Rum Diary Movie News

Page added: Mar-27-01
Last updated: Winter 2005

Despite tantalizing tidbits dropped here and there since this page was last updated in 2003, no real news about the movie has happened. Enthusiastic fan Stu keeps a website with a forum for speculation and updates. Watch out for those pop ups though!

The Rum Diary now has an IMDb entry. Benicio Del Toro will be directing.

ESO posted the following to alt.journalism.gonzo in February, 2002:

NEW YORK (Variety) - Producer/financier FilmEngine has optioned gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson's novel "The Rum Diary" as a starring vehicle for Johnny Depp, Nick Nolte and Benicio Del Toro, with "Pearl Harbor" star Josh Hartnett also circling. "Backbeat" scribe Michael Thomas will write the script.

"The Rum Diary" was Thompson's first work of fiction, based on his early journalistic foray at a newspaper in San Juan in the late 1950s. While it predated the ingestion of hallucinogens that colored his later work, such as "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" (the film adaptation of which starred Depp and Del Toro), the novel featured plenty of drinking and carousing at the paper, with a love triangle thrown in for good measure.

"It was a gold rush," Thompson recalled. "There were naked people everywhere, and we all had credit."

"The Rum Diary" languished at cash-short Shooting Gallery to the point that Thompson penned an infamous letter to its production president that began "Okay you lazy bitch," and went downhill from there. FilmEngine's Anthony Rhulen, whose company made "O" and the upcoming New Line picture "Cheaters," intends to work fast enough to avoid that kind of Thompson correspondence, as scribe Thomas has already met with the author and should have a script ready to sell at Cannes. Plans are to shoot next winter.

In late 1998, after The Rum Diary came out, there was talk of making another movie, again with Johnny Depp starring as HST. As we saw with FLLV, it can take a long time for a movie to be made. In winter of 2001, gonzo fans were provided a rare treat, a pissed off fax from HST which first appeared on Aint-It-Cool-News. The fax even made Cruel Site of the Day ( Entertainment Weekly published this story in issue #588, as a way of explaining HST's motives behind the fax.