‘FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS‘, the long awaited big screen version of Dr Hunter S Thompson’s drug-crazed rock and roll classic starring JOHNNY DEPP(pictured), opens at cinemas across the country tomorrow.
Directed by former MONTY PYTHON in-house animator TERRY GILLIAM, whose past credits include ‘TIME BANDITS‘, ‘FIVE MONKEYS‘ and the classic ‘BRAZIL‘, the film has had a long and chequered history on its journey to the big screen.
Published in 1971, Gonzo journalist-as-superstar Thompson‘s account of a drug fuelled road-trip to Las Vegas has become a classic of ‘underground’ counter-cultural writing, documenting the death of 60s hippy idealism. MARTIN SCORSESE and ROBERT DE NIRO planned to make a version after making ‘RAGING BULL‘ and the project has surfaced every few years since the novel was written.
The closest anyone came to putting the movie on the screen was the less than successful 1980 Thompson biopic ‘WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM‘ starring BILL MURRAY and PETER BOYLE.
“I was originally offered the film ten years ago but for one reason or another was unable to do it,” Gilliam told NME. “It’s like it’s been stalking me all these years and its finally caught up with me.”
‘Fear And loathing…’ has been adapted as a stage play and as a spoken-word CD narrated by HARRY DEAN STANTON with cult director JIM JARMUSCH as the RAOL DUKE/Hunter character.
British director ALEX COX began work on the film two years ago before being kicked off the set after he offended Thompson himself.
“I saw a video of the meeting between Cox and his team and Hunter,” says Gilliam. “In a sense he was talking down to Hunter, telling him that he didn’t understand his own book.”
Gilliam will eb signing copies of the soundtrack CD from the movie at London Oxford Street HMV at 6.00 pm next Thursday, November 19. The soundtrack features tracks from JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD and PERRY COMO.
Click here to read Stephen Dalton’s review of the film.
Click here to find out more about Dr Hunter S Thompson.