Prince Jellyfish.

So after all these fucking years they finally made a movie out of The Rum Diary

Quite frankly, I’m amazed. And Johnny Depp’s in it too, which is both shocking and expected. Good for you, Johnny. Nice to see you doing a movie that I wouldn’t rather have cancer than see for a change.

Fascinating that they’re seemingly presenting it as essentially a prequel to Depp’s filmic version of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (and thankfully making it nothing like Bill Murray’s Where The Buffalo Roam, which was ghastly). The novel itself – which was Thompson’s second, after the still unpublished Prince Jellyfish – was a pretty straightforward Hemingway-esque affair and it’s interesting to see that they added quite a bit of “zany” to the story and, of course, changed a lot of the characters around and the story too, it would seem. And by “change the story,” I clearly mean that, if the trailer is accurate, they’re trying to add one here. For example, they beefed up the character that it looks like Aaron Eckhart and his mighty chin play and turned him into some kind of villain to be defeated through wacky journalism and a lot of what would amount to alcohol poisoning in a normal person.

Also,  I’m sorry, did I say that they added some “zany” to the story? I meant to say “gonzo,” clearly. They’ve added a shitload of “gonzo” to the thing.

The attempts to bring this adaptation to life over the past decade have been cute to read little tidbits about, but I find myself actually surprised that it actually, you know, took. Thankfully it didn’t happen until now when Thompson himself is dead because it seemed like he was a bit… sensitive to anything of his when it came to the movies. And it’s directed by the guy who directed Withnail And I! This should be a beautiful mess, certainly. Considering the movies that do get made these days I still find that I’m surprised to say this but: I can’t wait to see this.

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3 responses to “Prince Jellyfish.

  1. This was actually the book on my nightstand that I was in the middle of on 9/11 (and the album in rotation in my CD player was the U2 album) and now it’s almost ten full years later and that’s bizarre! Well, no, not really… But I am really surprised that this finally got made into a movie.

    • Did I finish The Rum Diary? Yeah, years and years ago. It’s not great, it’s not something I’d recommend that anyone runs out to read, but a writer could do a lot worse as far as first (published) novels go. And it’s HST working from a much, much different vein from where the drugs and the gonzo and the lifelong devotion to the weird eventually took him.

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