Johnny Depp to front Ralph Steadman documentary after run of cinema flops


Following yet another big screen flop with Transcendence, Johnny Depp is leading a new documentary about the life of his hero, artist Ralph Steadman.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star will front For No Good Reason for Sky Atlantic, with a scheduled premiere of early June.

Steadman, known for his radical work with Gonzo writer Hunter S Thompson, will be the focus of Depp's film, which will take a "richly creative look at the power and importance of art".

"I learnt to draw to try to change the world," the iconic British cartoonist once said.

Charlie Paul will be directing the project, after spending 15 years gathering the footage and creating impressive animations in the anarchic spirit of Steadman's illustrations.

Depp will guide viewers through the wild, drug-addled period of Steadman's time with Thompson, the famous Rumble in the Jungle and his gun fights with Beat Generation giant William S Burroughs.

Other documentaries confirmed for Sky Atlantic's new season include Julian Pinder's Small Town Big Story about the cast of a Christ's passion pantomime and Steve Hoover's Blood Brother, about a young traveller who gives up his life in Pittsburgh to support a group of HIV positive children in India.

Oscar-winning director Erol Morris also presents The Unknown Known, an intriguing portrait of Iraq War architect Donald Rumsfeld.

Depp's latest movie opened disastrously in the US, making less than $11 million. Past films The Tourist, The Lone Ranger and Dark Shadows also bombed at the box office.

"I remember Marlon (Brandon) distinctly saying he had reached a certain point in his life where he was finally able to utter the words, 'I just don't care'," Depp told CBS last year, remembering how The Godfather actor had advise him not to work so hard.

While Depp's huge-budget career is not over yet, For No Good Reason could signal a fresh direction for the Hollywood A-lister.  RIP Jack Sparrow.

Read more: Has Johnny Depp lost his mojo?