Articles from April 2005

Ship ahoy! The brand new Black Pearl arrives in Dominica to take part in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels!

Where does she make berth? Have you not heard the stories? The newly-built pirate ship Black Pearl has successfully completed her maiden voyage and now lies at anchor in Prince Rupert Bay on the Caribbean island of Dominica, where she will take a starring nautical role in the sequels to PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. Zoners will recall that the Black Pearl in the original POTC was not a practical ship, but a makeshift set built on a barge and enhanced by computer graphics. For the sequels, Captain Jack Sparrow will be at the helm of a genuine, seaworthy 130-foot-long ship built by Steiner Shipyards of Mobile, Alabama.

On his website,POTC screenwriter Ted Elliott has already posted his delight in the arrival of the Black Pearl. “I can look out the window of my bungalow and see the Black Pearl, lying at anchor in Prince Rupert Bay,” Ted explains. “A real, actual, full-size, non-imaginary, non-deck-on-top-of a barge-with porta-johns-hanging-off-the-back-until-ILM-does-its-magic Black Pearl. We got Disney to build a pirate ship,” Ted writes. “Cool!”

The Zone thanks emma for posting the story on the News & Views forum. To see a larger version of the Black Pearl, click HERE.

Johnny Depp named as one of People Magazine's Most Beautiful People for 2005!

The new double-issue of PEOPLE Magazine features their fifty most beautiful people for 2005, and once again Johnny Depp is included on the roster of the world’s most breathtaking visages. The photo, a headshot by Jeffrey Mayer for WireImage, was taken at this year’s SAG Awards, and shows Johnny in a black suit, black shirt, and tortoise-shell glasses. You can see a small version of the picture at the left, or a larger version HERE. The photo appears on page 104 of the magazine; Johnny shares a page with Colin Farrell, and the photo itself is only about five inches square. There is no article or interview included, only a rather silly word-translation game about how gorgeous Johnny is. While we applaud PEOPLE for having the good taste to include Johnny in the issue, we wish they had dispensed with the childish copy, which is a waste of space, and had made the photo larger instead–or obtained an interview with some genuine insight. They could do better.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp is currently filming PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST in Dominica!

His brief break in Los Angeles over, Johnny Depp has returned to work on the set of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST. Filming has shifted to the Caribbean island of Dominica, where Johnny was spotted on Wednesday, April 27th, filming on the Hampstead Bridge set, where shooting is expected to continue for three more days. Johnny is reported to be staying on Nicolas Cage’s yacht for the duration of the Dominica shoot. Longtime Depp fans will recall that Nic Cage and Johnny were roommates when both were starting out in the business in the early 1980s, and that it was Cage who persuaded Johnny to consider acting as a profession–for which we are eternally grateful . . . . The Zone thanks emma for breaking the story about Johnny’s return to the POTC set. No word on whether the pink teddy bear returned with him . . . .

"He's delightful–incredibly imaginative"–Jack Davenport discusses Johnny Depp, the POTC movies, and THE LIBERTINE

In an interview with Jack Davenport published in Metro on April 22nd, reporter Andrew Williams asked the actor, who plays Commander Norrington in the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movies and also appears with Johnny Depp in THE LIBERTINE, about his famous co-star and their work together. Davenport’s droll sense of humor was in evidence throughout the interview. Asked if he would be filming the POTC sequels “anywhere nice,” Davenport replied, “Yes. The clue is in the title. PIRATES OF THE THAMES ESTUARY might not be as popular. We have got to film in some nice locations and that’s been a big bonus for doing these films. It’s a ten-month shoot.”

About THE LIBERTINE, Davenport said, “The Earl Of Rochester was a very debauched man. He was a genius but [. . .] ended up dying of syphilis. What little I have seen of the footage so far has been amazing. The cast is great with Johnny Depp, Samantha Morton and John Malkovich.” Davenport added,”By the end of this year, I’ll have worked with Johnny more than I’ve worked with any other actor.”

So, reporter Williams asked, what is Johnny Depp like to work with? “He’s delightful. He really is one of the nicer people I know,” replied Davenport. “As an actor, he’s incredibly imaginative and that’s very interesting. If you’re playing his straight man, which I am to an extent in the PIRATES films, it’s fun seeing what kind of work you can create together because he’s such an accomplished and clever performer.”

The Zone thanks emma for posting the Davenport interview. You can read the whole story on the News & Views forum. In related LIBERTINE news, Holden reports that Miramax is now listing THE LIBERTINE on their official website with a promised release “this summer.” There is no more information–no date, no trailer–but at least they are acknowledging that THE LIBERTINE is among their properties. You can check for yourself HERE. Thanks, Holden! We’ll hope for more news on THE LIBERTINE soon.

CRY-BABY to be released on DVD on July 12th!

John Waters’ classic 1990 film CRY-BABY, starring Johnny Depp as teen rock-n-roll rebel Wade Walker, will–at long last–come to DVD in Region 1 on July 12, 2005. Universal Studios Home Video announced the release of the Director’s Cut which will run 92 minutes, or 7 minutes longer than the theatrical version. The release will be in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and will include English, French, and Spanish subtitles. Extras include some “never-before-available deleted scenes” and a “making-of” feature called “It Came from Baltimore,” which includes interviews done in 1990 with director John Waters and the cast. There is no word, however, of a commentary track, although in an interview given last summer, John Waters said he was planning to do one for CRY-BABY. That would be a definite treat, so we hope he finds the time! Thanks to Bunny for posting the item on the News & Views forum, and DeepinDepp for information about extras. Listed retail price for the DVD is $19.99.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES' star Eva Longoria talks about "her secret crush on Johnny Depp"

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES’ bombshell Eva Longoria gave an interview to new magazine INSIDE TV; the interview appears in the magazine’s first issue, dated April 25, 2005. Eva sounds like a Depphead with raging JDOCD as she describes catching a glimpse of Johnny at one of this year’s awards parties. “I was totally star struck!” Longoria declares. “He was just a few people away from me. I almost died.” And what would she say to Johnny Depp if she actually met him face-to-face? “I’ll tell him: ‘I can’t talk, because you’re so beautiful!'” Longoria does say that she would welcome the chance to act with Johnny–preferably as his onscreen wife. Yup . . . she’s got the symptoms, all right. The Zone thanks DeepinDepp for posting the story on the News & View forum. We also extend an honorary membership to Ms. Longoria.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY featured in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY Summer Movie Preview

The new ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, a double-issue dated April 29 & May 6, 2005, features a full-page preview of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY on page 74, in the section on July releases. More than half the page is a photo of Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, wearing huge sunglasses, standing outside his chocolate factory. EW’s writer calls CATCF “a risky remake” and genuflects reverently to the 1971 Gene Wilder version, saying it “remains a classic.” The article quotes Johnny’s praise of Wilder’s Willy Wonka: “The seedling of Gene Wilder rests at the bottom of your brain and you can never get rid of it. But I figured if I started to go into that arena, I had to tell myself, ‘Stay away!'”

EW adds that Johnny signed on for the film “without seeing a script” or knowing if he would be required to sing. EW reports, “To Depp’s relief–and, he says to the relief of moviegoers everywhere–” the answer was no. The Zone thanks emma for posting the EW story on the News & Views forum.

"He has integrity"–Orlando Bloom talks about Johnny Depp in the new IN TOUCH Magazine

The new edition of IN TOUCH magazine, dated May 2, 2005, features an article on POTC co-star Orlando Bloom. Of course the reporter inquires about Orlando’s relationship with Johnny, including the inevitable question, “What’s it like working with Johnny Depp?” Orlando replies, “He’s a role model for me. He has integrity and makes choices that are brave and unusual. He doesn’t have hissy fits; he conducts himself with grace and humility.”

Asked what lessons Johnny has taught him, Orlando says, “Johnny’s always telling me, ‘Don’t go for the money. Follow your heart, Orlando!’ He offers me the sort of wisdom that he’s acquired by working in the business for decades now.” And did Johnny advise Orlando not to acquire a tattoo of his girlfriend’s name? That brought a laugh from Bloom: “Yeah, he said to avoid that.” The article includes a photo of Johnny and Orlando sitting together at this year’s Golden Globes after-party. The Zone thanks Sam for posting the story on the News & Views forum.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY press junket now set for the Bahamas in late June~~

Emma reports that the press junket to promote the upcoming Warner Brothers release CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY will be held in the Bahamas, in the beautiful resort city of Nassau, on June 24th-26th, 2005. Director Tim Burton and co-star Freddie Highmore, who plays Charlie Bucket, will travel to Nassau to join the movie’s Willy Wonka, Johnny Depp, who will be in the Bahamas filming the sequels to PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. Thanks very much for the update, emma!

The summer preview issue of PREMIERE Magazine has picked CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY to finish seventh among the top ten summer releases and predicts a North American box office take of $120 million. If Premiere’s guess is accurate, CATCF would become the most commercially successful Burton-Depp collaboration yet (SLEEPY HOLLOW, their first blockbuster, earned just over $100 million). The Zone thanks sandstorm for posting the PREMIERE story.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY is scheduled to be released in North America on July 15, 2005.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp arrives in Los Angeles on Tuesday, April 19th!

The photo at the left shows Johnny Depp striding through an airport as he arrived in Los Angeles yesterday, April 19, 2005, on his way home for a break in the filming of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST. Filming wrapped in St. Vincent and has moved on to the Caribbean island of Dominica, but apparently Johnny is not needed on set just yet–or perhaps the delay in the newly-built Black Pearl’s departure from Mobile has given Johnny a few extra days of liberty.

The Zone thanks jdkwfan4ever for sharing the original picture with the Zone. You can see a larger version HERE. And we send a huge cyberbouquet of lilies and roses to bonnie for posting the full sequence of airport pictures on our Recent Pics forum. They are a feast of wonderful Depp details, from the purple bandanna with its THE BRAVE logo, to the bright pink teddy bear peeking out of Johnny’s backpack, to the red T-shirt with “Papa” inked by a loving child’s hands at the hemline, to the familiar–but untied–boots. Here’s a SAMPLE to enjoy. Welcome home, Johnny!

Good news–Yvan Attal's HAPPILY EVER AFTER scheduled for wider release

Johnny Depp fans in the Los Angeles area will be able to see his work in Yvan Attal’s HAPPILY EVER AFTER on the first weekend in May: the film is scheduled to open at the Music Hall in Los Angeles and the Playhouse in Pasadena on May 6, 2005. Meanwhile, the movie expands to several more theaters in New York suburbs this Friday: the Malverne Theatre in Malverne; Kew Gardens Cinema in Kew Gardens, Queens; and the Cinema 100 in White Plains, New York.

Emily Brunt of Kino, which is in charge of U.S. bookings for HAPPILY EVER AFTER, told the Zone that she expects Attal’s film to “end up playing most major markets at some point over the summer.” The Zone thanks Ms. Brunt for sharing the good news.

Sandstorm posted Stephanie Zacharek’s insightful review of HAPPILY EVER AFTER on the News & Views forum. “HAPPILY EVER AFTER has the guts to suggest the obvious: that marriages aren’t indistinct blobs created from the smooshing together of two people, but meetings of selves, with all the complications, hazards and risks that meeting implies,” writes Ms. Zacharek. “In one of the movie’s loveliest and most arresting scenes, Gabrielle has an encounter with a devastatingly attractive stranger in a record store. (While I generally make it a rule not to reveal surprise cameos, I’m hoping more people will make it a point to see HAPPILY EVER AFTER if they know that this beguiling stranger is played by Johnny Depp.) The two, listening to the same song through separate headphones — Radiohead’s “Creep” — are isolated but connected. The song [. . .]becomes a mini-soundtrack for the attraction that’s blossoming between them. Gabrielle lives a separate lifetime within the space of that song, a lifetime that doesn’t necessarily preclude the existence of her spouse — it’s just that, for the moment at least, she needs to live only for herself.” We hope to have the chance to view this scene, and the equally famous one in the elevator, on the big screen, soon.

Pirates on the move–PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels begin filming in Dominica

With location work on the island of St. Vincent safely completed, the cast and crew of the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels have weighed anchor and headed for a new island. Filming on Dominica began on April 17th. The newly constructed Black Pearl, Captain Jack Sparrow’s ship, is scheduled for use in the Dominica sequences but has not yet left the port of Mobile. Fine-tuning of the Pearl should be completed soon; her revised launch date is Tuesday, April 19th.

The Vincentian, the island’s newspaper, reports that more than 200 local residents were cast as extras in the movie, as fishermen, sailors, and marine officers. It also credits the POTC sequel filming with an increase in local employment and “a phenomenal boost for tourism.” Cameras rolled for only two and a half weeks in St. Vincent, but technicians, designers, and movie staff arrived in St. Vincent before Christmas to begin preparations for the shoot. The Vincentian estimates that the island offered hospitality to 40 actors and approximately 600 technical personnel during the filming.

The Zone thanks emma for her many posts with POTC news and pictures. Emma also confirms that Tom Hollander has joined the cast. He previously appeared with Johnny Depp in THE LIBERTINE.

GETTING SLIMED–a new gallery opens in THE DEPPARTMENT!

It’s not easy being green, but you’d never know that from Johnny Depp’s enthusiastic performance at this year’s Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards. The shots of Johnny getting drenched in gallons of green slime have been so popular with Zoners that we decided to capture this once-in-a-career event for the Zone’s galleries. The result is a new addition to THE DEPPARTMENT called GETTING SLIMED.

Many thanks to Susanne and AnaMaria who donated pictures for the gallery, and to sleepy for scanning the entertainment magazines and working some magic on donated images. Thanks as always, too, to Mostly Harmless for gallery design. To view the new gallery, click on the GALLERIES button above, select THE DEPPARTMENT, and click on the picture of slimed Johnny in the bottom row. Enjoy!

Join the Zone's MOVIE NIGHTS discussion of FINDING NEVERLAND, today at 3 p.m. Eastern time!

The Zone invites you to join our latest MOVIE NIGHTS discussion today at 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, noon Pacific. DeepinDepp and OldLady will be leading a discussion of FINDING NEVERLAND. Here’s a chance to free the film critic lurking inside you, share your favorite J. M. Barrie moments with other passionate fans, or simply laugh and enjoy the wit and insight of the Zone’s many wonderful writers. The discussion begins at three o’clock EDT. Bring your heart and your imagination; popcorn and handkerchiefs are optional . . . .

Ship ahoy! The Black Pearl prepares to set sail for the Caribbean!

Residents of Mobile, Alabama were thrilled to see the newly built Black Pearl take her first sea trials this week. The 130-foot-long boat–er, ship–which was constructed at Steiner Shipyards in Mobile, is nearly ready to set off on her maiden voyage to the Caribbean island of Dominica, where she will take on a starring role in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST. The Zone thanks emma and Reemi for posting several stories on the News & Views forum about the Black Pearl’s impending launch; thanks, too, to emma for the photographs on the Recent Pics forum. You can see a larger picture of the Pearl HERE.

All the Pearl needs is to be fitted with her tall sails, and she’s ready to embark. But of course The Black Pearl is “not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails. That’s what a ship needs; but what a ship is … what the Black Pearl really is … is freedom.” Bon voyage to the Pearl and her gallant crew–we wish we could stow away!

Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow in new issues of STAR and US Magazine!

The April 25, 2005 issues of STAR Magazine and US both feature new pictures of Johnny Depp in his full Captain Jack Sparrow regalia. The pictures were snapped during the recent POTC: DEAD MAN’S CHEST filming in St. Vincent. The STAR picture is a larger version of the picture to the left; US has a slightly different shot from the same set. You can see many new photos from the DEAD MAN’S CHEST shoot on our Recent Pics board. Be careful, though–some of the pictures contain plot spoilers. The Zone thanks Sam for this week’s magazine update!

Possible Canadian release for THE LIBERTINE in early August!

Canadians Zoners may get to see Johnny Depp’s performance as the devastatingly debauched Earl of Rochester this August! Intodadepps reports the Tribute.ca site lists a release date of August 6, 2005 for THE LIBERTINE. This is the first actual release date, as opposed to a whispered month or season, the Zone has heard since THE LIBERTINE’s original UK release was canceled last October. You can see the Tribute listing HERE.

This information supports what Reemi noticed in a Chicago Sun Times article on THE LIBERTINE’s playwright and screenwriter, Stephen Jeffreys. Jeffreys’ new play, LOST LAND, just opened at the Steppenwolf in Chicago and also stars John Malkovich. The article says, “Jeffreys [. . .]also wrote the screenplay for the feature film version of THE LIBERTINE, which is set for a fall release and stars Johnny Depp as Rochester, with Malkovich playing the role of the older King Charles II.” You can read the article on Stephen Jeffreys and his new play HERE. Thanks, intodadepps and Reemi, for bringing us good news about THE LIBERTINE.

Johnny Depp named one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People

TIME Magazine includes Johnny Depp in its 2005 list of the world’s 100 most influential people–congratulations, Johnny! Johnny’s profile appears in the “Artists and Entertainers” category of this week’s issue (cover date April 18, 2005). “The TIME 100 [. . .] is all about individuals [. . .] whose courage inspires others to action,” explains Adi Ignatius, who edited the special issue. The profile of Johnny, called “Johnny Depp: Unexpected Actor,” is written by Time movie critic Richard Schickel, who has trouble locating sufficient superlatives to describe the magic in Johnny’s performances.

Schickel has high praise for Johnny’s craft, which “has made him the most admired of the movies’ younger male stars–in the industry and among the knowing audience,” the critic writes. His performances embody “a mysterious damage, some ineffable pathos, that he chooses not to explain [. . .]. It is, however, when he lets his body language do the talking for him that Depp, 41, is at his most arresting. He once impeccably imitated Chaplin’s immortal Gold Rush roll dance (in BENNY & JOON), thereby openly announcing that he rooted his art in the great, lost mime tradition of the silent screen.” Schickel calls Johnny’s acting “great” and “brilliantly imaginative”–“acting that is informed by what came before yet is essentially unprecedented.” In a segment on the TIME 100 that aired on the April 11th edition of ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, a Time editor added this comment on Johnny: “Johnny Depp has an appeal to the audience that is unparalleled.” We can certainly attest to that!

You can read Schickel’s complete profile of Johnny Depp on the News & Views forum–thanks, emma, for posting it! We also thank DeepinDepp for the TIME cover artwork and Still-Rather-Timid for the report from ET.

Yvan Attal's HAPPILY EVER AFTER opens in Manhattan

Yvan Attal’s HAPPILY EVER AFTER (Ils se marierent et eurent beaucoup des enfants) opened in New York City this weekend to generally good reviews. Johnny Depp makes a brief yet memorable appearance in two scenes of HAPPILY EVER AFTER, as a mysterious stranger who sparks romantic yearning in the film’s female lead, Charlotte Gainsbourg (director-star Attal’s onscreen and real-life wife).

The New York Times’ Stephen Holden calls HAPPILY EVER AFTER “a breezy, skin-deep sex comedy” and finds Attal and Gainsbourg’s portrayals truthful and appealing. “Nobody does adultery in movies with more style and zest than the French, especially when the mode is frivolous. And anyone who watches HAPPILY EVER AFTER can identify with the grass-is-always-greener daydreams that haunt its characters,” Holden writes.

Jami Bernard of the New York Daily News gave the film three and a half stars: “HAPPILY EVER AFTER gives moviegoers a funny, observant, evanescent approach to the mysteries of human desire.” Bernard singles out the electricity in the scenes between Gainsbourg and Johnny, commenting that “several lyrical, wordless scenes [. . .]deserve the Hall of Fame. [. . . I]n one of two exquisite scenes with an unbilled Johnny Depp, Charlotte Gainsbourg’s character shares an intimate space with a stranger who hears the same music through adjacent headphones. This is terrific filmmaking.”

We hope the positive response in New York will help propel Attal’s film to a spring and summer arthouse tour of North America,where more of Johnny’s fans will have a chance to see his Hall of Fame cameo. Thanks to sandstorm and Part-Time Poet for posting the reviews.

A new gallery opens in THE DEPPARTMENT–WITH FRIENDS!

We are happy to announce the opening of a new gallery in THE DEPPARTMENT. Called WITH FRIENDS, the gallery features 29 beautiful photos of Johnny enjoying the company of his dearest friends. Many thanks to sleepy for sharing her incomparable collection of photographs, and to Mostly Harmless, our web designer, who designed the galleries.

To visit the new gallery, click on the GALLERIES button above and select THE DEPPARTMENT. The thumbnail of Johnny with Hunter S. Thompson will lead you to the gallery itself. Enjoy!