I picked up Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary upon its ’98 release and then kept up with tales of a supposed film adaptation for years afterwards. Bouncing in and out of development and pre-production, by the mid ’00s most fans had largely given up any hope of the film coming to fruition. But alas, in 2009 — apparently defying considerable odds — filming commenced in Puerto Rico, helmed by director Bruce Robinson, with Johnny Depp once again reprising his role of the good doctor.
The trailer looks great, but even if the end result turns out to be a stinker, Thompson fans have nonetheless been blessed via the various ancillary elements surrounding the film; not the least of which includes the recent online release of Playboy magazine’s Hunter S. Thompson archives. Spanning four decades the collection rounds up all manner of ephemera ranging from Thompson’s first impressions of longtime illustrator/accomplice Ralph Steadman to the 1983 Hawaii piece which served as the backdrop for The Curse of Lono. Carve out some time this week with a fork and knife and dig in.
Additionally, last year ESPN reinstated their online archive of Thompson’s Hey Rube column which ran from 2000-2003. If you didn’t keep up with these during their original run they are well worth checking out now, gratis, via the web (the 83 articles were collected/published posthumously in 2o04 by Simon & Schuster).