Johnny Depp is set to portray the role of war photographer W Eugene Smith in the indie drama “Minamata”.
According to Variety, the film revolves around Smith’s work as a photographer for Life Magazine in exposing the poisoning of the people of Minamata, Japan.
To be directed by Andrew Levitas, the movie will begin with the war shutterbug as a recluse with the glory days of World War II far behind him.
But an old friend and a commission from Life Magazine editor Ralph Graves convince him to journey back to Japan for a big expose: the annihilation of a coastal community through mercury poisoning.
“Minamata” is based on the book by co-written by Smith and his wife, environmentalist Aileen Mioko Smith. It has been adapted by David K Kessler.
Levitas said working with Depp will give voice to those who have been silently suffering and the project was a responsibility they do not take lightly.
Much like Eugene Smith in 1971, we could not feel more privileged or humbled to be tasked with the mission of bringing this incredible story to the world, the director added.
Principal photography starts in Japan followed by Serbia in January.
Besides “Minamata”, Depp will also feature in “Waiting for the Barbarians”. He will also produce the drama.