Johnny Depp will return to the directing chair for the first time in over a decade to helm a documentary on his Jack Sparrow inspiration, The Rolling Stone's guitarist Keith Richards. Richards ended up making a cameo appearance in the Pirates sequels as Depp's father, and their relationship has continued, leading up to the announcement.
Depp's long absence behind the directing chair is no surprise with his acting career in such high demand. But the poor reception of his last effort, 1997's The Brave, which he wrote, directed, and co-starred in alongside Marlon Brando, may be a bigger contributor. Depp himself admitted to the the European media when making the announcement:
Now that I'm wiser, and that enough time has passed, I can experience directing again.
The Brave played the Cannes Film Festival and TIFF, but never received proper U.S. distribution. Though you can watch the whole movie on YouTube, or easily purchase it in the U.K.. But as for his next project, Depp explained:
Already next week I'll start working on a Keith Richards documentary. While I'm in Drvengrad, my editor is already working on kilometers of archive footage and footage of his concerts. I'm very touched that Keith agreed to show up in front of my cameras.
Depp's long absence and return to directing mirrors Tom Hanks' writing/directing/starring follow up to 1996's That Thing You Do! with the comedy Larry Crowne. But Hanks attributes the absence to having to spend years on one project, as opposed to months as an actor or producer. But then again, That Thing You Do! did well.
I don't know if the Richards documentary can come close to the frantic excitement of Martin Scrosese's Shine A Light concert/doc, but I doubt Depp will be making such a concert driven film anyway. I love me my music documentaries, and even thought I haven't seen (or plan to see) The Brave, I'll give Depp the benefit of the doubt.
Here's the trailer for The Brave, and oddly enough Depp is wearing very similar garb to what he wears as Jack Sparrow:
What do you think of Johnny Depp directing a KEITH RICHARDS documentary?