HOLLYWOOD – It is no secret that Johnny Depp is a huge fan of Bruce Robinson’s 1987 cult comedy Withnail and I, but yesterday came the confirmation of a sequel, Withnail and We, which will star Depp, Paul McGann and Richard E. Grant.
Bruce Robinson spoke about the project in French cultural magazine Chapeau:
Johnny and I talked about Withnail a lot while we were shooting the shit bucket that was The Rum Diary. He could quote huge chunks of it to me. So I got to thinking what if Withnail had a rich American cousin … well, one thing led to another and Tim Burton was busy so we decided, why not? After all, I have done a lot of drugs and so my decision making isn’t what it used to be.
The original cast are set to return in what Depp himself describes as a ‘riotous romp’. The new film is set in the 1980s when chronically unemployed and constantly drunk actor Withnail (Grant) flies to the USA to meet his long lost cousin Walther (Depp), who has just inherited a million dollars. Accompanied by &I (McGann) who is now a successful writer searching for inspiration for his new book. Unfortunately, Withnail is also the spitting image of Donnie Craxi (also Grant), infamous gangster newly turned federal informant. Mix ups occur and Depp in a self-deprecating but affectionate moment of comedy dresses up as a pirate! Depp said he was finally happy to be doing something which wasn’t a heavy character piece.
Roles like Jack Sparrow and Willie Wonka are artistically very rewarding but sometimes I just want to do something light, for my children and so Withnail and We is the perfect opportunity for this.
Withnail & We is due in cinemas early 2016.