See Johnny Depp Directing Al Pacino In New Feature Film

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Published

Good news for Johnny Depp fans—especially those who appreciate his lesser-known directorial side: the actor has stepped back into the director’s chair for the first time in decades. And he’s doing it in style, donning an iconic big (and arguably goofy) hat to direct none other than Al Pacino in the upcoming film, Modi

The project marks Depp’s return to directing for the first time since his 1997 feature film, The Brave. Perhaps more significantly, it’s also the actor-director’s first significant project following his 2022 legal victory over his ex-wife, Amber Heard.

Johnny Depp Returns To Directing

The above image, courtesy of the production company’s Instagram, Johnny Depp leans over Al Pacino as the cast and crew look over what is presumably Pacino’s script.

A dramatic journey through the fascinating life and times of Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani, Johnny Depp’s Modi is set in war-torn Paris during the First World War. The tale unfolds over 48 hours and presents a chaotic whirlwind of happenings all staged in the city’s streets and bars. As the painter flees from the police and tries to ditch Paris and his career, his surrounding Bohemian friends dismiss his plans and thwart his efforts. 

The narrative reaches its climax when the artist stumbles upon a collector, one possessing the power to change his life significantly. 

Al Pacino’s Requested Johnny Depp’s Involvement

At this plot juncture, Al Pacino steps into the role of Maurice Gangnat, a real-life French art collector. Apparently, Pacino’s involvement in the film hugely influenced Johnny Depp’s decision to direct it. For his part, Depp expressed gratitude and excitement about the film in a recently released statement. The actor described taking to the director’s chair for Modi as an “incredibly fulfilling and transformative experience.” Depp went on to thank the cast, crew, and producers for their commitment and artistic vision. The actor even acknowledged Pacino’s request that Depp personally shoot the film. How, Depp noted, could he “refuse Pacino?”

Indeep, the film marks both Johnny Depp’s return to show business and a testament to his and Pacino’s enduring star power. It also highlights their respectable dedication to the craft of independent filmmaking.

In addition to Pacino, the film stars Riccardo Scamarcio and Antonia Desplat. Depp’s European production company, IN.2, handles production alongside Barry Navidi.

Amber Heard’s Scathing Op-Ed

amber heard

Obviously, Depp’s involvement in Modi follows a feverishly publicized and tumultuous period in his personal life—infamously characterized by his 2022 legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard. The trial, a defamation case centered around an op-ed written by Heard in The Washington Post, garnered widespread media attention and earned its own Netflix documentary.

The Trial

Johnny Depp Amber Heard verdict

According to Johnny Depp and his legal counsel, the article falsely portrayed the actor as a domestic abuser. The legal proceedings went into deeply intimate—and often disturbing—details of the former couple’s private life. Understandably, these sordid specifics captured public interest worldwide. The ultimate verdict was in Depp’s favor, marking a significant turning point in his public image and career. 

Johnny Depp And Al Pacino Reunited

Thus, his comeback—Modi, specifically—excites fans globally. Directing a legend like Al Pacino may be considered by many a crucial step in fully rehabilitating Depp’s professional image, leading to a resurrection and opportunity to refocus the media narrative on his artistic endeavors. 

Which is, after all, why we fell in love with Johnny Depp in the first place.