Minamata is now playing in U.S. movie theaters, and lead star Johnny Depp couldn’t be happier. The actor took to Instagram to make an announcement about the film’s release, noting how excited he was to see this story getting told. This is significant as Depp only posts on social media on very rare occasions, but the release of Minamata was clearly very important to him. You can see Depp’s post about the film’s release below.
“In 2019, just before the pandemic struck, we made a film about giving a voice to those that have none. Such a theme feels more important today than ever. With all love and respect to the strong, beautiful and brave people of Minamata. Their story is out in U.S. theaters today,” Depp said in the caption.
While Minamata has been released overseas, it’s taken some time to get the film screening in American movie theaters. It was previously planned for a U.S. release by MGM, but plans were made to get a new distributor when director Andrew Levitas and Depp grew concerned that the film was not getting released quickly enough. Iervolino and Lady Bacardi Entertainment teamed up with Samuel Goldwyn Films at that point to pick up the film for its North American release. This follows Minamata having its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival.
“I am thrilled that North American audiences will finally be able to learn about what happened and continues to happen in Minamata and around the world,” Levitas told Deadline at the time. “The silencing of marginalized voices and those left behind (as well artists) by large corporate behemoths has to end, and with new like-minded partners this story will finally come to light in North America and hopefully offer some peace to the victims and their families who have been put through far too much.”
Andrew Iervolino added, “Anchored by standout performances and stunning direction and craft artistry, Minamata is the kind of purposeful storytelling that sinks in with audiences and a movie they will appreciate seeing. We’re thrilled to be able to orchestrate a release campaign alongside Samuel Goldwyn that will invite audiences into this story.”
Minamata Is Based On a True Story
Levitas and Depp felt very passionate about the release of Minamata, as getting the film seen would help bring more awareness to the true story that it’s based on. The film follows Depp as acclaimed war photographer W. Eugene Smith, who traveled back to Japan in the 197s to document the devastating effect of mercury poisoning in local communities after a large corporation dumped chemicals into their waterways.
David Kesler penned the screenplay with Andrew Levitas directing. Along with Depp, Minamata also stars Minami, Hiroyuki Sanada, Jun Kunimara, Ryo Kase, Tadanobu Asano, and Bill Nighy. It is produced by Depp, Levitas, Sam Sarkar, and Kevan Van Thompson. The film is now playing in movie theaters in the United States.