Johnny's production company, Infinitum Nihil, picks a project–Jerry Stahl's I, FATTY

Johnny Depp’s production company, Infinitum Nihil, optioned Jerry Stahl’s book I, FATTY, a fictionalized memoir of 20’s silent-film comedian Fatty Arbuckle. The first movie star ever to be trashed by the tabloids and have his career destroyed by false stories, Arbuckle has long been a figure of fascination for Johnny. Fatty Arbuckle was the first Hollywood star to have a million-dollar contract, but at the height of his fame, he was arrested for the murder of a starlet. Three murder trials later–two hung juries and an acquittal–Arbuckle’s career was in ruins. In the discussion on the News and Views forum, Neophyte points out that many of Johnny’s silent film routines in BENNY & JOON, including Sam’s famous cooking scenes, were actually inspired by Arbuckle’s routines.

Although the doomed Arbuckle–comic genius, heroin addict, tragic victim of media hysteria–would seem a character “right in Johnny’s wheelhouse,” as Entertainment Weekly would say, Johnny does NOT intend to play Arbuckle. “It would take a hell of a fat suit,” Johnny told the New York Times. But he does intend to be actively involved as the film’s producer. “It’s a period that’s the foundation of what we do,” Johnny told the Times, “and I want to make sure the film stays in the same arena as Jerry’s book.” Thanks to Gronki for breaking this story, and FANtasticJD for helping out with the Times article.

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