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Johnny Depp will star in The Libertine, which will be directed by Brett Ratner.
The story, with a script by Ben Kopit, is a Dominique Strauss-Kahn-inspired tale centering on a French diplomat (Depp) who is accused of sexual assault and put under house arrest.
Strauss-Kahn was the managing director of the International Monetary Fund until 2011 when he resigned following allegations he had assaulted a hotel maid. The economist was placed under house arrest, but the case fell apart due to the questions surrounding the credibility of the maid and a lack of physical evidence. A later civil suit was settled out of court.
Warner Bros. originally picked up Kopit’s spec script in August 2015, but the project is now going out to foreign buyers in Cannes. Several sales agents are circling.
Strauss-Kahn has already been the inspiration for one film, Abel Ferrara’s Welcome to New York, which first bowed in Cannes in 2014 and starred Gerard Depardieu in the central role.
Depp, who funnily enough starred in a 2004 film called The Libertine, was most recently seen playing infamous gangster Whitey Bulger in Black Mass, and also has small roles in London Fields and Kevin Smith’s Yoga Hosers. He’ll next be seen in Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. He’s repped by UTA and Bloom Hergott.
Ratner, who will also produce The Libertine via his RatPac productions, most recently directed 2014’s Hercules, which starred Dwayne Johnson. His previously directorial credits include Tower Heist, Rush Hour 3 and X-Men: The Last Stand. He’s repped by WME and Wendy Heller Law.
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