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Julian Schnabel to helm IN THE HAND OF DANTE next; Johnny Depp to star

Joshua Brunsting

by: Joshua Brunsting
July 11th, 2011

UPDATE: Deadline is also reporting that Depp is set to star in THE NIGHT STALKER, a remake of the titular 1970's film, as well as picture looking at the life of Paul Revere over at Disney.  He's quite a busy man.

In doing rounds for the release of his latest film, MIRAL, which hits store shelves tomorrow, director Julian Schnabel has revealed just what the hell he plans to give us lucky cinephiles next.

Schnabel recently revealed to The Playlist that he will be helming a film entitled IN THE HAND OF DANTE next, and that Johnny Depp would be starring in the film. Depp bought the rights to the novel from which the film is based a while back, and asked Schnabel to direct having “bonded” after the film BEFORE NIGHT FALLS.

The story will follow “two separate stories, one set in 14th century Sicily, Italy featuring the legendary poet Dante Alighieri, and another set in the autumn of 2001 featuring a fictionalized version of Nick Tosches (the novel’s author) as the lead. Both stories alternate as Dante tries to finish writing his magnum opus and goes on a journey for mystical knowledge in Sicily. Meanwhile Tosches the Dante expert, living a quiet life in New York is swept up into an underworld of danger and mystery when black market traders ask him to authenticate what might be Dante’s original manuscript.”

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While I haven’t seen MIRAL as of the writing of this, I have seen quite a bit of Schnabel’s filmography, and find him to be a really talented filmmaker. I love the premise of this novel, and while Depp continues to do films like the PIRATES franchise, this proves that maybe, somewhere deep within him, he still has a really interesting taste in projects. Hopefully this won’t be the last we hear of this project.

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