Johnny Depp to Direct His First Movie in 25 Years, Al Pacino to Produce

Johnny Depp and Al Pacino
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'Modi' will tell the story of the Italian-born painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani in 1916 Paris.

Johnny Depp is getting back behind the camera! For the first time in 25 years, Depp will be putting on his directing cap for Modi, a film he says he's "honored" to bring to the screen.

Based on the play Modigliani by Dennis McIntyre and adapted for the screen by Jerzy and Mary Kromolowski, Modi tells the story of the Italian-born painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani, in 1916 Paris. 

"Long considered himself a critical and commercial failure, Modigliani navigates a turbulent and eventful 48 hours that will become a turning point in his life, ultimately solidifying his reputation as an artistic legend," the logline says of the film, which is due to begin production in Europe starting spring of 2023.

The story isn't just one Depp is excited about telling, but one he believes all viewers will be able to identify with.

"The saga of Mr. Modigliani’s life is one that I’m incredibly honored, and truly humbled, to bring to the screen," Depp said in the press release for the film. "It was a life of great hardship, but eventual triumph -- a universally human story all viewers can identify with."

In addition to directing the film, Depp will co-produce the project through his production company, IN.2, alongside Al Pacino and Barry Navidi. The last time fans saw the 59-year-old actor in the director's chair was for 1997’s The Brave, which featured Marlon Brando. Depp also wrote and starred in the movie -- one of Brando's last. The film will also mark the first time Depp has worked with Pacino since 2011's Jack and Jill; the pair previously starred alongside each other in 1997's Donnie Brasco.

The project is not just one close to Depp's heart, it holds a place in Pacino's as well, with Navidi sharing in Modi's press release that Pacino introduced him to Modigliani's story.

"This project has been very close to Al’s heart. Al introduced me to the play Modigliani many years ago and I instantly fell in love with it,” Navidi shared. "This is a slice of Modi’s life and not a bio."

Navidi also noted that he's looking forward to working with Depp again, calling The Pirates of the Caribbean star "a true artist."

He continued, "It's been a dream of mine to work with Johnny again -- he’s a true artist with an amazing vision to bring this great story to the screen."

The news of Depp's latest directorial effort comes after it was revealed he'd be making his return to acting for the role of King Louis XV in the forthcoming period drama Jeanne du Barry

Dramatizing the life of King Louis XV's last royal mistress at the Court of Versailles, Jeanne du Barry, the film will follow the rags-to-riches tale of a woman born into poverty, who is able to climb the social ladder to the highest degree.

The French period drama marks Depp's first return to acting in a feature film role in three years and comes just months after his legal battle with his ex-wife, Amber Heard