Cannes First Look: Johnny Depp as War Photographer W. Eugene Smith in 'Minamata' (Exclusive)

Credit: Larry D. Horricks
Johnny Depp in 'Minamata'

HanWay is shopping the film internationally in Cannes.

Johnny Depp is joined by Japanese actress Minami (Battle Royale) in this exclusive still from Minamata

The drama – being directed by Andrew Levitas – sees Depp as acclaimed war photographer W. Eugene Smith. Levitas directs from a screenplay by David K. Kessler, who adapted the book by Smith and his wife, Aileen Mioko Smith.

Bill Nighy, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Ryo Kase and Jun Kunimura also star. 

The redemptive thriller sees Smith (Depp) take on a powerful corporation responsible for poisoning the people of Minamata, Japan, in 1971. With the glory days of World War II far behind him, Smith has become a recluse, disconnected from society and his career. But an old friend and a commission from a Life magazine editor (Nighy) convince him to journey back to Japan to expose a big story: the devastating annihilation of a coastal community.

Depp is producing via his Infinitum Nihil banner, along with Sam Sarkar and Levitas under his Metalwork Pictures banner, and Gabrielle Tana. Jason Forman, Stephen Deuters, Peter Watson, Phil Hunt, Compton Ross, Gabrielle Stewart, Stephen Spence, Peter Touche, Norman Merry, Kevan Van Thompson and Peter Hampden are executive producing. 

HanWay Films is handling international sales and distribution on Minamata, which will continue in Cannes. CAA Media Finance will handle U.S. rights.  

This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter's May 14 daily issue at the Cannes Film Festival.