Articles from October 2005

BREAKING NEWS–New photos of Johnny Depp in New York City on Sunday!

Where’s Johnny Depp? In the Big Apple! The thumbnail at left shows Johnny as he left a hotel in midtown Manhattan on Sunday, October 30th, bundled up in a heavy coat and scarf, and sporting his customary hat and sunglasses. Johnny graciously signed autographs for fans, as you can see HERE, and greeted New York with a smile HERE, despite being caught by the paparazzi. Deppheads will recall that Johnny was in New York City exactly one year previously, accepting the Lee Strasberg Award from the Actor’s Fund. The Zone thanks bonnie and Dark Angel for sharing the photographs–members can find more on our Recent Pics forum.

At last! ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT airs a feature on THE LIBERTINE!

At last! ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT finally aired their promised story on THE LIBERTINE during Thursday night’s broadcast–less than a minute of footage that nonetheless gave most of Johnny Depp’s North American fans their first glimpse of his fascinating performance as Restoration poet John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester. ET introduced the segment as “the movie that has been dubbed the most controversial of the year. We reveal Johnny Depp, sexually deviant, scandalous, and a very far cry from Willy Wonka.” That difference became obvious with Rochester’s first words: “Ladies, an announcement. I am up for it . . . all the time.”

Viewers saw a few tantalizing hints of the film–the Earl meeting the actress Elizabeth Barry (Samantha Morton), rehearsing a play, or beguiling a woman in a carriage–and heard a few lines of dialogue. “In the film, out November 23rd in selected cities, Depp plays the Earl of Rochester–a rogue, troublemaker, and playwright, who delights in raising eyebrows,” ET announced. “He’s handsome, talented, and has an insatiable appetite for women.” Zone members who missed last night’s ET can see the segment on our Video Clips forum–we thank Intodadepps for coming to the rescue of the Depprived! We also thank her for posting word on News & Views that THE LIBERTINE segment was featured on ET–her timely warning allowed many in later time zones to see and tape the show.

A final thank you to FANtastic JD for sharing her screencaps from ET. For a larger version of our thumbnail, click HERE, and for a look at that already-notorious carriage scene, click HERE.

Join us for a SECRET WINDOW discussion on Sunday afternoon!

The Zone’s Movie Nights tradition continues this Sunday afternoon, October 30th, at 3 p.m. Eastern, when DeepinDepp and OldLady will be hosting a discussion of David Koepp’s SECRET WINDOW. This psychological thriller (based on a novella by Stephen King) is a perfect choice for Halloween weekend; while Johnny Depp’s Mort Rainey might have a few tricks up the sleeve of his baggy sweater, he is always a treat to watch! So grab your Doritos and your Mountain Dew, and join us for a look into SECRET WINDOW. Newbies welcome; ratty bathrobe optional.

Oscar-winner Eric Roth signed to write the screenplay for SHANTARAM, starring Johnny Depp

Eric Roth, whose screenplay for FORREST GUMP won an Oscar, has been hired by Warner Bros. to adapt the screenplay for their upcoming film SHANTARAM, starring Johnny Depp. Roth will be taking over screenwriting duties from Gregory David Roberts, who wrote the bestselling novel. Warner Bros. paid $2 million in 2004 for the rights to film SHANTARAM, Roberts’ epic and semi-autobiographical tale of an Australian heroin addict who escapes from prison and creates a new life as a doctor in India.

The Zone thanks emma for posting the story on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

BREAKING NEWS–THE LIBERTINE earns 8 British Independent Film Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Johnny Depp!

Awards season officially began today as the British Independent Film Association announced its list of nominees for year-end honors; Laurence Dunmore’s THE LIBERTINE, starring Johnny Depp as the Earl of Rochester, received an impressive eight nominations,including Best British Independent Film. THE LIBERTINE’s 8 nominations place it in a three-way tie with THE CONSTANT GARDENER and MRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS as the most-honored films of the year. Laurence Dunmore scored a rare double nomination–for Best Director and for the Douglas Hickox Award for Debut Director, since THE LIBERTINE is Dunmore’s first feature film.

Johnny Depp’s performance as John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, earned him a Best Actor nomination; he is the only non-British actor so honored. Other nominees are Chiwetel Ejiofor for KINKY BOOTS, Ralph Fiennes for THE CONSTANT GARDENER, Bob Hoskins for MRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS, and Matthew MacFadyen for IN MY FATHER’S DEN.

Three of Johnny’s LIBERTINE castmates were also recognized with nominations: Rosamund Pike as Best Supporting Actress; Tom Hollander as Best Supporting Actor; and Rupert Friend as Most Promising Newcomer. Production designer Ben Van Os received a nomination for Best Technical Achievement.

Congratulations to all the nominees! The British Independent Film Awards will be presented November 30th at Hammersmith Palais in London.

The Zone thanks sandstorm and Gilbert’s Girl for posting news about the BIFAs, and emma for posting the complete list of nominees. You can read the full story on our News & Views forum.

Hurricane Wilma update–ships and sets for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2 and 3 weather the storm

While the cast and crew of Disney’s PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels were evacuated to safety, the Black Pearl proudly weathered the storm at her regular berth at Bradford Marina in Freeport Harbour on Grand Bahama. The Bahamas Vacation Guide reports that all the ships used in filming are in good condition, and props were safely stored away before Hurricane Wilma hit. Sets sustained only minor damage, and local Bahamanian news reports that the sets can be restored “in a few days.” Shooting on the POTC sequels could resume by the weekend. You can read the Vacation Guide report and see their pictures of the Black Pearl HERE.

Meanwhile, POTC director Gore Verbinski told reporter Glen Schaefer that he will be working on the sequels for the next year and a half! “We shoot until December, then we take a month off to get some post-production work going. Then we shoot for January, February,” Gore told Schaefer. “Then we take time off to finish the second movie, then we go back and shoot another 40 days on the third film and then we go right into post-production on that film.” About the arduous schedule, Gore added, “The hard thing is the pacing, trying to get up every day, get juiced and get creative, because they’re just absolutely physically exhausting.”

The Zone thanks Gilbert’s Girl for the POTC updates and emma for the Verbinski interview–you can read both on the News & Views forum.

TV ALERT–THE LIBERTINE trailer premieres tonight, October 21st, on ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT! (Oops. No–it doesn't. False advertising from ET.)

Finally! Deppheads can catch their first glimpse of the trailer for Johnny Depp’s long-awaited film THE LIBERTINE tonight, Friday October 21st, on the syndicated entertainment news program ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT. A story on the ET Online website promotes tonight’s segment: “Oscar-nominated actor JOHNNY DEPP trades in his pirate’s sword for a writer’s pen in the controversial dramatic comedy THE LIBERTINE.

“The film takes place in 17th century London, and follows the rise and inevitable fall of notorious, real-life poet John Wilmot, the Earl of Rochester (Depp), as he romances the beautiful young actress Elizabeth Barry (Samantha Morton) and partakes in a wild life of debauchery.

“In LIBERTINE, Wilmot is commissioned to write a play by King Charles II (John Malkovich), and the scandalous script that he comes up with earns him banishment and disgrace. In the present day, Wilmot is celebrated not only for his poetic genius, but also his strong belief in personal freedom and liberty–hence the film’s title.” Perhaps that’s the spin the Weinstein Company, with an Oscar campaign in mind, would like to put on the film’s title–and Wilmot certainly endorsed personal liberty in every sense–but it’s far more likely that writer Stephen Jeffreys chose the title LIBERTINE for its dictionary definition: “one who leads a dissolute life.” Dissolute but endlessly fascinating–especially with Johnny Depp in the role!

ET showtimes vary across the country, so find your local listing by clicking the “Watch ET” button HERE. The Zone thanks emma, tocnavforjd, Kazren, and DeepinDepp for breaking the news on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

EDITOR’S NOTE–The Zone is very sorry to report that, despite the advertising on their website, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT did NOT air THE LIBERTINE trailer during their broadcast on Friday, October 21. No explanation was given, nor was there any announcement of when the trailer might eventually be shown. Sadly, this bait-and-switch technique is typical of ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT; longtime Depp fans can recall other occasions when they promised to air footage of Johnny which they then failed to deliver.

BREAKING NEWS–Hurricane Wilma forces shutdown of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels!

As Hurricane Wilma gathered force in the Caribbean, Disney shut down production on the two PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels currently filming in the Bahamas, and evacuated the cast and crew to safety. According to a news report, “[A]s warnings about Wilma grew more severe the decision was made to get everyone out of the firing line. Planes were chartered to evacuate the cast and crew from their Bahamian location, and Disney is confident they have ensured the safety of the whole production team. […] While the likes of Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom are now safe, there are still concerns over whether the film’s sets can weather the storm, which is unlikely if Wilma was to make a direct hit [on Grand Bahama]. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Director Gore Verbinski will be glued to the weather reports over the next few days.”

The Zone thanks emma for breaking the news on our News & Views forum; you can read the full story HERE. We send our support to everyone in the path of Hurricane Wilma and hope that the storm passes quickly with a minimum of damage.

TIM BURTON'S CORPSE BRIDE premieres in the UK

TIM BURTON’S CORPSE BRIDE had its UK premiere on Monday night, October 17th, at the Vue Cinema, Leicester Square, London. Tim Burton, Helena Bonham Carter, and Christopher Lee delighted first-nighters by attending the premiere and greeting the crowd. Johnny Depp, who voices the nervous bridegroom Victor Van Dort in the stop-motion romantic fantasy, could not attend the premiere, as he is currently filming the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels in the Bahamas. UK Deppheads had to content themselves with fond memories of the previous October 17th, when Johnny and Kate Winslet walked the red carpet for the FINDING NEVERLAND premiere.

"Bad Boys:" the TIMES (UK)'s Martyn Palmer interviews Johnny Depp about THE LIBERTINE

The Saturday Times (UK) Film magazine features a lively article called “Bad Boys” on the filming of THE LIBERTINE, written by the Times’s regular Depp correspondent Martyn Palmer, with photos by Brigitte Lacombe. The interview took place while Johnny Depp, John Malkovich and company were shooting interiors on the Isle of Man in April 2004. “Rochester’s life was something akin to a 17th century rock star,” writes Palmer of Johnny Depp’s character, the second Earl of Rochester, “only with more sex and drink. […] There was nothing ordinary about Rochester.” Playwright and screenwriter Stephen Jeffreys offers this assessment: “THE LIBERTINE is about someone who has a fantastic talent for everything and he wastes it.”

Johnny’s view of Rochester, however, is laced with his characteristic compassion and empathy for the outcast. He digs beneath the sensationalism to find tenderness and love in the notorious Earl: “For all his adventures and all of his sexual exploits and deviant encounters, he was quite sensitive and loving,” Johnny tells Palmer. “When you read the stuff, he was a very caring man. And a great, great writer.”

The Zone thanks trinni for posting the Times article on our News & Views forum, and for the photographs on our Recent Pics forum. A great read!

World premiere of THE LIBERTINE in Los Angeles on November 11th!

Johnny Depp’s long-awaited performance as the decadent Restoration poet and playwright John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester,will cap the festivities at the American Film Institute’s tribute to Johnny on November 11, 2005 as THE LIBERTINE receives its world premiere at AFIFest. The film will screen at 10 p.m. at ArcLight Theater 10. Notes Lane Kneedler on the AFI Fest’s official site, “First time filmmaker Laurence Dunmore crafts a deliciously dark portrait of London in the 1600s. Plague, rats and syphilis are as much a part of the landscape as the fog and the theatre. It is of course the characters that make up the heart of this story, though, and none is more roguishly charming than Depp’s Earl of Rochester.”

Notes Harvey Weinstein, whose Weinstein Company is distributing THE LIBERTINE in the U.S., “Johnny’s character in THE LIBERTINE is multifaceted and he conveys the complexities with brilliance. […] He is a true master and his performance in this film is outstanding.” The film’s director, Laurence Dunmore, agrees: “Johnny is a brilliant and truly unique actor, whose remarkable career has been defined by its diversity and veracity. The originality of both the characters he has portrayed, and the films he has made, further emphasize his integrity and passion.” After its world premiere, THE LIBERTINE will open in New York and Los Angeles on November 23rd, and later will expand to other cities.

Meanwhile, THE LIBERTINE’s UK release date has been advanced one week to Friday, November 18th, according to the BBC and the movie’s distributor. Thanks very much to emma for all THE LIBERTINE news! You can read all the details on the News & Views forum.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp to receive a tribute from the American Film Institute on November 11th!

In yet another sign that he has reached the pinnacle of his profession, Johnny Depp was selected by the American Film Institute today as the recipient of this year’s special tribute evening. “A Tribute to Johnny Depp” will take place at the ArcLight Hollywood Theater on Friday, Nov. 11th at 7 p.m., during which Johnny will be interviewed on stage by Time film critic Richard Schickel. The tribute will be followed by the world premiere of THE LIBERTINE.

Here is the official press release from AFI: “Johnny Depp is one of the most versatile and compelling actors working in contemporary world cinema. His ability to first recognize and then whole-heartedly immerse himself in memorable film roles has made him the rarest of movie stars–simultaneously iconoclastic yet eminently bankable–a true original. Pivotal performances in films as diverse as CRY BABY, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE, ED WOOD, DONNIE BRASCO, FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, DON JUAN DEMARCO, BEFORE NIGHT FALLS, BLOW, CHOCOLAT and ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO make his matinee idol good looks (which have never hurt his career) almost incidental to his work as a great actor.

“More recently, films like PIRATES OF THE CARRIBBEAN (now with two sequels currently in production), FINDING NEVERLAND, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY and the daring, edgy THE LIBERTINE (presented as a World Premiere at AFI FEST), have won Depp a new legion of fans and made him more in demand than ever, with a slew of new projects in the pipeline.

“Film Critic and Film Commentator Richard Schickel will join Johnny Depp on-stage in a lively conversation, which will include a career montage, film clips, anecdotes and a thoroughly engaging look into the world and art of this singular, stylish performer.”

Tickets for the Tribute to Johnny Depp are $25 and can be purchased through the AFI website. Tickets for THE LIBERTINE screening are $11. Both go on sale Friday morning, October 14th, at 11 a.m. PDT.

The Zone thanks Jacks_Effects and emma for breaking the story . . . you can read all the luscious details on the Zone’s News & Views forum. To use one of Johnny’s favorite words–wow!

HAPPILY EVER AFTER released on DVD in region 1 today!

Yvan Attal’s film HAPPILY EVER AFTER (ILS SE MARIERENT …) arrives on DVD in region 1 today, October 11th, in a French-language version with English subtitles. Deppheads will finally have a chance to see Johnny’s memorable cameo as Charlotte Gainsbourg’s ideal fantasy man; we won’t have to settle for secondhand accounts of the scene in the music store or the scene in the elevator. We can buy a DVD and see for ourselves–and hear Johnny speaking French. Amazon offers HAPPILY EVER AFTER for $26.95; shipping is free. Another option is to order the DVD directly from the distributor; Kino offers a 30% discount, so the price is $20.97 plus shipping. You can place your order HERE.

Johnny Depp wins the Gary Cooper Spirit of Montana Award at the Hatch Audiovisual Festival!

Johnny Depp won the second annual Gary Cooper Spirit of Montana Award at the Hatch Audiovisual Festival, which brings emerging filmmakers and Hollywood professionals together to showcase new work. The award, the festival’s highest honor, was presented at the Hatch Awards Red Carpet Ceremony held at the Ellen Theatre in Bozeman, Montana on October 9th. Although Johnny did not attend the festival, he would certainly be honored to be selected as an inspiration to aspiring filmmakers.

“Johnny Depp is a pioneer, a groundbreaker in his own right,” said Yarrow Kraner, a co-founder of the Hatch Festival, explaining Johnny’s selection to receive the award. “He’s taken many risks and is one of the few modern day actors that do not conform to Hollywood’s template, but defines himself with characters that are innovative and provocative. There is no other Johnny Depp just as there is no other Gary Cooper.” John Mulholland, representing the Gary Cooper Estate, concurred: “Johnny Depp is an inspired choice to receive the Gary Cooper Spirit of Montana Award. Like Cooper, JD is his own man. Al Pacino admires Gary Cooper for his astonishing integrity as an actor. Johnny Depp embodies that same integrity. This is inspired!”

The Zone thanks emma and DeepinDepp for posting stories about the Hatch Festival on the News & Views forum. You can read more about Johnny’s Gary Cooper Spirit of Montana award HERE.

Announcing a new gallery for THE DEPPARTMENT!

The Zone is proud to announce the addition of a new gallery in The Deppartment. Called Hollywood Handprints, it contains 40 pictures of Johnny taken during the hand-and-footprint ceremony at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on September 16, 2005.

Thanks very much to bonnie and AnaMaria for their photos, and to Arus who allowed us to use one of her personal photographs of Johnny on the podium. Deppheads who attended the ceremony may want to search for themselves in the panoramic photo of Johnny greeting his fans.

To see the gallery, click on the GALLERIES button above, select THE DEPPARTMENT, and click on the photo of Johnny pressing his hands in cement. Enjoy!

New cut of THE LIBERTINE screens today for the British regional press at Cinema Days!

A re-edited and re-scored version of THE LIBERTINE, starring Johnny Depp as the dissolute, doomed Earl of Rochester, screened at 4:30 p.m. today for members of the British regional press corps at Cinema Days in Buckinghamshire. Cinema Days is a UK film industry trade event for regional film journalists and reviewers. Held three times each year, in January, June and October, Cinema Days provides a unique platform for filmmakers and distributors to showcase and promote forthcoming films.

Today’s showcase screening was the first of its kind since THE LIBERTINE appeared as a work-in-progress at the Toronto Film Festival more than a year ago. In the interim, the film has been edited to a 120-minute version, and its musical score has been reworked. First-time director Laurence Dunmore held a half-hour press conference following the screening.

THE LIBERTINE is scheduled for release in the UK on November 25th, and for a limited release in the U.S. two days earlier, on November 23rd, with a wider release in December. Johnny Depp is already receiving some Oscar buzz for his performance as the debauched poet John Wilmot. One ardent supporter is the movie’s writer, Stephen Jeffreys, who adapted his stage play for the screen. Jeffreys calls Johnny’s interpretation “just brilliant. I think it’s a very serious Oscar contender. He himself thinks it’s his best performance, which is really quite something,” Jeffreys said. “Working with him, he’s so quick. You give him an idea and he just devours it and does something new with it. He even went to the British Museum and asked to see the manuscripts and being Johnny Depp, they let him touch them!”

Thanks to DeepinDepp for the Jeffreys interview and for breaking the story about THE LIBERTINE screening. Thanks also to Holden and Gilbert’s Girl for reporting details about Cinema Days.

"It wasn't written like that:" Keira Knightley talks about PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN and its sequels

In a refreshingly candid interview with Edward Douglas of ComingSoon.net, Keira Knightley talked about her present gig–shooting two sequels to PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN–and the magic of the first PIRATES film. “It is my life now. There is nothing else,” she told ComingSoon. “We’re doing them both at the same time, and we were halfway through as of yesterday. We were at 100 days yesterday, and we have at least another 100 to go.”

Keira credits the success of the first film to Johnny Depp’s creative, courageous performance as Captain Jack Sparrow–a character that she says was invented during the shooting of POTC: “It wasn’t written like that. The character, as it was written, was completely straight, so that character is entirely his and Gore Verbinski’s. They totally came up with that and none of us knew if it would work when we were doing it, because it was so off-the-wall and so not what was on the page,” Keira explains. “It’s daring, and talk about risks! (A) You’re making a pirate movie, that hasn’t worked in God knows how long; (B) you’re making a film based on a Disney theme park ride; and (C) you’ve got Johnny Depp going mental over there, and you’re just thinking, ‘How is this going to work?'”

Still, Keira endorses the method in Johnny’s acting madness. “I think you’ve got to take the risks,” she told ComingSoon. “There’s no point playing it safe, because either you’ll get bored or the audiences will get bored. Sometimes, you’re going to make mistakes, and that’s fine, but you have to take the risks. I think PIRATES is one of the prime examples of that with Johnny Depp’s performance, and part of the reason that people love it so much is that you watch it and go, ‘Gutsy, really gutsy!'”

You can read the full interview with Keira Knightley on the Zone’s News & Views forum; we thank Gilbert’s Girl for posting the story. As for DEAD MAN’S CHEST, due in theaters next July, Keira declares, “You have no idea what’s going to happen in the second one, and I promise you, it will surprise you.” We can’t wait!

DEAD MAN'S CHEST update–POTC sequels continue shooting in the Bahamas

Deppheads not afraid of spoilers can glimpse some photos of various tall ships in action and at berth in emma’s post on our News & Views forum. We can report that the Collyer water tank on Grand Bahama looks every bit as spectacular as its advance publicity promised. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2 and 3 have been shooting aboard the Black Pearl at the water tank for several days, and Gilbert’s Girl reports the Pearl will be in action again today. The Zone thanks emma for her reports from the Bahamas, and Gilbert’s Girl for her daily update on the POTC 2/3 shooting schedule. You can find their reports on the News & Views forum.

TIM BURTON'S CORPSE BRIDE unearths $10 million this weekend

TIM BURTON’S CORPSE BRIDE, featuring the voices of Johnny Depp as the bumbling bridegroom Victor Van Dort and Helena Bonham Carter as the blushing but slightly deceased Corpse Bride, earned more than $10 million at the North American box office this weekend. The bittersweet romance placed third in the box-office derby in its third week of release, and finished only a whisker behind the second-place finisher, new release SERENITY. The box office total for CORPSE BRIDE now stands at $33,188,109. Thanks to ACK for posting the box office report!

"I'm very much like my dad," Johnny Depp tells UK's REAL Magazine

In an interview with Gabrielle Donnelly published in the September 30th-October 14th issue of REAL Magazine (UK), Johnny Depp gave a charming account of his resemblance to his father. Although he has frequently spoken of his mother, Betty Sue, to reporters, it is far rarer for Johnny to go on the record about his attachment to his dad. ” [A]ll of a sudden, when you hit your mid-20s, you look in the mirror, and you start to see your dad,” he told Donnelly. “And it stays that way. There was one time when I was at the premiere of, I think it was CHOCOLAT, I was sitting next to my sister, and at one point in the movie, and I don’t remember exactly what I did or said on the screen, but my sister and I just turned to each other at exactly the same time and said, ‘Uh – Dad!’ I’m very much like my dad, in my looks, my mannerisms, even down to–well, look at this.”

Johnny then showed reporter Donnelly that he habitually wears his belt buckle, in her words, “slung rakishly to the side.” For all the Deppheads who have wondered why, Johnny explains, “My dad always wore his buckle to the side like this. I don’t know when I started wearing it like this, but these days, I just don’t even think about it.” Having to wear his belt buckle in the usual dead-center location “would really freak me out,” Johnny says. “I’d be really upset!” We wonder if three-year-old Jack Depp will follow the family tradition and wear his belt buckle off to the side; like father, like son.

The Zone thanks emma for sharing the Gabrielle Donnelly interview; you can read more on our News & Views forum. We thank bonnie for the recent photo of John Depp–it was taken at the luncheon following the hand-and-footprint ceremony at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre two weeks ago.