Minamata Biopic starring Johnny Depp sets the release date in December

The film, originally scheduled to be released under MGM, will make its debut on December 15 through ILBE and Samuel Goldwyn Films.


minamata-johnny-depp-social
Image via Everett Collection

That Johnny Depp-leaded film Minamata has been given a US cinema release date of December 15, reports Deadline. Initially, Andrew Levitas‘s film was to be released under MGM, but was recently acquired by Iervolino and Lady Bacardi Entertainment (ILBE) and Samuel Goldwyn Films with the new team looking for the award season.


The feature will debut in North America with added screenings across the US and Canada to follow in 2022. Levitas has issued statements criticizing MGM, claiming that the studios tried to push the film down because of the off-screen accusations against Depp. Even Depp has stepped forward to insist that the film be shown in North America and had not yet been due to the actor being “boycotted” by Hollywood. Depp has previously formed a couple with Minamata saviors, ILBE and Samuel Goldwyn Films as they were responsible for releasing the actor’s 2019 project, Waiting for the barbarians.

Debuted at the Berlin Film Festival 2020, Minamata tells the true story of a famous and respected war photographer, W. Eugene Smith (Depp), who travels to Japan in the 1970s to record the crimes of a giant company against nearby small towns. A company vessel tossed the local waterways with huge amounts of chemicals, leading to mercury poisoning running rampant and tearing through the helpless areas.

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The distribution situation began in 2020, when MGM acquired the rights through their American International Pictures label. MGM, due out in North America on February 5, had dragged its feet on a release in Canada and the United States, even though the film reached international screens. After a long battle with MGM to get the film in home theaters, the film’s creators eventually broke through on an agreement to have the film released.


Minamata-Johnny-Depp
Image via Everett Collection

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Of his enthusiasm in his creation and brainstorming finally on its way to the domestic market, Levitas, who also served as author and producer for Minamata said: “I’m excited that the North American audience will finally be able to learn about what happened and continue to happen in Minamata and around the world. The silence of marginalized voices and those left behind (including artists) by big business giants must end, and with new like-minded partners, this story will finally come to light in North America and hopefully bring peace to the victims and their families who have been exposed to too much. “


Both history fans and Depp fans have a lot to be excited about as this film about bravery and speaking out against corruption hits US and Canadian screens on December 15th.


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Mark Rylance on why he loved working with Johnny Depp on ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’

“He’s a very complex character who’s had a very, very extraordinary life so far, and he brings that life where he is.”

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