Whenever people talk about Hunter S. Thompson, that generally means a lot of going on and on about the chronicling of his real life drug odyssey in the book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The book was made into a movie in which Johnny Depp brilliantly channeled the incredibly real life Thompson, but if you’re like me you’ll never be able to watch it, since fifteen minutes in the film’s flashing lights and frequent use of mescaline vision caused me to start to vomit. But I have of course read the book, and it’s good. But not nearly as good as Hunter S. Thompson’s true (and too often overlooked in the rush to hump Fear and Loathing as the godfather of gonzo journalism) masterpiece, a pseudo-fictional novel chronicling the life of an often drunk newspaper reporter in Puerto Rico thrown in with a bunch of madmen. It’s called “The Rum Diary.”
The way some people form cults and devote themselves to worshipping the works of Ayn Rand or that guy Jesus, that’s how I feel about Hunter S. Thompson’s story of rum guzzling and raving insanity. The first time I read it, “The Rum Diary” literally changed my life. I haven’t been the same since and I’d probably be safe in proclaiming it my favorite book. Ever. So excuse me a moment while I engage in a violent freak out, because Variety is reporting that Johnny Depp will star in a movie version of The Rum Diary, playing the book’s title character who, while he may have a fictional name, is basically Hunter S.
I may not have been able to make it through all of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas without having a seizure, but I did see enough of it to know one thing: Johnny Depp was brilliant as Thompson. He is, in every way, shape and form, Hunter S. Thompson as written in the man’s books. No one else could possibly tackle any Hunter S. Thompson based character and I’ll personally hand out a vicious beating to anyone else who tries.
Bruce Robinson is writing and directing the pic, and I have no idea what that means since till now I’ve never heard of the man. It doesn’t matter. I have faith in the ability of Depp to overcome even the most malignantly untalented hack. Depp as the Thompson-based character Paul Kemp in a movie version of The Rum Diary is the best possible news I’ve heard this year. It’s genius, it’s fate, and the movie needs to be made as soon as possible.
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