Jeffrey Wells on March 3, 2009
Early Bleary Thompson
“‘To live my my life like I want to,’ he said, ‘is the least I can do.’ And that had worked for him. And when it was over, he knew it was over and required no explanation. He had spent half a life blowing his brains out with booze, and the bullet was just a period at the end of no sentence in particular.” — the last line of dialogue in a 2006 draft of Bruce Robinson’s The Rum Diary, an adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s revised version of a novel by the same name which he originally wrote in 1959.
I received the Rum Diary script last weekend, and when I read that final page I said to myself, “Whoa.” I mean, is that Thompson talking about his own life or what? Talk about an epitaph.
The Rum Diary, which Robinson will begin directing in San Juan later this month, will star Johnny Depp as expat journalist Paul Kemp, Amber Heard as the temptressy Chenault, Richard Jenkins as the likable Lotterman and Aaron Eckhart as the adjective-defying Sanderson.
Both the book and the film tell Kemp’s story, a malcontent journo who moves from New York to work for a small newspaper, The Daily News, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. If you know Thompson’s stuff, you know what this will be — and that’s okay by me.
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