Posted on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010 by Russ Fischer
If someone were going to make a documentary about Kieth Richards you’d expect them to at least talk to Johnny Depp. The actor has openly idolized Richards, and based some of his Pirates of the Caribbean character Jack Sparrow on the Rolling Stones guitarist, going so far as to have Richards appear in the third film as Sparrow’s father.
Now we’re hearing that Depp is actually the one making a film about the musician. Will this be a life-spanning documentary, or a portrait of Richards as he is now? Or something else?
The Playlist caught comments Depp made to a Serbian outlet while at the Kustendorf International Film and Music Festival in Drvengrad, where he’d been invited to appear by director and festival founder Emir Kusturica. (With whom, you might remember, Depp is making a film about Pancho Villa.) In the interview Depp says (roughly translated back to English):
Now that I’m wiser, and that enough time has passed, I can direct again. Next week I’ll start working on a Keith Richards documentary. While I’m in Drvengrad, my editor is already working on kilometers of archive footage and footage of his concerts. I’m very touched that Keith agreed to show up in front of my cameras.
That ‘now that I’m wiser line’ is in reference to Depp’s only other directoraial effort, The Brave, a 1997 film starring Depp and Marlon Brando. The film, featuring one of Brando’s last performances, played festivals but never scored domestic distribution. The common line has been that Depp refused to show the film in the States after a poor critical reception at Cannes, but I don’t know if that is actually true. Regardless, he’s said previously that he wouldn’t direct again thanks to the difficulty he had making the movie. Making a doc about Kieth Richards isn’t quite the same as filming the story of a man who has to deal with his last week of life after agreeing to star in a snuff film to earn money for his family, but it’s a good step back into the fold.