Johnny Depp is about to add war photographer to his list of roles. Depp will portray W. Eugene Smith in the upcoming film ‘Minamata.’ Andrew Levitas is attached to direct.
David K. Kessler is writing the script, an adaptation of a book written by Smith and his wife Aileen Mioko Smith. The film is being pushed as a “real-life David versus Goliath story” where Smith faces off against a corporation who is poisoning the people of Minamata, Japan in 1971.
Smith made a name for himself taking photos during World War II but had closed off and become a recluse by the late 60s. A friend then convinced him to go to Japan and expose these corporations in Minamata. Smith worked to help these people and show the horrible actions being committed by the corporations. He succeeded in shedding light on the conditions in Minamata but many victims of ‘Minamata disease’ are still fighting in court for compensation today. Parts of the production have spent time in Minamata to learn more about the victims’ struggles.
Production on Minamata will start early next year in Japan, followed by Serbia.