The "Pirates of the Caribbean" star is producing the film with Graham King, who acquired the rights to Thompson's novel for his company and Depp's Infinitum Nihil, Variety reported Monday. Bruce Robinson is slated to write and direct the adaptation.
Depp previously starred in the big-screen treatment of Thompson's adventures in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," published in 1972.
Depp will play Paul Kemp, a freelance journalist writing for a newspaper in 1950s Puerto Rico. Thompson was 22 years old when he wrote "The Rum Diary," Variety said. It was written in 1959 but not published until 1998.