The Rum Diary Screenplay? (Updated)

Hey folks,

So I was just browsing and I came across this – The Rum Diary: Based on the novel by Hunter S. Thompson. The author is listed as Bruce Robinson and it is 160 pages in length, due to be published by Vintage on September 1st 2011. What really caught my eye though is the synopsis:

It’s 1960. In a highrise hotel not far from the beaches of San Juan, a man is recovering from an animal of a hangover. Paul Kemp is an alcoholic journalist who’s barely seen better days, arriving at the only job he can get: writing horoscopes for failing rag El News. His fellow hacks are mostly crazy drunks on the verge of quitting, so Kemp fits in perfectly. But then he meets the impossibly gorgeous Chenault and her flashy boyfriend Sanderson. Kemp soon finds himself in way over his head, party to shady business deals, caught up in car chases with enraged Puerto Ricans, and experimenting with a hitherto unknown hallucinogen, which will eventually transform Kemp into the kind of journalist known to the world as Gonzo.

Two things – you can pretty much take the above as the plot of the film and having read a 2006 draft of the script it matches it perfectly. Secondly I noticed that this was put up last week on Amazon with a release date of next October. It was then pulled, before reappearing with this new release date. Sources have also indicated that the Dutch release date for the move, Nov. 2010, has now been put back to 2011. The Russian release date also appears to have been put back until 2011.

Damn, damn, damn.


UPDATE: The movie tie-in of The Rum Diary is still listed as having a September 2010 release. The UK release date for the movie is still slated as being September 2010. Not sure what to make of all this now to be honest. Amazon have been proven in the past to be incorrect with release dates. I guess we will have to be patient and see what happens.

Is there a CIA or FBI file on Hunter S. Thompson?

An enterprising blogger has decided to investigate for himself using the freedom of information act. You can check out the official reply regarding the CIA here.

The FBI have yet to reply to the blogger.

Maybe they are still upset over the mailbox incident ūüôā



The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved…Album!

Hey folks,

Just received a heads up on this very exciting project. Many thanks to Rupe for spotting this and getting in touch!

So why I am so excited? How does a spoken word album of The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved,¬†starring Tim Robbins as Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph Steadman as … well, Ralph Steadman, sound to your Gonzo ears? Believe it or not the project is¬†almost finished and should be coming to light by either the end of the year or early 2010 on Paris Records.¬†Michael Minzer, founder of Paris Records, recently discussed the project with the Evergreenreview, and by the sounds of it we are in for a real treat.

According to Minzer, Robbins’ take on Hunter is the best he has ever heard. He is also thinking of releasing the record on vinyl only, at least¬†for its initial release. Whatever form the release does take it will include previously unpublished photos taken by Steadman at the Derby in 1970!

I want this now!

Check out the entire interview with Michael Minzer here, you have to scroll down half way to read about the project and see a photo of Ralph and Tim recording their parts.


Want to star alongside Johnny Depp in The Rum Diary? (UPDATED)

 UPDATE: Johnny Depp begins filming March 31st in Puerto Rico!

Hunter in San Juan

Hunter in San Juan


So fancy rubbing shoulders with Johnny Depp in The Rum Diary? Well now is your opportunity! Casting is now underway, see below for details:

Location: (nationwide)
Category: Feature Film
Types Looking for: Actor
Gender: female,male

Status: Active
Union: No


Based on the novel by Hunter S. Thompson and Directed by Bruce Robinson, The Rum Diary is due to begin production. Johnny will produce and star in the movie. Denise Chamian Primetime Emmy Nominee is the casting director and has been involved in casting movies such as POTC and Hancock. Begun in 1959 by a then-twenty-two-year-old Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary details the life and events of Paul Kemp: He’s a freelance journalist who finds himself at a critical turning point in his life while writing for a run-down newspaper in the Caribbean. Paul is challenged on many levels as he tries to carve out a more secure niche for himself amidst a group of lost souls all bent on self-destruction. Thompson delivers a potent story that pushes the sometimes brutal truth of human relations into your face in such a way that it would be absurd to not laugh.

Female or Male All Ethnicities 18 to 65

To apply click here


Good luck ūüėÄ

Ron Mexico

To discuss this post in the forums click here

Bookmark and Share

Rumour – Jack Nicholson for The Rum Diary!

Caribe Hilton San Juan

Caribe Hilton San Juan


It looks like Johnny Depp has finally decided the time is right to kick this project into gear. A number of details have emerged in the past month surrounding this project – some pretty interesting rumours too! So here is the lowdown on the developments:

  • As previously reported, casting has begun, with a casting call circulating regarding the¬†role of Chenault. The casting call indicated that production would begin in full in early March. Several websites have speculated that Scarlett Johansson or Keira Knightley have been mentioned for the role. This is pure speculation! The role will most likely go to an unknown actress. Trust me on that one. (For budget reasons alone this is unlikely)
  • Benicio Del Toro has also recently stated that he is no longer attached to this project. He was supposed to direct the movie but that has since fallen to Bruce Robinson – writer and director of Withnail and I and the man behind the screenplay for The Killing Fields. Robinson will also handle the screenplay for The Rum Diary. He supposedly worked on it while staying on Johnny Depp’s Caribbean island, which Johnny affectionately calls “Fuck Off Island”.
  • One of the producers attached to this project is Graham King of The Departed fame. This has led to a very interesting RUMOUR that the character of Lotterman will be played by none other than Jack Nicholson!! Now I have to say I am highly sceptical of this but what a coup that would be if true. Jack was a friend of Hunter’s and really enjoyed the Good Doctor’s birthday presents ūüėÄ Maybe just maybe he would do this but no doubt he would have¬†to take a considerable drop regarding his fee.
  • The production team opened an office in San Juan yesterday and sources indicate that the old office of The San Juan Star will be used for filming. The newspaper closed last August. The team are also scouting for other filming locations in San Juan.

So that is it as of now. Thanks to the good folks over at JohnnyDeppReads for translating some spanish articles regarding the production.

Ok for now,

Ron Mexico

PS: We have some regular visitors from San Juan, why not drop us a note or some photos if you see anything regarding filming!

To discuss this post in the forums click here

Bookmark and Share

Enough Of This Nonsense

Hunter was part of a century-old tradition in American letters, the tradition of Mark Twain, Artemus Ward and Petroleum V. Nasby, comic writers who mined the human comedy of a new chapter in the history of the West, namely, the American story, and wrote in a form that was part journalism and part personal memoir admixed with powers of wild invention, and wilder rhetoric inspired by the bizarre exuberance of a young civilization. No one categorization covers this new form unless it is Hunter Thompson’s own word, gonzo. If so, in the 19th century Mark Twain was king of all the gonzo-writers. In the 20th century it was Hunter Thompson, whom I would nominate as the century’s greatest comic writer in the English language.”

Tom Wolfe


Take a good long look at that quote. Tom Wolfe is a man who I, along with millions of others, admire and respect. When he offers his opinion people pay attention and for very good reason. He is not some kind of slack jawed yokel who has just discovered the power of speech. He is a ferociously intelligent man and one of the finest American writers of our time. He is also a gentleman and all round class act. Hunter Thompson was lucky to have him as a friend. 

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for certain other people in Hunters orbit. Since his untimely death there has been a¬†number of individuals who have consistently leaped at¬†every chance¬†available to publicly bash and smear his standing as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th Century. Recent book publications and documentaries have predominantly featured these “friends” who seem to have no shame in attacking Hunter now that he cannot respond. They claim that¬†towards the end¬†of Hunters career his output was worthless, repetitive and¬†the¬†product of a man who had turned into a sad caricature of himself. Interestingly these claims come from people who had previously profited enormously from his prodigious output. However once Hunter was no longer making money for them, they waited all of about 5 minutes after his funeral before they started sticking the knife in. At best it is misguided¬†over-the-top criticism¬†of a man who was¬†suffering from severe health problems.¬†However one cannot help but think that it reeks of bitterness and¬†cowardice. These people wouldn’t dare criticize Hunter while he could still respond. They knew that it was an argument they would lose, and badly so. ¬†

Of course that is not to say that Hunter was producing¬†100% full octane literary classics in his final years. Only a fool would make that claim. However there is no doubt that he could still put out some truly hilarious and entertaining writing, and when the occasion arose he could still hit the bullseye like no other. Hunter NEVER lost it. Perhaps the only thing that Hunter lost towards the end was the motivation and particularly the energy required to write as only he could. The battles that presented themselves in the 21st Century were meant to be tackled by a young person, and not somebody who was in ill-health. Hunter knew this and no doubt he wished he was 30 years younger so he could go after those bastards in The White House. That’s not to say he didn’t try though. As John Nichols observed – some of Hunters best political writing is evident in his Hey Rube column. His article in the aftermath of 9/11 is proof enough of this and makes a mockery of any claims that he was¬†a washed up loser.¬†Hunter had already taken¬†on Nixon and kicked his ass, it shouldn’t have been his task to do that again with George W. Bush. The fact that nobody stepped up to the plate¬†to do the same with George W. Bush is¬†the abysmal failure of my generation. Well perhaps make that second abysmal failure,¬†voting the idiot into the White House was our biggest without a doubt.

Ok I have gone on enough about this now, the more I think about it the more I am getting pissed off and tempted to name the clowns that are spouting this nonsense. In closing I will leave you with a quote from one of Hunters genuine friends.    

“The fact that most of Hunter’s recent books were letters and reprints of columns, like Hey Rube,¬†caused¬†a lot of people to comment that he couldn’t write anything new anymore. But that was bullshit. If he had the time and the muse visited him, and he had the assistance and the help, he could write.”¬†

 Sheriff Bob Braudis 


All the best,

Ron Mexico

PS: A hefty thanks to John Earl for the fantastic new banner at the top of our site.  

To discuss this post in the forums click here

Bookmark and Share

Hunter vs The Hells Angels And A Taste Of What Is To Come…

Ok as you all probably know, Alex Gibney’s Gonzo is now showing across the nation in selected theatres. For a full list of screenings click here.¬†To view¬†a clip from the film showing Hunter being interviewed on TV after the publication of Hells Angels – complete with guest appearance by one of the Angels, bike and all click here.

The movie has also thrown up some other interesting little nuggets of info which you can read about below.

I wanted to do something about Puerto Rico ‚ÄĒ the young novelist and the time he spent hanging out there with William Kennedy, the great novelist. There were wonderful audio tape recordings, and that’s one thing we’ve solved. Hunter used to make audio tapes late at night. Sometimes he’d combine stuff that he’d record in the field with his own running commentary, with music. We’re going to release five CDs of those on a special collection called “The Gonzo Tapes” in conjunction with the film.” – Alex Gibney

“Douglas Brinkley¬†who is also the executor of Thompson’s literary estate, says Thompson would type out the entirety of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, studying the language -“I’ve read the original manuscripts of his work from that era and there’s scarcely a comma out of place,” he says. “It’s perfectly structured prose. We don’t give him enough credit for that. He knew how to write. He learned properly how to write. Once he learned that, it became a question of finding his own voice. He found that at the Kentucky Derby.”

Brinkley says a new book from Thompson’s hot period will be forthcoming in the next couple of years. It was written after Robert Kennedy’s assassination, which prompted Thompson to go to Washington to speak to gun lobbyists.” –

Have you seen the movie? If so why not send us a review here at Totally Gonzo and we will post it for your fellow Gonzo fans to read.

Thats about it for now, consider it the good news, because tomorrow I will be addressing an issue that this movie has again highlighted – and I aint happy about it one bit.


Ron Mexico

To discuss this post in the forums click here

Bookmark and Share