Depp to Tackle Dante; Dark Shadows Still a Possibility

In the Hand of Dante Acquired by Johnny DeppJohnny Depp is one busy guy these days! Along with playing the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s upcoming “>Alice in Wonderland and committing to yet another Pirates film, according to Variety, his production company Infinitum Nihil has acquired screen rights to the Nick Tosches novel In the Hand of Dante.

A brief synopsis of the book is as follows: Deftly blending the sacred and the profane, Tosches casts himself as the protagonist [to be portrayed by Depp] in this outrageously ambitious book in which he procures a purloined version of the original manuscript of The Divine Comedy while tracing Dante’s journey as Dante struggled to complete his penultimate work. The initial chapters find Tosches looking back and questioning the results of his fascinating life and career with a brief but devastating aside about the decline of publishing. But Tosches suddenly emerges from his morbid nostalgia when a former character named Louie (a gangster from Tosches’ Cut Numbers) gets his hands on a stolen copy of Dante’s manuscript and asks Tosches to authenticate it. That sends the author on a whirlwind tour to Arizona, Chicago, Paris, and London as he tries to verify the work and then determine its worth on the open market.

How closely the film version will follow the novel and how much of it will be horror-related are unknown, but considering that several reviews echo the sentiment that “a reader’s willingness to embrace the dark side and all that it entails is essential,” it seemed worthy of a mention at the very least. Besides, as everyone who took high school English should know, The Divine Comedy details the nine Circles of Hell along with Purgatory and Paradise. What genre fan wouldn’t love it?

But even more exciting than that (for me at least) is the choice bit of news from Bloody-Disgusting that the role I’ve been dying to see Depp undertake — that of Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows — is still a possibility. Woo fuckin’ Hoo!

Debi Moore

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  • Chainsaw

    Between that and Secret Window, you’d think Johnny Boy would avoid anything dealing specifically with books.

  • Caterpillar

    Sounds like a sequel to THE NINTH GATE!

    • ImTheMoon

      that’s just what I was thinking.