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S. Thompson became close with Johnny Depp during the filming of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and showed Depp the unpublished manuscript for The Rum Diary,” says producer and FilmDistrict co-founder Graham King.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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“But okay, I promise you now that if I ever retire again, I’m going to ensure that I can’t walk it back. I’ll post a series of the most disgusting, offensive, outrageous statements you can ever imagine. That way it will be impossible for me to ever be employed again. No one is going to take my calls. No one is going to want to be seen with me. Oh, it will be scorched earth. I will have torched everything. I’m going to flame out in the most legendary fashion.”
~ Steven Soderbergh

I feel strongly connected to young cinephile culture. The thing about filmmaking—and cinephilia—is that you can’t keep hanging out with your own age group as you get older. They drop off, move somewhere. You can’t put together a crew of sixty-somethings. It’s the same for cinephilia: my original set of cinephile friends are watching DVDs at home or delving into 1958 episodes of ‘Gunsmoke,’ something like that. The people who are out there tend to be young, and I happen to be doing the same thing still, so it’s natural that I move in their circles.

In terms of the filmmaking, there was a gear shift: my first movies focused on people around my age, and I followed them for three films. Until The Unspeakable Act, I was using the same actors, not because of an affinity for people at a specific age, but because of my affinity for the actors. I like to work with actors a second time, especially if I don’t feel confident casting a new film. But The Unspeakable Act was a different script, and I had to cast all new people. Even for the older roles, I couldn’t get the people I’d worked with before. But when it was over, the same thing happened: I wanted to work with Tallie again in the worst way, and I started the process all over again.

I think Rohmer did something similar around the time of Perceval and Catherine de HeilbronnHe developed new groups of people that he liked to work with. These gear shifts are natural. Even if you want to follow certain actors to the end of their life (which I kind of do) the variety of ideas that you generate makes it necessary to change. And once you’ve made the change, you’ve got all these new people around.”
~ Dan Sallitt