At long bloody last! In what seems like an eternity the first official trailer for The Rum Diary has been released and as massive fans of the Hunter S Thompson book the movie is based upon it looks…well nothing remotely close to the book.
Starring Johnny Depp, Giovanni Ribisi, Richard Jenkins, Amber Heard and Aaron Eckhart, it tells the story of Paul Kemp, an American journalist who arrives in Puerto Rico to write for The San Juan Star. Kemp begins the habit of drinking rum and becomes obsessed with a woman called Chenault, who just also happens to be the partner of a wealthy businessman.
So apart from retaining the lead character’s name and location pretty much everything else has been left out or made up. Don’t get us wrong this isn’t a fanboy rant it’s just that this looks like an extremely loose adaptation of the book:
The story involves a journalist named Paul Kemp, who moves from New York to work for a major newspaper, The Daily News, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Set in the late 1950s, the novel encompasses a tangled love story of jealousy, treachery and violent alcoholic lust among the Americans who staff the newspaper.Thompson himself traveled from New York to San Juan in 1960 to write for an ill-fated sports newspaper on the island. Thompson had unsuccessfully applied to work at the larger English-language daily called the San Juan Star while novelist William J. Kennedy was the editor. While in Puerto Rico, Thompson befriended many of the writers at the Star, providing the context for The Rum Diary’s fictional storyline.
There are two upsides to this though, Johnny Depp is back playing a spaced out nutcase which only he Jack Nicholson and Nick Nolte can do right and the movie’s directed by Bruce Robinson, who’s no stranger to debauched, hallucinogenic, insane material, (see Withnail And I).