Pirates are always on the lookout for treasure, so it’s no surprise that Captain Sparrow is getting his share of the blockchain booty. Johnny Depp, who also performed as Raoul Duke and Edward Scissorhands, has teamed up with Andrea Iervolino to develop and co-produce a film through the blockchain-based entertainment platform, TaTaTu (TTU).
The first fruit of their collaboration will be Ciro Guerra’s Waiting for the Barbarians, a colonial drama based on the novel of the same name by J. M. Coetzee. Filming will begin in Morocco, North Africa, this month.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Depp will produce through his Infinitum Nihil production label and Iervolino will produce through TaTaTu, which he founded. Other co-producers will include Ambi Media Group, as well as Michael Fitzgerald and Olga Segura.
Big Coup for TaTaTu
The partnership marks a big win for TaTaTu, a social entertainment platform which held the third—largest crowd sale earlier this year.
Although TaTaTu’s valuation has fallen quite a bit since its $575 million ICO, the company is still alive and is considered among the minority of 2017 token sales to deliver a workable product. Instead of profiting from users, the company regards itself as “a three-way system where everyone is a partner.”
In a Medium post, the company explains:
The goal is to reward anybody who uses or contributes to the platform. They will be recognized for their part in enabling the ecosystem to thrive. On existing entertainment platforms, the user provides his attention for free in exchange for free access to the platform. TaTaTu takes this concept one step further. Users are recognized as part of the ecosystem. They are rewarded for sharing their data and for being the engine of this economy.
In short, TTU users are rewarded in tokens for interacting with the ads and branded content on the platform. Content creators are also incentivized to share their content, and an on-chain Digital Rights Management (DRM) tool will ensure that everyone pays—and is paid—their fair share.
That might sound like wishful thinking, but Depp isn’t the first star in TaTaTu’s sky. Iervolino’s platform has already acquired Friedkin Uncut, which follows the career of The Exorcist director William Friedkin. With a long list of guest stars including Quentin Tarantino, Willem Defoe and Matthew McConaughey, the documentary is one more link between the blockchain and the screen.
Depp did not comment on the wisdom of lambos or hodling, but in a statement to the media expressed his enthusiasm for working with Iervolino’s blockchain company. “In this era of democratised entertainment, I admire the imaginative ethos of Andrea”, he said. “[I] look forward to collaborating together in a liberating, progressive manner that will befit the principals of our respective entities.”
There’s still a lot of things that can go wrong, and a million-dollar movie set is a dangerous laboratory for experiments. However, even if the partnership fails to put Hollywood on the blockchain it will still set a remarkable example for other blockchain endeavors on film.
And if TaTaTu is not the best blockchain movie studio you’ve heard of, as Captain Sparrow would say, you have heard of it.
The author is not invested in TaTaTu, but owns other digital assets.