Another film role for Johnny Depp? Warner Bros. buys rights to Julian Rubenstein's BALLAD OF THE WHISKEY ROBBER

Apparently knowing a good thing when they see it, Warner Bros. has purchased the rights to Julian Rubinstein’s book, BALLAD OF THE WHISKEY ROBBER, as a property for Johnny Depp. The exact amount of the deal for the rights to Borders’ 2004 Nonfiction Book of the Year was not disclosed but was rumored to be “in the high six figures.” Johnny will be playing another true-life role as Attila Ambrus, the hockey goalkeeper and prolific bank robber who became a folk hero in Hungary. To see a photo of “the Hungarian Robin Hood,” click HERE.

Publishers Weekly describes the book as “Elmore Leonard meets Franz Kafka in the wild, improbably true story of the legendary outlaw of Budapest.” They give Rubenstein’s work a good review: “This story of a bank robber who captured a nation’s sympathy in post-Communist Hungary is a rollicking tale told with glee and flair. Attila Ambrus sneaked over the border from Romania into Hungary in the waning days of Communist rule. After talking his way onto a Hungarian hockey team, he turned to robbery to make some cash in the Wild West atmosphere of the early 1990s in Eastern Europe. [. . .] He managed to stay at large for several years while continuing in his role as a back-up goalie on the ice. Rubinstein has a knack for telling a good story, and he captures well both Ambrus’s appeal and the atmosphere of the first few years of capitalism in Hungary. Along the way, he introduces readers to memorable characters in addition to the appealing, alcoholic protagonist: the women Ambrus attracts and a Budapest detective driven out of office by the crime spree. “

Attila Ambrus sounds like a fascinating role for Johnny. Zoners will also remember that Warner Bros. paid more than a million dollars for the rights to Gregory Roberts’ mostly-autobiographical novel SHANTARAM last October–also as a property to star Johnny Depp. Although the 1940s are long gone, Warner Bros. executives apparently remember wistfully the days when they had Humphrey Bogart (one of Johnny’s acting heroes) and James Cagney under contract, and are doing their best to lock up the services of Johnny Depp for the next decade. Thanks to Sleepy for breaking the story, and to SailingMistress for posting the Publishers Weekly article on the News & Views forum. The moderators at ONBC, Liz and DeppInTheHeartOfTexas, thank Johnny for thoughtfully keeping the book club well-supplied with new titles.

Comments are closed.