After a dark, dramatic turn in the sci-fi thriller “Transcendence,” Johnny Depp is back to oddball characters and wacky high jinks in the first trailer for “Mortdecai,” which Lionsgate unveiled Tuesday.
The teaser, which you can watch above, finds a blond, Brit-accented, mustachioed Depp playing Charlie Mortdecai, a globetrotting art dealer and rogue who may also be “a bit of a moron,” at least according to a character played by Ewan McGregor.
Based on a three-novel anthology by Kyril Bonfiglioli, the action-comedy follows its title character as he races to recover a stolen painting that may hold the key to a stash of Nazi gold; along the way, he crosses paths with the Russian mob, British intelligence, an international terrorist and his “impossibly leggy wife.”
Directed by David Koepp from a script by Eric Aronson, “Mortdecai” also stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Olivia Munn, Jeff Goldblum and Paul Bettany.
From the looks of the trailer, Depp and Koepp seem to be going for an old-fashioned caper vibe, with Depp channeling Peter Sellers’ bumbling but effective Inspector Clouseau.
Indeed, Lionsgate chief executive Jon Feltheimer said during a conference call with analysts in November that the studio sees Mortdecai as “a franchise-able character in the vein of ‘The Pink Panther.’ ”
Depp is no stranger to playing offbeat heroes, most notably Jack Sparrow of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, although in recent years he’s had a string of critical and commercial misfires, including “Transcendence,” “The Lone Ranger” and “Dark Shadows.”
He’ll have a chance to right the ship Feb. 6, when “Mortdecai” hits theaters.
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