Deadline reports that the upcoming Johnny Depp film will be funded by Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Film Foundation, which is the parent body of the Red Sea International Film Festival (RIFFS). Modi, which will not feature Johnny Depp in front of the camera, but rather behind it as he assumes the role of director, will be funded by the Red Sea Film Foundation along with Michael Mann’s Ferrari, and Guy Ritchie’s The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.
Johnny Depp’s next directorial effort, Modi, will be financed by Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Film Foundation.
The Red Sea Film Foundation has funded 170 films since its creation in 2019, and is a clear indication that Saudi Arabia is working on solidifying their footing in the film industry after their 35-year cinema ban was lifted in 2017. Modi marks Johnny Depp’s first directorial effort in 25 years since 1997’s The Brave, which he also starred in alongside Marlon Brando.
Based on the Dennis McIntyre play Modigliani, Modi will chronicle the events that took place over a turbulent 48 hour period in Paris at the during artist and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani’s life at the height of WWI. The story will center on Modigliani’s desire to end his career and leave war-torn Paris after a series of critical and commercial failures.
This isn’t the first time that a Johnny Depp project has been financially backed by the Red Sea Film Foundation. 2023’s Jeanne du Barry, which marked Johnny Depp’s first time acting in French, was the foundation’s first major international co-production.
But as the play and screenplay for this Johnny Depp directed film dictate, Modigliani is urged by his friends and cohorts to stick around because an influential collector is coming to Paris to buy his work. It’s this very course of events that take place over two days that will lead to Modigliani cementing his legacy as an artistic legend.
Italian actor Riccardo Scamarcio will take on the lead titular role, with Pierre Niney and Al Pacino taking on supporting roles. Modi will be produced under the IN.2 banner, which was founded by Johnny Depp in 2004, and Depp will be producing alongside Barri Navidi, who has worked with Pacino in the past on films like The Merchant of Venice, Wilde Salomé, and Salomé.
Modi marks Johnny Depp’s first directorial effort in 25 years since 1997’s The Brave, which he also starred in alongside Marlon Brando.
Navidi has expressed enthusiasm about this project that he has reportedly pursued with Pacino for “many years,” and has the utmost faith that their collective vision will come to life with Modi, which is currently in the pre-production phases, and expected to begin filming in the fall.
This isn’t the first time that a Johnny Depp project has been financially backed by the Red Sea Film Foundation. 2023’s Jeanne du Barry, which marked Johnny Depp’s first time acting in French, was the foundation’s first major international co-production. Modi will also serve as a pilot for a new program that will allow Saudi Arabian interns to get on-set experience in a number of departments, including art, camera, and production.
In addition to the upcoming Johnny Depp directed Modi, the Red Sea Film Foundation financed the upcoming Michael Mann directed film, Ferrari, which is slated for a US release on December 25 2023, as well as Guy Ritchie’s The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare which will see a wide release sometime in 2024.
Modi will begin filming in Budapest sometime between September and October 2023, and will see a 2024 release.