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Johnny Depp Signs First-Look Deal With IM Global

Variety logo Variety 6/14/2017 Dave McNary
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IM Global has signed a first look feature film deal with Johnny Depp’s Infinitum Nihil production company.

IM Global Founder and CEO Stuart Ford made the announcement Tuesday. The company will be run by an executive team of Depp, Christi Dembrowski, Sam Sarkar and Stephen Deuters.

The deal was negotiated shortly before the recent Cannes Film Festival along with IM Global coming on board to  finance and co-produce Depp’s next film, the comedy-drama “Richard Says Goodbye.” Wayne Roberts is directing with production set to start this summer. Producers are Brian Kavanaugh-Jones of Automatik and IM Global President of Production Greg Shapiro with Ford and Depp executive producing.

Depp’s “Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” has topped the $600 million mark at the global box office, with $160 million in China.

“Johnny is of course a globally recognized superstar but, as importantly, we at IM Global love Infinitum Nihil’s idiosyncratic and taste-driven view of the movie-making world and the unique brand that Johnny, Christi and their team have developed,” Ford said. “We’re building this relationship in order to generate great movies for the global audience with a like-minded creative partner, and with IM Global’s reputation as a company that has enjoyed frequent success greenlighting bold films outside of the confines of the major studio system I feel certain that our newly extended filmmaking partnership with Infinitum Nihil will be a fruitful one.”

IM Global’s relationship with Infinitum Nihil began last year when IM Global Television announced that it was developing a music driven television drama series about the Muscle Shoals recording studio based on Rick Hall’s autobiography “The Man From Muscle Shoals: My Journey from Shame to Fame,” with Infinitum Nihil as producers along with Richard Branson’s Virgin Produced.

After shooting “Richard Says Goodbye,” Depp will reprise his role as the Dark Wizard Grindelwald in JK Rowling’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” sequel. He’s also starring in Open Road’s crime thriller “Labyrinth” as a detective who investigates the Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. murders, and in Fox’s “Murder on the Orient Express.”

Depp formed Infinitum Nihil in 2004 and had a first-look deal at Warner Bros., which expired in 2011. He then signed a multi-year first-look deal at Disney, which has also expired. While at Warner Bros., the shingle produced Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

“The Rum Diary” was also produced through the shingle. FilmDistrict distributed the 2011 movie, based on the Hunter S. Thompson novel and starring Depp as a hard-drinking author.

The Latin phrase “Infinitum nihil” essentially translates to “Nothing lasts forever.”

The IM Global first-look feature film deal was negotiated by Shapiro and Deborah Zipser on behalf of IM Global, and by CAA on behalf of Depp. CAA is also handling the domestic distribution rights to “Richard Says Goodbye.”

Related video: Can the new 'Pirates' movie bring back Johnny Depp's box-office swagger? (Provided by USA TODAY)

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