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) is currently doing press for his 2010 film Miral. He spoke to The Playlist and revealed details about his next project based on the book by Nick Tosches called In the Hand of Dante. Shcnabel is set to team with Johnny Depp, who bought the rights to the book and is currenlty developing it as his next directing project.
Here is what the director had to say:
“There’s a great book called ‘In the Hand of Dante’ by Nick Tosches. 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 so maybe you should read it. It’s pretty beautiful. It’s about everything.”
The story revolves around Dante’s masterwork The Divine Comedy, "and interweaves two separate stories, one set in 14th century Sicily, Italy featuring the legendary poet Dante Alighieri, and another set in the autumn of 2001 featuring a fictionalized version of Nick Tosches as the lead. Both stories alternate as Dante tries to finish writing his magnum opus and goes on a journey for mystical knowledge in Sicily. Meanwhile Tosches the Dante expert, living a quiet life in New York is swept up into an underworld of danger and mystery when black market traders ask him to authenticate what might be Dante’s original manuscript." The project is being produced by Depp’s Infinitum Nihil production company and Depp may use it as a starring vehicle for him as Toches surrogate.
I personally did not care for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, but there is no doubt Schnabel has a highly stylized directing style which would be nicely suited for this project. As a fan of Depp, I am always interested in any project he is involved in. What are your thoughts on this news?