Johnny Depp Circling Crime-Comedy Adaptation 'Mortdecai' For Lionsgate

Johnny Depp isn't going to let a little something like the commercial failure of his big-budget Western adventure The Lone Ranger slow him down. According to TheWrap, he's close to finalizing a deal to star in an adaptation of Kyril Bonfiglioli's comedy-crime mash-up novel The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery, retitled Mortdecai. Directed by David Koepp (Secret Window, Premium Rush), the Lionsgate film was adapted by On the Line writer Eric Aronson.

If all the details can be ironed out, Mortdecai will feature Depp as an art dealer who's after a painting that could contain the code to a long-forgotten Nazi bank account packed with paintings, money and other ill-gotten gains.

Bonfiglioli partially based the character of Charlie Mortdecai on his own experiences as an art dealer. Mortdecai starred in four books, the last of which was The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery. During the writing process, however, Bonfiglioli passed away. Craig Brown (The Little Book of Chaos) came in to help finish that book, which was released in 1999.

Depp is looking to finish up Transcendence soon and possibly start shooting Mortdecai in October after filming his scenes as The Wolf in Into the Woods and then moving on to Pirates of the Caribbean 5.

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