By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

GK FILMS AND INFINITUM NIHIL’S THE RUM DIARY LANDS AT FILMDISTRICT

JOHNNY DEPP STARS
FilmDistrict to release October 28

NEW YORK, March, 29, 2011 – It was announced today at CinemaCon, by Bob Berney, President, Theatrical Distribution that FilmDistrict will release “The Rum Diary,” based on the early Hunter S. Thompson novel that was ultimately published in 1998. It stars Johnny Depp and will be released on October 28, 2011. The film is directed by Bruce Robinson (“Withnail and I”) from his own screenplay and also stars Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard, Michael Rispoli, Richard Jenkins and Giovanni Ribisi. “The Rum Diary” is produced by Infinitum Nihil, the production company headed by Depp and Christi Dembrowski, along with Graham King and Tim Headington. Anthony Rhulen and Robert Kravis also produce.

“The Rum Diary” tells the increasingly unhinged story of itinerant journalist Paul Kemp (Depp). Tired of the noise and madness of New York and the crushing conventions of late Eisenhower-era America, Kemp travels to the pristine island of Puerto Rico to write for a local San Juan newspaper run by the downtrodden editor Lotterman (Jenkins). Adopting the rum-soaked lifestyle of the late ‘50s version of Hemingway’s “The Lost Generation,” Paul soon becomes entangled with a very attractive American woman, Chenault (Heard) and her fiancée Sanderson (Eckhart), a businessman involved in shady property development deals. It is within this world that Kemp ultimately discovers his true voice as a writer and integrity as a man.

“Hunter S. Thompson became close with Johnny Depp during the filming of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and showed Depp the unpublished manuscript for The Rum Diary,” says producer and FilmDistrict co-founder Graham King. “I am extremely proud to bring this novel to film and to honor Hunter’s legacy.”

Peter Schlessel, CEO of FilmDistrict and President of GK Films, says, “The Rum Diary” is a special project for all of us here, as it is a true collaboration between both of our entities. Depp gives an extraordinary performance in this remarkable adaptation.”

“Robinson directed one of my favorite films, “Withnail and I” – combine that with Hunter S. Thompson and it’s a match made in celluloid heaven,” says Bob Berney, President of Distribution, FilmDistrict.

“The Rum Diary” is a GK Films, Infinitum Nihil and Film Engine production produced by Johnny Depp, Christi Dembrowski, Anthony Rhulen, Robert Kravis, Tim Headington and Graham King.

About FilmDistrict
FilmDistrict is a multi-faceted acquisitions, distribution, production and financing company focusing on wide release, commercial pictures. Founded in September by Graham King and Tim Headington’s GK Films, in partnership with Peter Schlessel, the company’s films include INSIDIOUS, April 1; SOUL SURFER, April 8; DRIVE, Sept. 16; and LOCKOUT, February 24, 2012. For more information, visit filmdistrict.com.

About GK Films
Graham King launched GK Films in May 2007 with business partner Tim Headington. Most recently, GK Films produced the animated tale “Rango,” directed by Gore Verbinski and produced with his Blind Wink Productions for Paramount Pictures, “The Town,” written and directed by Ben Affleck for Warner Bros., and “The Tourist,” directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.

The company is currently in post-production on the 3-D adventure film “Hugo Cabret,” directed by Martin Scorsese set for release through Paramount Pictures on November 23rd 2011, an untitled love story, written and directed by Angelina Jolie, the crime drama “London Boulevard,” starring Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley and written and directed by Academy Award®-winning screenwriter William Monahan and “The Rum Diary” starring Johnny Depp and produced with Depp’s production company, Infinitum Nihil.

GK Films has announced several projects in development including the screen adaptation of “Jersey Boys,” the untitled Freddie Mercury story starring Sacha Baron Cohen and written by Peter Morgan and a reboot of the successful action franchise,“Tomb Raider.”

Previous GK Films releases include “Edge of Darkness,” and the three-time Academy Award® nominated “The Young Victoria.”

In 2010, Graham King and Tim Headington launched a new division, GK-TV. Run by President Craig Cegielski, GK-TV is dedicated to the development, production and worldwide distribution of television programming. GK-TV’s miniseries “Camelot,” set to premiere on Starz on April 1, 2011, stars Joseph Fiennes and Eva Green.

GK Films, in partnership with Peter Schlessel, formed FilmDistrict, a multi-faceted studio that encompasses acquisitions, distribution, production and financing on wide release commercial pictures. The company will theatrically distribute several films per year.

GK Films can be found at http://gk-films.com

About Infinitum Nihil
Infinitum Nihil was formed in 2004 and enjoys a production deal with GK Films. The two companies have produced the forthcoming film The Rum Diary starring Johnny Depp and written and produced by Bruce Robinson, as well as Hugo Cabret directed by Martin Scorsese and set for release on November 23rd through Paramount Pictures. Additionally, Infinitum Nihil and Graham King are in pre-production on Dark Shadows for Warner Brothers with Johnny Depp set to star with Tim Burton directing.

Infinitum Nihil and GK Films share a number of films in development for Warner Brothers, including Shantaram, based on the book by Gregory David Roberts and adapted by Eric Roth; Attica adapted by Linda Woolverton and to be directed by Sam Fell; Gordon Dahlquist’s The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters and the Tom Robbins classic Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates adapted by Eric Aronson.

Infinitum Nihil is also developing the Nick Tosches book In The Hand of Dante as well as journalist-author James Meek’s The People’s Act of Love.

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What do you make of the criticism directed at the film that the biopic genre or format is intrinsically bourgeois? That’s the most crazy criticism. That’s an excuse for not engaging with the content of the movie. Film critics sometimes, you know, can be very lazy.

Come on, formal criticism is valuable too. But I’m amazed when this is the thing they put in front of the discourse. My situation is that I’m dealing with a highly explosive subject, a taboo subject that nobody wants to deal with.

Karl Marx? Yes, this is the first film ever in the Western world about Marx. And I managed to make an almost mainstream film out of it. You want me at the same time to play the artist and do a risky film about the way my camera moves and the way I edit? No, it’s complicated enough! The artistic challenge — and it took me ten years with Pascal to write this story — was the writing. That was the most difficult part. We were making a film about the evolution of an idea, which is impossible. To be able to have political discourse in a scene, and you can follow it, and it’s not simplified, and it’s historically true. This is the accomplishment. So when someone criticizes the formal aspects without seeing that first, for me, it’s laziness or ignorance. There’s an incapacity to deal with what’s on the table. I make political films about today, I’m not making a biopic to make a biopic. I don’t believe in being an artist just to be an artist. And by the way, this film cost $9 million. I dare anyone in the United States to make this film for $9 million.
Raoul Peck on The Young Karl Marx

“The Motion Picture Academy, at considerable expense and with great efficiency, runs all the nominated pictures at its own theater, showing each picture twice, once in the afternoon, once in the evening. A nominated picture is one in connection with which any kind of work is nominated for an award, not necessarily acting, directing, or writing; it may be a purely technical matter such as set-dressing or sound work. This running of pictures has the object of permitting the voters to look at films which they may happen to have missed or to have partly forgotten. It is an attempt to make them realize that pictures released early in the year, and since overlaid with several thicknesses of battered celluloid, are still in the running and that consideration of only those released a short time before the end of the year is not quite just.

“The effort is largely a waste. The people with votes don’t go to these showings. They send their relatives, friends, or servants. They have had enough of looking at pictures, and the voices of destiny are by no means inaudible in the Hollywood air. They have a brassy tone, but they are more than distinct.”All this is good democracy of a sort. We elect Congressmen and Presidents in much the same way, so why not actors, cameramen, writers, and all rest of the people who have to do with the making of pictures? If we permit noise, ballyhoo, and theater to influence us in the selection of the people who are to run the country, why should we object to the same methods in the selection of meritorious achievements in the film business? If we can huckster a President into the White House, why cannot we huckster the agonized Miss Joan Crawford or the hard and beautiful Miss Olivia de Havilland into possession of one of those golden statuettes which express the motion picture industry’s frantic desire to kiss itself on the back of its neck? The only answer I can think of is that the motion picture is an art. I say this with a very small voice. It is an inconsiderable statement and has a hard time not sounding a little ludicrous. Nevertheless it is a fact, not in the least diminished by the further facts that its ethos is so far pretty low and that its techniques are dominated by some pretty awful people.

“If you think most motion pictures are bad, which they are (including the foreign), find out from some initiate how they are made, and you will be astonished that any of them could be good. Making a fine motion picture is like painting “The Laughing Cavalier” in Macy’s basement, with a floorwalker to mix your colors for you. Of course most motion pictures are bad. Why wouldn’t they be?”
~ Raymond Chandler, “Oscar Night In Hollywood,” 1948