Johnny Depp to Star in Hand of Dante

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Johnny Depp’s production company Infinitum Nihil has acquired screen rights to the Nick Tosches novel “In the Hand of Dante.” The novel will be developed as a potential star vehicle for Depp, reports Vareity.

Depp will produce with his Infinitum Nihil partner Christi Dembrowski. The company, which has a first-look deal with Warner Bros. and Graham King’s GK Films, optioned the book with its own money.

The book revolves around Dante’s masterwork “The Divine Comedy,” and tells parallel storylines involving Dante in 14th-century Italy as he tries to complete the work, and a contemporary storyline involving Tosches, who is asked to authenticate what might be Dante’s original manuscript. Depp would play Tosches. The novel was published in 2002.

Depp, who is playing the Mad Hatter in the Tim Burton-directed Alice in Wonderland, has a dance card that includes toplining another “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, The Lone Ranger, and voicing the title character in the Gore Verbinski-directed animated film Rango.

For more on the project that his production company has in the works, click here.