Depp, Schnabel Teaming For “Hand of Dante”

“Basquiat” and “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” director Julian Schnabel tells The Playlist that his next project will be a film adaptation of Nick Tosches’ novel “In the Hand of Dante”.

The story revolves around Dante’s masterwork “The Divine Comedy,” and interweaves two separate stories. The first is set in 14th century Sicily where the legendary poet Dante Alighieri tries to finish writing his magnum opus and goes on a journey for mystical knowledge.

The second is set in New York City in Fall 2001 and features a fictionalized version of Nick Tosches as the lead. Tosches, a Dante expert, is living a quiet life in New York and is swept up into an underworld of danger and mystery when black market traders ask him to authenticate what might be Dante’s original manuscript.

Johnny Depp’s Infinitum Nihil production company purchased the rights to the book back in 2008 and the actor asked Schnabel to take a look at the book as a potential next project. Depp would likely play Tosches.