Johnny Depp is directing his first picture in almost a quarter-century. Based on the life of Italian painter Amadeo Modigliani, “Modi” will have a cast of international performers, including Italian Riccardo Scarmacio in the title character and famous French actor Pierre Niney. None other than Al Pacino completes the cast.
According to Deadline, the film will begin filming in Budapest this autumn. “Modi” is based on a play and depicts a time in Modigliani’s life in Paris in 1916. Maurice Utrillo, an artist, and his muse and girlfriend, Beatrice Hastings, play supporting roles. Gangnat, an international art collector, will be played by Pacino.
“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,” said Barry Navidi, the film’s producer.”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.”
Johnny Depp is well recognized for his acting, but he has also directed a film and various music videos. In 1997, he directed “The Brave,” in which he co-starred with Marlon Brando. He also made music videos for his wife Vanessa Paradis at the time. Following his defamation battle with his ex-wife, Amber Heard, Depp’s presence in “Modi” represents a revival in his career. This year, he will be seen in “Jeanne du Barry,” in which he will portray King Louis XV. It is his first film in three years and will open the Cannes Film Festival, which begins next Monday.
Amber Heard is presently residing in Spain, where she has relocated. According to sources close to the actress, she is leaving Hollywood and will spend an undetermined length of time in Europe raising her daughter, Oonagh. While there is no set return date, the insider adds Heard isn’t officially retired from acting and may return if the appropriate project comes along.