First Look: Johnny Depp as War Photographer W. Eugene Smith in 'Minamata'

Courtesy of Larry Horricks
Johnny Depp in 'Minamata'

Bill Nighy has boarded the feature from director Andrew Levitas.

In a first-look image for Minamata, Johnny Depp is featured as war photographer W. Eugene Smith.

Andrew Levitas is directing from a screenplay by David K. Kessler, who adapted the book by Aileen Mioko Smith and W. Eugene Smith.

As production commences, Bill Nighy has also joined the cast, which also includes Minami, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Ryo Kase and Jun Kunimura.

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 Life magazine editor (Nighy) convinces him to journey back to Japan to expose a big story: the devastating annihilation of a coastal community.

Depp will produce 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 will executive produce.   

HanWay Films is handling international sales and distribution on Minamata, which will continue in Berlin during EFM next week. CAA Media Finance will handle U.S. rights.