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Johnny Depp Announces Cast for His New Modi Biopic

As Johnny Depp gradually makes his way back into the film scene, fans everywhere have been anxious to see where the beloved actor will take his talents next, with still no word on a potential return to his most iconic role as swashbuckling pirate Captain Jack Sparrow. While he has no plans to return to the Caribbean just yet, he will actually be stepping behind the camera in his next venture. Per an exclusive report from Deadline, Depp is set to direct a biopic titled Modi, with a robust cast so far including Al Pacino, Italian superstar Riccardo Scamarcio, and Pierre Niney.

Related: Jeanne du Barry: Lush Posters of Controversial Johnny Depp & Maïwenn Film Drop Ahead of Cannes Premiere


Modi, which will star filming in Budapest this Fall, is set to be a captivating biopic about Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani. It will be Johnny Depp’s first directorial feat in nearly 25 years, his last feature in the big chair being The Brave (1997). Given the bulk of his career being in front of the camera, that alone will prove to be a serious talking point as the project is shopped at Cannes by The Veterans. The film is based on a play by Dennis McIntyre and subsequently adapted for the screen by Jerzy and Mary Kromolowski. Barry Navidi will serve as producer. Starring so far are Italian heavyweight Riccardo Scamarcio (John Wick: Chapter 2), French actor Pierre Niney (Yves Saint Laurent), and the legendary Al Pacino (The Irishman). This project will be a reunion for Pacino and Navidi, who previously worked together on three films including The Merchant of Venice (2004). Pacino also co-starred with Depp and Marlon Brando in classic crime film Donnie Brasco (1997).

Modi Follows a Famous Artist Ensnared in Conflict in Paris

Over a time span of just 48 hours, the premise of the biopic will revolve around Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani (Scamarcio), who is actively on the run from the police through the war-torn streets and bars of Paris. Along the way he meets fellow bohemians, who all dismiss his fervent desire to abruptly end his career. Among them are French artist Maurice Utrillo (Niney), the Belarusian Chaim Soutine and his English muse and lover Beatrice Hastings. Utterly conflicted, Modi seeks advice from his friend Leopold Zborowski, a Polish art dealer. Before he can make a final decision amidst the chaos, however, a collector (Pacino) comes along who could dramatically change his life.

Producer Navidi remarked of his expectations with working alongside Depp and the A-list lineup:

“This is a snapshot of Modigliani’s life that gives us insight into his struggle as an artist suffering from lack of recognition, and a project Al and I have pursued for many years…Our incredible cast, coupled with the vision, wit and sensitivity I know Johnny will bring behind the camera, will make this a dream come true.”

Depp will also be appearing in another period film at Cannes called Jeanne du Barry, premiering at the festival on May 16. The film, in which he stars as the polarizing French King Louis XV, will be the actor’s first in three years.

This story originally appeared on Movieweb

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