Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Another Hunter S. Thompson film may be on the way

While September’s Johnny Depp-starring The Rum Diary is likely to be seen as the loving eulogy that Hunter S. Thompson never really wanted, it may not be the last time we’ll see him portrayed on screen: The Motion Picture Corporation Of America—best known for its solid financial work on comedies like Dumb And Dumber and Jungle 2 Junglehas recently acquired the rights to “Prisoner Of Denver,” the 2004 Vanity Fair article co-written by Thompson and contributing editor Mark Seal that ended up being one of Thompson’s final works. The story concerns Seal and Thompson’s efforts to bring attention to the case of Lisi Auman, a 21-year-old who was charged with murder despite already being in police custody when the crime occurred. Their article—along with a Thompson-led campaign that enlisted Depp, Jack Nicholson, Benicio Del Toro, and Woody Harrelson—helped overturn Auman’s life sentence a year later, though only after Thompson had committed suicide. Seal has described his pursuit of the story as taking place in a “Hunter S. Thompson world” full of “skinheads, speed freaks, and angry cops,” and producers are currently looking for writers who can adapt the material “with a focus on Thompson and Seal acting as a couple of gonzo Woodward and Bernsteins.”

Given the lingering affection for all things Hunter in Hollywood, there’s bound to be some hesitancy about taking on yet another adaptation—especially one set near the end of his life, which has the potential to quickly turn maudlin and exploitative. (That “gonzo Woodward and Bernsteins” line also suggests a tendency toward caricature that makes us slightly wary.) Then there’s the matter of all the real-life celebrities who participated, and whether they could be convinced to play themselves, or their stories would just be left off-screen. As The Hollywood Reporter wonders aloud, “Could Depp play the writer again, and play himself at the same time?” (Allow us to hazard a guess and offer a big, fat, gonzo, “No.”)


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