Depp plays the hard-drinking journalist named Paul Kemp (Depp), who moves from New York to work for the small newspaper, The Daily News, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The story is set in the late 1950s, and revolves around a twisted love story, plenty of violence and treachery, and because this is a Hunter S. Thompson story after all, "violent, alcoholic, lust". Well, when I think lust, Eckhart and Depp usually come to the top of the list, so I'm sold. Eckhart (if and when he signs) is expected to play Sanderson, "a wealthy landowner who believes everything has a price and introduces Kemp to a different standard of living" -- and who better than Eckhart to play the Golden Boy gone bad?
Diary's road to the big screen hasn't been easy; the film has been languishing in development since the 1990's, and has been switching production companies and financial bankers since the early 2000's. It's also had plenty of personnel changes with Josh Hartnett, Benicio del Toro, and Nick Nolte having been attached at one time or another. But considering Depp's personal history with Thompson, we should have known that he wouldn't just let the project die on the vine. Eckhart has already started production on his sci-fi action flick, Battle: Los Angeles, so I'm guessing the negotiations are just going to come down to timing.
The Rum Diary begins shooting on location in Puerto Rico this March, and is expected to arrive in theaters in 2010.