Johnny Depp to play U.S. photographer in movie about Minamata disease

U.S. actor Johnny Depp will play the role of war photographer Eugene Smith in the movie «Minamata» about a mercury-poisoning disease that affected thousands of people in Japan, according to local reports.

The movie follows the true story of Smith and his wife Aileen Mioko, who took photos in the 1970s of the southwestern Japan coastal community of Minamata, which was devastated by pollution caused by mercury-tainted water dumped into the sea by chemical maker Chisso Corp.

(Johnny Depp at Zurich Film Festival in October)[Kyodo/Getty]

The dramatic images, later published as a photo-essay, brought the world’s attention to Minamata disease, a neurological syndrome.

The release date is unknown, but the movie directed by Andrew Levitas will start production in Japan followed by Serbia from January.

As a war photographer during World War II, Smith’s camera also captured the battles of Saipan and Okinawa fought between the United States and Japan. He died in 1978.

All — Kyodo News+

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