The endlessly surprising Johnny Depp has found another property he’d like to bring to the big screen. Johnny’s production company, Infinitum Nihil, has purchased the rights to REX MUNDI, a series of graphic novels by Arvid Nelson and Eric Johnson. Infinitum Nihil has hired Jim Uhls, the screenwriter of FIGHT CLUB, to adapt the novels into a screenplay. Uhls describes the project as “a noir-ish RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. There are murders and a mystery, and the lead character discovers a massive conspiracy, biblical in its origin.” If you’re thinking this sounds a bit like THE DA VINCI CODE, you have it backwards: REX MUNDI was published before Dan Brown’s blockbuster novel.
REX MUNDI, which means “King of the World,” is an alternate-universe story. It is set in Europe in 1933, but the story’s central conceit is that the Protestant Reformation, which began in 1517, never took place. Instead, Europe is still dominated by a very powerful Catholic Church, the Inquisition is still continuing, and the non-European world consists of colonies. Johnny Depp will play the protagonist Julien Sauniere, a pathologist investigating the mysterious death of the priest who found him as an orphan.
In an interview from January 2006, REX MUNDI co-author Arvid Nelson told writer Paul Dale Roberts that Johnny was his choice to play Julien:
ROBERTS: If REX MUNDI became a movie, who would play the character parts and why?
NELSON: The only thing I feel strongly about is Johnny Depp. I’d love to have him play Julien. Why? Well, he seems like a such a cool, interesting person, like he really cares about the roles he takes. He never makes spectacular, forgettable garbage; his movies always have something more to offer. I don’t know anything about him personally, but somehow he just seems a lot like Julien.
Thanks very much to Charlotte Depp and DeepinDepp for breaking the story; you can read much more about REX MUNDI on the Zone’s News & Views forum.