Earlier today, the first official teaser for Mortdecai, the upcoming comedy starring Johnny Depp, was released to the web courtesy of iTunesTrailers. The film is based on the trilogy of popular books by Kyril Bonfiglioli which follow the exploits of a suave, eccentric art dealer as he jet-sets across the globe in search of great works of art.
The books, which are of crime and intrigue, have been slightly amended here. A strange layer of buffoonish slapstick comedy has been added to the mix. Not that this is far off from the original material, but based on this first trailer, it looks as though Depp’s character acting might end up swallowing the film whole. Hopefully, Depp will resist the temptation to have too much fun. Debonair as he is, Mortdecai exists as a kind of caricature. It all hinges on Depp, he could be pitch-perfect and hysterical, or he could weigh down the rest of the movie.
The director David Koepp, mostly known for his writing, hasn’t really had a directorial hit since Stir of Echoes (1999). He’s working with fun material here, as well as a great cast. It has all the makings of a success as long as Koepp balances out the comedy with an astute and captivating storyline. The plot of the film takes Mortdecai on a quest to recover a stolen painting that supposedly also holds a code to a bank account that hides a cache of Nazi gold. As crime films go, that seems like as good a place to start as any.
Mortdecai will open on February 6 next year for a wide release. You can find out more information about the film by visiting its distributor’s website. The official site for the film (listed in the preview) has yet to launch. You can also follow Charlie Mortdecai’s official Twitter account. The film stars Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Goldblum, Olivia Munn, Paul Bettany, Aubrey Plaza and Oliver Platt.