Johnny Depp to direct biopic “Modi” with Al Pacino

Al Pacino has accepted a role in the biopic of artist Amedeo Modigliani, which will become Johnny’s second film as director and the second time, the two work together.

Al Pacino will play the role of real-life art collector Maurice Gangnat. Italian actor Riccardo Scamarcio has been cast in the title role, while French actor Pierre Niney is to play fellow artist Maurice Utrillo. Modi is due to start shooting in Budapest, Hungary, in the autumn, and will be Depp’s first film as director since The Brave, released in 1997.

According to the film’s producers, “Modi” follows a chaotic series of events through the streets and bars of war-torn Paris in 1916, during which Modigliani is on the run from the police.

Born into an Italian Jewish family in Livorno, Modigliani moved to Paris in 1906 and became enamoured of the bohemian life. His best known works, of nudes with elongated limbs, were mostly painted between 1916 and 1919. Modigliani died in 1920 aged 35 from tuberculosis, a condition worsened by his erratic lifestyle. While he made little money from his work while he was alive, his paintings now command huge prices, with his 1917 work Nu Couché fetching $170.4m in 2015.

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