Julian Schnabel’s ‘In the Hand of Dante’ To Include Pacino, Malkovich, Cancelmi

Julian Schnabel’s ‘In the Hand of Dante’ To Include Pacino, Malkovich, Cancelmi

Julian Schnabel will be adding Al Pacino, John Malkovich, and Louis Cancelmi to the cast of his upcoming crime mystery film “In the Hand of Dante.” The three will join Oscar Isaac, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, and Gerard Butler, whose participation had been announced earlier. Also included will be Benjamin Clementine, the UK actor and musician who is also making a contribution to the score.

Based on a book by Nick Tosches, “In the Hand of Dante” focuses on the fate a handwritten version of Dante’s Divine Comedy, originally in the Vatican Library, that has ended up in the possession of a boss in New York’s criminal underground. The film toggles between the present day and the fourteenth century, when Dante wrote the classic poem.

Cancelmi, recently seen in Killers of the Flower Moon, will play two important characters: a contemporary hitman named Lefty and a quattrocento nobleman named Guido da Polenta, who had been Dante’s benefactor.

Schnabel co-wrote the script with Louise Kogelberg, his wife and creative collaborator, who  are currently working on locations in Rome, Venice, Verona, and Sicily. Production will move to New York before the end of the year.

Julian Schnabel credits Johnny Depp for initially suggesting he make the film based on Tosches’s book, which he called “a very dense book that really addresses so many things. But it revealed Nick Tosches as this brilliant writer who could not only write in New York City slang in a very poignant and accurate way, but also in an English that sounded like verse. And then I found out that he was an expert on Dante.”

“When I read the book,” Schnabel added, “and Nick never really said this – my view is that Nick was actually the reincarnation of Dante. So you have a guy who was born in New Jersey from a gangster-type family that is actually the reincarnation of Dante Alighieri.”
The director also told Variety that several other Italian actors will appear in the upcoming film, such as Paolo Bonacelli, Guido Caprino, Sabrina Impacciatore, Franco Nero, Dora Romano, and Claudio Santamaria. Romano is noted for her performance as a crudely behaving matriarch in Pablo Sorrentino’s The Hand of God.

“In the Hand of Dante” is being produced by a number of seasoned filmmakers including Julian Schnabel’s son Olmo for TWIN Productions and Jon Kilik and Francesco Melzi d’Eril for MeMo Films. Martin Scorsese is listed as an executive producer. D’Eril had helped produce Olmo Schnabel’s “Pet Shop Days,” which debuted at the Venice Film Festival this fall.

Describing his involvement in this new project, D’Eril told Variety: “I’m very proud to be contributing to the dream of this great artist,” adding that “this has been Julian Schnabel’s passion project for a long time.”

Check out more of Edward’s articles

Comment (0)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here