Articles from March 2006

"It felt like our brains were connected by a blistering hot wire:" Johnny Depp's new tribute to Tim Burton

Fans of Johnny Depp or visionary director Tim Burton will want to pick up a copy of the new edition of “Burton on Burton,” which features a new foreword written by Johnny about his dear friend Tim. Longtime Deppheads will recall the foreword Johnny wrote for the 1994 edition of “Burton on Burton,” in which he reminisced about his experiences working with Tim on EDWARD SCISSORHANDS and ED WOOD. Now Johnny brings us up to date with his experiences shooting CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, which was “as good as anything gets. To me, it felt as if our brains were connected by a blistering hot wire that could have generated sparks at any minute.”

Most affecting are the passages where Johnny reflects about the changes that fatherhood has brought: “[A]ll kinds of wonderfulness have flowered and showered the both of us, and caused radical changes in the men we were and the men we’ve become [. . .]. Yeah, you see, Tim and I are dads. Wow. Who’d have ever thought it possible that our progeny would be swinging on swing-sets together, or sharing toy cars, toy monsters, even potentially exchanging chickenpox?”

Johnny continues, “Seeing Tim as proud Papa is enough to send me into an irrepressible weeping jag, because, as with almost everything, it’s in the eyes. Tim’s eyes have always shone: no question about it, there was always something luminous in those troubled/sad/weary peepers. But today, the eyes of old pal Tim are laser beams! Piercing, smiling, contented eyes, with all of the gravity of yesteryear, but bright with the hope of a spectacular future.”

You can read both of Johnny’s forewords to “Burton on Burton” on the Zone’s News & Views forums; thanks to sandstorm for posting the 2006 version and Cesar’sSusie for the 1994 version. “Burton on Burton” is available from Amazon.co.uk.; you can order a copy HERE. Thanks to emma and Gilbert’s Girl for that information.

Johnny Depp's THE LIBERTINE on DVD June 27th

An online video store, tlavideo.com, is now offering pre-orders of THE LIBERTINE, featuring Johnny Depp’s tour-de-force portrayal of the second Earl of Rochester, and lists the release date (for Region 1) as June 27, 2006. The list price is $28.99, but tlavideo is offering a discount price of $22.99. No details are given regarding the contents of the DVD, but a recent article in the trades suggested that THE LIBERTINE would be a director’s cut, and that a “Making of THE LIBERTINE” documentary would be included. The Zone thanks Messiah for posting the news; you can see the DVD listing HERE. Thanks also to chaingirl17, who reports that THE LIBERTINE is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com for a discount price of $19.99.

Deppheads, an announcement: The AFI Fest DVD contains the full Tribute to Johnny Depp!

Yes, it’s true: the DVD of AFI Fest 2005 contains the full interview portion of “A Tribute to Johnny Depp.” The montages and film clips from Johnny’s work are not included, but the entire interview is on the DVD. This is an unexpected delight, since buyers were promised only “highlights” of the Tribute; apparently the producers decided (and rightly so) that every moment with Johnny Depp was a highlight of the festival. The Zone thanks theresa for posting the good news on the AFI DVD thread on the Porch. DVDs of AFI Fest 2005 may be ordered HERE and cost $19.99 plus shipping.

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow on the cover of CineLive!

The French movie magazine CINE LIVE chose Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow to grace the cover of their 100th issue, dated March 29th; they include an article on PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST and call it “the most anticipated movie of the year.” The Zone thanks emma for posting the news; you can see a larger version of the Cine Live cover HERE, and a glimpse of the beginning of the article HERE.

Another new gallery for THE DEPPARTMENT–Romantic Movie Moments!

The Zone is happy to announce a new addition to our permanent galleries. The new gallery is called “Romantic Movie Moments,” and it’s just the thing for spring–a collection of sleepy’s favorite movie kisses, hugs, longing glances, etc. To view the gallery, click on the Galleries button on the home page, select THE DEPPARTMENT, and scroll down to the “Portraits with a Theme” section of the index. Click on the listing for “Romantic Movie Moments,” which features the thumbnail of Cesar and Suzie from THE MAN WHO CRIED–then prepare to be swept away. The Zone thanks sleepy for posting photos from her private collection.

DVD News–AFI Filmfest DVDs are finally being shipped

Good news for those devoted Depp fans who were unable to attend the AFI Tribute to Johnny Depp last November: the Tribute highlight reel, better known as AFI Festival Highlights 2005, has finally begun to ship to purchasers. The DVD was scheduled to ship last December, but had three months of “production delays.” Apparently those problems have been resolved, since several Zoners report receiving messages today that their DVD has been shipped: see the “AFI DVD” thread on the Pit for details. You can order your own copy of the DVD HERE for $20 plus shipping. Please note, this is not a DVD of the full Tribute to Johnny Depp: the 60-minute DVD features highlights of the ten-day AFI fest and will include the Tribute among other events. The Zone thanks Joni for keeping us updated!

A new gallery for THE DEPPARTMENT–Movie Ads!

The Zone is happy to share a brand-new gallery in THE DEPPARTMENT. Called “Movie Ads,” this gallery contains print ads for Johnny’s work, beginning with CRY-BABY and EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, and continuing through the films that delighted us in the past year: CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, CORPSE BRIDE and THE LIBERTINE. Naturally a gallery like this is a work-in-progress, and we’ll be adding to it as we discover other ads for older films of Johnny’s, or have the pleasure of seeing ads appear for new releases. To view the new gallery, click on the Galleries button on the home page, select THE DEPPARTMENT, and click on the “Movie Ads” thumbnail that features that famous ad from CHOCOLAT that we all know and love. Thanks as always to sleepy for sharing her photo collection.

Captain Jack is back! PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST to premiere at Disneyland on June 24th!

Although Disney has not yet made an official announcement regarding the world premiere of its most-anticipated summer release, preparations underway at Disneyland make it clear that the world premiere of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST will take place on Saturday evening, June 24th, at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Mouseplanet’s Disneyland Park Update for the week of March 20-27 states, in its listing of upcoming attractions closures, that “PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST will premiere at Disneyland on June 24” and that the park will open and close early on that date to accommodate the premiere. Disneyland will open at 6:30 a.m. but will close at 5:30 p.m. The “Parade of Dreams will be dark for red carpet arrivals to the premiere” on June 24th, reports Mouseplanet. The Zone thanks Kittycat88 and Joni for sharing the Mouseplanet update on the Pit; you can read it HERE.

Movie magic–Johnny Depp's role in PLATOON expands in the 20th anniversary DVD!

Here’s a St. Patrick’s Day gift for all Johnny Depp fans–new footage of Johnny in a major DVD release! USA Today’s DVD columnist Mike Snider reports that the 20th anniversary DVD of Oliver Stone’s PLATOON will “expand” Johnny’s role as Private Gator Lerner, augmenting the previously released version with scenes featuring Johnny that were left on the cutting room floor. Private Lerner was a minor character in the 1986 Oscar-winner; the film’s stars were Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe. But times have changed, and that unknown actor playing Lerner is now a box office champion with a tremendous critical reputation, so any lost footage of Johnny Depp is well worth finding. “Oliver Stone remembered additional footage he had shot,” says Marc Rashba of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. “We finally found more than 10 minutes of footage mislabeled in film archives.”

PLATOON was nominated for eight Oscars and won four: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Editing, and Best Sound. The PLATOON 20th Anniversary Collector’s Edition DVD is due in U.S. stores on May 30, 2006. Thanks to Glendaleigh for reporting the story on the Porch; you can read the USA Today story HERE.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp named Best Actor at the 2006 Empire Awards!

Johnny Depp won Best Actor at the 2006 Sony Ericsson Empire Awards on Monday, March 13th, for his portrayal of eccentric candymaker Willy Wonka in Tim Burton’s CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. Johnny was not present in London to accept his award, but he did send one of his tongue-in-cheek video acceptance speeches. The clip was evidently filmed in the Bahamas at the same time Johnny did his interview for the CBS SUNDAY MORNING feature on Tim Burton; Johnny is wearing the “escape. travel. live.” tee shirt from Island Company (available HERE) and his skull-and-crossbones bandanna, and the setting is identical.

After shooing an impostor (and his dog) out of his chair, Johnny thanks the voters for the award and declares himself “honored, certainly . . . touched.” He adds, “I think it’s absolutely mad that you gave it to me–but anyway, I appreciate it.” Members can see the acceptance speech on the Zone’s Video Clips forum; thanks very much to emma and to dharma_bum for posting the video. A full listing of Empire Awards winners is available on the News & Views forum; the Zone thanks Poppet for breaking the news.

The Zone congratulates Johnny Depp on his Best Actor Empire Award–well deserved, as always! We also congratulate Johnny’s co-star in THE LIBERTINE, Kelly Reilly, who won the BEST NEWCOMER award.

THE LIBERTINE grosses $2.2 million in first weekend of wide release

Laurence Dunmore’s THE LIBERTINE, starring Johnny Depp as the dissolute 2nd Earl of Rochester, grossed $2.2 million at 815 theaters in North America this weekend, placing it eleventh on the box office charts, according to Box Office Mojo’s estimates. However, all of the films with higher grosses were playing in at least twice as many theaters, and most had three times as many screens as THE LIBERTINE, or more. THE LIBERTINE’s per-screen average of $2,710 puts it in the middle of the top ten, a respectable finish for a dark, uncompromising film. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Weinstein Company expects that THE LIBERTINE will turn a profit once it comes out on DVD: “A spokesperson for the distributor noted that the racy LIBERTINE most likely would have an unrated video/DVD version released in ancillary markets and that the title should be a profitable one for the company,” writes Brian Fuson in the March 13th issue. Thanks to Gilbert’s Girl for posting the box office information and DeepinDepp for the Hollywood Reporter story. You can read more on our News & Views forum.

Support the 2006 Birthday Project–the Zone's merchandise shops are now open!

The Johnny Depp Zone is delighted to announce the opening of our Cafe Press 2006 Birthday Project shop, featuring the work of our design challenge winners: dharma_bum; catharsis; bibi; laura; ibbi, romy, & carasun; and artistatheart. Their beautiful designs are featured on a number of products, including tee shirts, tote bags, notebooks, and magnets; all proceeds above the base cost of the item go to support Children’s Hospice. Each design features one of the Hospice mottoes, “Today is a gift . . . have fun!” or “Only love . . . .” You can visit the Zone’s merchandise shops HERE.

After shopping at the Birthday Project store, you may want to check out the Zone’s other shops, both designed by Liz: our Oprah Noodlemantra’s Book Club shop features merchandise with the ONBC logo, while our “Free the Libertine” shop showcases a striking red-and-black design of a heart behind bars (you can see a small version of the design HERE ). Proceeds from these shops help to support the Zone. We thank ACK and Liz for their work setting up the shops and designing the products–you did a great job! And we thank the design contest winners for generously allowing their work to be used to support Children’s Hospice.

Today's the day–Johnny Depp in THE LIBERTINE opens in North America!

At long last, many Deppheads across North America will finally have a chance to view Johnny Depp’s memorable performance as the 2nd Earl of Rochester in Laurence Dunmore’s debut film, THE LIBERTINE. The movie opens in 800 theaters across the U.S. and Canada today. Unfortunately, would-be viewers in smaller towns will still be Depprived unless they can travel to larger metropolitan areas; but we are grateful for any opportunity to see this challenging and memorable film on the big screen. Here is a sampling of critical commentary from the reviews posted on the Zone’s News & Views forum–thanks very much to myfave, Susanne, emma,KYwoman, cindy, and Bohemian:

Randy Myers: “[B]y THE LIBERTINE’S conclusion, we leave the theater without a doubt that we have just spent two hours watching one of our finest living actors shine.”

Jack Garner: “Despite its challenging central character, THE LIBERTINE offers a curiously entertaining look at a true original, as well as a glance at a fascinating age in English history, as a society goes bonkers after a time of repression. Depp’s portrayal is disturbing, yet darkly charismatic, even a bit charming. It’s among the actor’s best work; though, as he freely states, you’re not going to like him.”

James Verniere: “See Johnny Depp literally shag himself to death in THE LIBERTINE, a much-maligned film adaptation of the play by Stephen Jeffreys set in the swinging ’70s – the swinging 1670s, that is. [. . .] As wonderful as Depp has been in such roles as Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood and Captain Jack Sparrow, he brings even more conviction, humanity and fire to the role of Rochester.[. . .] At a time when the earth seems overrun with sheep, the scandalous 2nd Earl of Rochester is a wolf worth knowing.”

Roger Ebert: “Libertines are not built for third acts. No self-respecting libertine lives that long. Johnny Depp finds sadness in the earl’s descent, and a desire to be loved even as he makes himself unlovable. What a brave actor Depp is, to take on a role like this. Still, at the screenplay stage, THE LIBERTINE might have seemed a safer bet than PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, a movie studio executives reportedly thought was unreleasable. In both cases, Depp accepts the character and all of its baggage, and works without a net. He is capable of subtle nuances, but the pirate and the earl are not, and Depp gamely follows them into wretched excess. You will not like the Second Earl of Rochester. But you will not be able to take your eyes from him.”

TIM BURTON'S CORPSE BRIDE wins the British Animation Award!

In a reversal of the results of Sunday’s Academy Awards, the British Animation Awards chose TIM BURTON’S CORPSE BRIDE as best feature film over WALLACE AND GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT. The lyrical and darkly comic CORPSE BRIDE was directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson, and features music by Danny Elfman, and a gifted vocal cast including Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Emily Watson. Congratulations to everyone involved with this luminous film! Thanks to MyManDepp for posting the news on the Zone’s News & Views forum; you can read the BBC article HERE.

Disney chooses Memorial Day weekend 2007 to launch PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 3!

Breaking from the tradition of early July release dates for their PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN saga, Disney has chosen May 25, 2007 for the release of part 3 of the trilogy. Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. is traditionally a time of extremely heavy movie attendance. By staking claim to that date so early–an aggressive marketing move–Disney may scare away other major competitors, who might not wish to battle Captain Jack Sparrow head-on. Thanks to Shadow and emma for the news. You can read more details on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Just a reminder: the release date for part 2, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST, is July 7, 2006.

2006 Birthday Project update–the Zone raises $1,350 for Children's Hospice!

We are happy to report that as of March 1, 2006, the Johnny Depp Zone has raised $1,350 via Paypal for Children’s Hospice! Once again, we are amazed at the generosity of the Zone community, and we thank each of the donors for helping children in need. While it would have been tempting to hold on to the funds until Johnny’s birthday in June, and present one big check with the highest possible total as a gift from the Zone, we know a small charity like Children’s Hospice has ongoing needs and could put the money to good use right away. We dispatched the check on the first of March; here is the reply we received from Devon and Lori:

“We received the Zone’s generous donation today. It lifted our spirits and we wanted to let you know that $500 of it was immediately put to great use. One of our children died this morning and her family was unable to pay for the funeral. Thanks to you and the wonderful Zone members, they are now able to bury their child with grace and celebrate her memory. We cannot begin to tell you what an incredible comfort this was to the family. Later, we will tell them story of how this came about and are sure that this incredibly generous act on behalf of the Zoners will become part of 11 year old Brenda’s amazing legacy.

“We would appreciate it if you would post this on the site, so that all who participated will know that their donations are making a difference.

Many, many thanks to all of you, Devon & Lori.”

The Zone thanks everyone who has contributed to the 2006 Birthday Project, and we urge you to continue this good work. You can read more about Children’s Hospice HERE, and you can donate to the Zone’s 2006 Birthday Project, via Paypal, HERE. You need not be a Zone member to contribute to the Project. Watch for the Zone’s merchandise shops to open soon, featuring tee shirts, tote bags, and other products designed by Zone members to support Children’s Hospice!

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp and Tim Burton appear on CBS's SUNDAY MORNING

Proving they know how to celebrate Oscar day (with fresh Johnny Depp footage, that is) even if the Academy slips up, the CBS newsmagazine SUNDAY MORNING did a story on Tim Burton to celebrate his nomination for CORPSE BRIDE–and included a brief but charming interview with Johnny, filmed in the Bahamas. “He’s bottled something magical,” Johnny says about Tim, “and I’ve taken to drinking it . . . .” The segment includes a laudatory retrospective of Tim’s work and some great comments from Tim and Johnny. As for Tim’s chances of picking up an Oscar tonight, Johnny says, “He’s overdue. He deserves it.” How true–and Tim isn’t the only artist in that segment who is “overdue” for Oscar recognition!

Zone members who missed CBS SUNDAY MORNING can view the segment on our Video Clips forum–thanks very much to Susanne for the clip! Thanks also to FANtasticJD for reminding us to tune in to CBS, and to Chocolat for the lovely screencap we used in our thumbnail; you can see a larger picture of Johnny HERE. Johnny is wearing his new favorite skull-and-crossbones bandanna, and a tee shirt which says “escape. travel. live.” The shirt is made by Island Company and is available for $32.00 from their website. You can order a shirt exactly like Johnny’s HERE. Thanks very much to DeepinDepp for finding it for us!

Johnny Depp's THE LIBERTINE scheduled to open in 800 North American theaters on March 10th!

Box Office Mojo now lists THE LIBERTINE, starring Johnny Depp as the notorious Earl of Rochester, opening in 800 theaters across North America on March 10th. That’s wonderful news–THE LIBERTINE will finally have a chance to reach a wider audience. Thanks to Shadow and sleepy who posted theater information on the Zone’s News & Views forum. We think the release will happen this time (unlike the abortive January 13th date), since Weinstein Company is promoting THE LIBERTINE with nationwide television ads. A new print ad campaign has also appeared, with large ads in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, touting the Earl as “Rebel. Liar. Genius. Seducer. Desired. Saviour.” and featuring a quote from Peter Travers in ROLLING STONE: “Johnny Depp is a wonder. A one-of-a-kind spellbinder that’s not afraid to shock.” Thanks to all the Zoners who have reported sightings of the television promos and new print ads, or bookings in their local theaters. And thanks to everyone who contacted the Weinstein Company in January, by whatever means, to urge THE LIBERTINE’s release. Your voices were heard.

DEEP SEA 3D, narrated by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, opens at IMAX theaters today

Howard Hall’s DEEP SEA 3D opens today at 44 IMAX theaters across North America; as one reviewer notes, “There can’t be a better way to get to know the ocean without getting wet.” Multiple Oscar nominees and FINDING NEVERLAND co-stars Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet narrate the documentary. Thanks to emma and Gilbert’s Girl for posting DEEP SEA 3D news on the News & Views forum and the Porch.

Don’t miss the interview emma posted with Howard and Michelle Hall, DEEP SEA 3D’s director and producer respectively. Michelle Hall expresses thanks to Warner Brothers for “their tremendous confidence and support, they really took on the financial aspect so we didn’t have to go searching for other huge amounts of funding.” Director Howard Hall adds, “Certainly Warner Brothers made the financial budget possible, but also gave us the opportunity to get Danny Elfman to do the music, and without the Warner Brothers affiliation, [. . .] we wouldn’t have had Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet do the narration.” Check the forums for reviews posted by Zoners who have seen DEEP SEA 3D . . . .

Johnny Depp receives a Best Actor nomination for the 2006 Empire Awards!

The nominations for the 2006 Sony Ericsson Empire Awards include a favorite name in the Best Actor race: Johnny Depp is nominated for his innovative performance as Willy Wonka in Tim Burton’s CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. Congratulations, Johnny! Congratulations as well to Kelly Reilly, who received a nomination as Best Newcomer for her performances in MRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE; the talented Ms. Reilly also gives a memorable performance in THE LIBERTINE, where she plays the Earl of Rochester’s favorite lady of the evening, Jane. North American moviegoers will finally get a chance to see THE LIBERTINE on March 10th, when it is scheduled to open across the continent.

Winners of the Empire Awards will be announced on March 13th in London. The Zone thanks emma for posting the news; a full list of nominees is on the Zone’s News & Views forum.