Articles from June 2006

Johnny Depp on the cover of the new ROLLING STONE

Yes, that’s Captain Jack Sparrow, the one and only “Gonzo Pirate,” on the cover of the July 13-20 issue of ROLLING STONE. Inside the issue is a 6-page interview with Johnny Depp, written by Mark Binelli, called “The Last Buccaneer.” Binelli is principally interested in Johnny’s approach to the Jack Sparrow character–why he said “Yes” to the first movie, and how he created his performance. “I picked up all kinds of books to prepare,” says Johnny. “Research is at least half the fun. It’s like studying for a history exam.” He then gives Binelli a lively account of life aboard a pirate ship.

The profile also contains Johnny’s reminiscences about the late Hunter S. Thompson, who wrote his classic FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS for ROLLING STONE. “He was about the best friend you could have, really,” Johnny says. Was Johnny surprised by Thompson’s suicide in 2005? “I was and I wasn’t. I was horrified, but the way he went about it was absolutely consistent,” Johnny replies. “He was never going to be the guy who collapsed in his soup bowl. That’s not Hunter’s legacy.” The Zone thanks Donna B. for posting scans of the ROLLING STONE article and emma for sharing the cover. For a larger view of Matthew Rolston’s cover photo, click HERE.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp will NOT be on David Letterman's show tonight–appearance rescheduled for July

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but we have to report that the much-anticipated appearance of Johnny Depp on THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN has been postponed. An email inquiry to the show by one of our New York Zoners, asking if Johnny would be on the show tonight, received this response: “Johnny Depp has been rescheduled for late July. Thanks for your continuing support! Your pals at the LATE SHOW.” No reason for the rescheduling was given . . . . The Zone extends sympathies to any New York area fans who were planning to go to the Ed Sullivan Theater today in hopes of seeing Johnny; we know how inconvenient and disappointing this is for you, and for Deppheads all over the world who were eagerly awaiting this appearance. The good news is, we will get to see Johnny on THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN in a few weeks–something to look forward to! Thanks very much to H2H for contacting THE LATE SHOW and bringing us all up to date.

An additional TV note–Johnny did not appear on GOOD MORNING AMERICA on Friday morning, June 30th. No word on whether that appearance will be rescheduled.

TV ALERT–Watch for Johnny Depp on DAVID LETTERMAN; GOOD MORNING, AMERICA; and BIOGRAPHY

Get ready to record some new interviews with Johnny Depp heading your way on Thursday, June 29th and Friday, June 30th! Deppheads in the Big Apple are already thinking about lining up on the street by the Ed Sullivan Theater to catch a glimpse of Johnny Depp entering or leaving his scheduled appearance on THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN. Johnny will appear with Dave on Thursday night, June 29th. Viewers in the UK will be able to catch the show on Friday on ITV4. Johnny is also scheduled to appear on GOOD MORNING, AMERICA on Friday morning, June 30th.

The A&E cable channel’s BIOGRAPHY program has a two-hour show on Johnny Depp scheduled to air Friday, June 30th at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, with a repeat showing at midnight Saturday, July 1st. BIOGRAPHY is listing the show as “new” and promising a preview of DEAD MAN’S CHEST.

THE 411 on the TV Guide Channel is advertising a one-hour DEAD MAN’S CHEST feature with a Johnny Depp interview for Thursday, June 29th at 8 pm Eastern, with repeats at 11pm on Thursday and 2 pm on Friday, June 30th. And the excellent STARZ behind-the-scenes feature, ON THE SET: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST is on rotation on the cable channel now. Check your local listings to find the next showing if you are a STARZ subscriber.

Thanks very much to DeepinDepp for compiling up-to-date TV listings–you can find them in the TV ALERT theads at the top of the News & Views forum.

LA TIMES columnist eats crow, praises Johnny Depp's generosity to fans at DEAD MAN'S CHEST premiere

Los Angeles Times “Styles and Scenes” columnist Elizabeth Snead finally got her facts straight–thank goodness. After publishing a column that unfairly criticized Johnny Depp for ignoring his fans at the premiere of DEAD MAN’S CHEST at Disneyland on Saturday, Ms. Snead wrote a follow-up “Styles and Scenes” column which more accurately reflected what really happened Saturday. Yes, Disneyland was unprepared to handle the massive crowd that turned out to see Johnny Depp; 5,000 people camped out overnight in the parking lot just to be first through the gates Saturday morning. “Unlike some stars, Johnny Depp is very appreciative of and loyal to his fans and he always makes time for them at his public appearances,” a source told the LA Times. “They all know this and that’s why they show up in droves. He started signing autographs for fans in the front of the park around 6:45 and spent two hours doing it. He didn’t even do his first interview with ET until 8:45.”

Viewers of the live webcast on msn.com saw Johnny signing autographs along the red carpet, often leaning over after a TV interview to reach a few more people behind the barricades. Zoners who were present at the event wrote of Johnny jogging from one side of the red carpet to the other to greet as many fans as possible. There were just “too many fans, too little time,” Ms. Snead concedes. “But the tremendous turn-out is proof that Depp’s popularity with fans of all ages and both genders has now hit superstar status. And he didn’t even have to jump on Oprah’s couch to get up there.”

Snead then reveals that Johnny made time in his crowded schedule on premiere day to do lunch . . . not with the media or Hollywood executives, but “with several children with life-threatening illnesses whose dream was to meet the actor. [. . .] Depp has worked with the Make-A-Wish Foundation since his days on the late 80’s TV series 21 JUMP STREET.” Have Johnny’s generous spirit and down-to-earth priorities finally won over the columnist? “This totally defuses any annoyance about Depp’s subsequent truncated time on the red carpet,” Ms. Snead writes. “Choosing to make seriously ill kids happy over inane pointless press interviews? Hard to argue with that.”

The Zone thanks DeepinDepp for posting Ms. Snead’s column on our News & Views forum. You can read the earlier column HERE and the more accurate follow-up column HERE.

Johnny Depp interview and new pictures in USA TODAY June 26th

USA TODAY hops aboard the pirate ship with a lengthy feature article on Johnny Depp in its Monday (June 26) edition. Reporter Anthony Breznican focuses on the uneasiness that the Disney studio felt about Johnny’s choices for Captain Jack Sparrow in the first movie, versus the carte blanche Depp received for DEAD MAN’S CHEST. “On PIRATES 2 and 3, we didn’t get the calls–‘My God, you’re ruining the movie!'” Johnny admits. “In a lot of instances they kind of were beyond supportive to the degree where it’s, ‘Keep doing it! Make some more stuff up! Add some more weirdness!'”

That’s an unusual experience for Johnny. More often, he admits, his studio bosses are “freaked out” about his approach to a role, which he thinks is a good sign. “It’s not like you get a thrill out of worrying them. But if they’re freaked out about it, that means it’s different. Let’s keep going in that direction.”

To guide his creative spirit, Johnny relies on the example of his two departed mentors and dear friends, Marlon Brando and Hunter S. Thompson, neither of whom believed in playing it safe. “I wouldn’t do anything that I thought could disappoint them or make them ashamed. Even if I’m alone–even if I’m going down this road and I feel it’s really what this character is and everyone in the world thinks I’m wrong–you’ve got to do what you believe in.”

The Zone thanks DeepinDepp for posting the USA TODAY article and picture on the News & Views forum. To see a larger version of that gorgeous new photo of Johnny Depp, click HERE.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp arrives at DEAD MAN'S CHEST premiere at Disneyland

The photo at left shows Johnny Depp signing an autograph for a lucky fan on the red carpet at Disneyland a few moments ago, as he arrived for the premiere of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST. He is wearing a black shirt, his Gonzo necklace, his new favorite taupe hat, and purple sunglasses. To see a larger picture, click HERE. A huge bouquet of lilies and roses to AnaMaria for sharing the first red carpet photo! The first of many, we hope!

Johnny Depp greets animatronic Captain Jack Sparrow at updated PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN ride at Disneyland

Captain Jack Sparrow, meet . . . Johnny Depp! As part of the festivities surrounding the June 24th world premiere of DEAD MAN’S CHEST, the second installment in the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN film saga, Disneyland unveiled new animatronics of Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa that have been added to the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN ride. In the photo at left, Johnny keeps a wary eye on the ever-wily Captain Jack–and vice versa. To see another photo of Johnny and his alter ego, click HERE. The Zone thanks sjc and AnaMaria for the photos! The revamped PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN ride will be open to the public on June 26th.

BREAKING NEWS–DEAD MAN'S CHEST premiere at Disneyland: the JOHNNY DEPP ZONE reports live from the red carpet!

Yes, Captain Jack is back, and the Johnny Depp Zone has him . . . . Zoners have taken up positions on both sides of the red carpet at Disneyland and are phoning in reports and sending back photos via camera phone. Many thanks to Charlene who took the photo at the left, and to Susanne who received it and posted it on the Zone’s News & Views forum. ONBC moderators Liz and DeppintheHeartofTexas are with Charlene the ace photographer (you can see more of her photos on the News & Views forum), KYWoman, dharma_bum, Bohemian, and ZsaZsa. The intrepid Kittycat88 has organized a large Zone group who are taking up positions along the red carpet, including JohnnyFanatic, jansysparrow, recentjdocdvictim, MommaDeppLover, bringmethathorizon, wino4ever,alexandra, Deppth,and CompletelyObsessed. They will be phoning updates to the Zone all afternoon and evening. Thanks very much to all our field reporters for giving us all a front-row seat at the DEAD MAN’S CHEST premiere! And thanks to DeepinDepp and Susanne for transcribing those ecstatic phone calls and posting them on the News & Views forum.

MSN Video will join with the Disneyland resort to provide a live 90-minute webcast of the red carpet festivities later today. MSN’s coverage begins at 7 pm Pacific Daylight (California) Time. You can view the webcast HERE. The Zone thanks DeepinDepp, AnaMaria, and Silvia for the information.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp appears on EXTRA!, THE INSIDER, ACCESS HOLLYWOOD, and ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT on Friday, June 23rd!

Set your VCRs, Depp fans–the press junket for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST has yielded new interviews with Johnny Depp, and the entertainment news shows are rushing to put the pirate on the air tonight. EXTRA! is advertising an interview with Johnny tonight, and they are generally accurate. ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT is also advertising an interview with Johnny; as we know to our distress, they are very seldom accurate about what they promise to broadcast. The Zone recommends that you visit the ET website instead, read the story and watch the video clip, but skip the show. You can view the ET story HERE. THE INSIDER will feature an interview with Johnny by Pat O’Brien–Pat actually asks Johnny what it was like to kiss Keira Knightley, and Johnny replies, “I wanted another take.” You can check out the INSIDER story and video clip HERE. The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for breaking the news and sharing the clips. Thanks also to AnaMaria for supplying our photo of Johnny; you can see a larger version HERE.

Thanks also to Intodadepps, who reports that there is also a feature on Johnny Depp on tonight’s ACCESS HOLLYWOOD. Reporter Maria Menounos arrives for the interview wearing a gold tooth! “Nice. Well done,” Johnny tells her. “It looks very good on you.” For the ACCESS HOLLYWOOD story, click HERE.

Since all these shows are syndicated, they air at different times in different markets; please check your local listings to see when they will be broadcast in your area. Zone members who miss a broadcast can always catch up on our Video Clips forum–thanks very much to theresa, Susanne, Charly and Intodadepps for their outstanding work!

Johnny Depp appears on ACCESS HOLLYWOOD, EXTRA! and THE INSIDER on June 19th

The photo shows Johnny Depp as he appeared in promotional footage for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST which was shown on ACCESS HOLLYWOOD, EXTRA! and THE INSIDER on Monday night, June 19th. (To see a screencap, click HERE.) The clips were taken from an upcoming “On the Set” special to air on the Starz cable network beginning June 23rd, so the content of each program was quite similar–highlights of the DEAD MAN’S CHEST trailer intercut with interviews with Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and (on ACCESS HOLLYWOOD) writers Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott. According to the scribes, “When we were writing Jack Sparrow the first time through, of course we hadn’t seen Johnny’s performance, and we were writing this trickster-rogue-swashbuckler character. Johnny’s performance was absolutely correct to what we wrote . . . but nothing like what we had imagined it would be.”

THE INSIDER calls Johnny’s Captain Jack “a whole lot of pirate with a little bit of rock star thrown in,” and offers this praise of Depp’s creation: “Johnny’s Jack Sparrow filled a void Hollywood didn’t know it had–no doubt, one of the most colorful movie characters of all time.” Producer Jerry Bruckheimer agrees: “We wouldn’t be all back here [had] not Johnny wanted to play this character again . . . and hopefully he’ll want to play it for a long time because we love making these movies.” Says Johnny, “One of the initial things that was really important to me was that a three-year-old can sit down next to a 50-year-old, and they all get the same thing out of this character.”

EXTRA! includes an extended interview with Keira Knightley, who says, “Just watching him work is really extraordinary because that [Captain Jack] is his–he’s come up with that, and you can only admire him. [. . . H]e came in and he created this amazing character.”

The Zone thanks SparrowsHeaven,Shook, and Donna B. for reporting the entertainment news on the Zone’s News & Views forum; special thanks to Shook for sharing the screencap of Captain Jack. Zone members can view all three features on our Video Clips forum–many thanks to Intodadepps for posting them!

Another ROLLING STONE cover for Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp will grace the cover of ROLLING STONE once again when the magazine publishes a double issue at the end of June. This will be Johnny’s fourth time on the ROLLING STONE cover; his previous appearances were in 1991, 1998 (with the release of FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS), and 2005. Publisher Jann Wenner will host a special screening of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST in New York on June 29th in conjunction with the publication of the Depp issue, with an after-party at The Spotted Pig. June 29th is also the date that Johnny is scheduled to be in New York City to appear on LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN. Coincidence? Probably not . . . looks like Johnny will have a very full dance card while he is in the Big Apple. Thanks to sleepy for breaking the story–you can read more about both NYC events on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp on the cover of NEWSWEEK!

Run, don’t walk, to your local newsstand to pick up a copy of NEWSWEEK’s June 26th issue, which features a laudatory cover story on Johnny Depp by Sean Smith called “A Pirate’s Life.” Smith begins, “He wasn’t looking for superstardom, so superstardom came looking for him. Johnny Depp on family, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2–and how he got a chest of gold without selling his soul.” The article includes a new interview with Johnny and a couple of yummy new pictures by F. Scott Schafer–click HERE to see one . . . .

Smith calls DEAD MAN’S CHEST, which opens July 7th, a “welcome blast of sunshine” in a summer of movie disappointments. Assessing Johnny’s status in the movie industry, Smith writes that he “still seems an unlikely addition to the A-list. Top-tier stars, even those who are great actors, stay on top by being true to their personas. We pay $10 to see Will Smith or Julia Roberts precisely because they don’t surprise us. It’s not that they’re playing themselves. It’s just that the force of their personalities swamps everything else. They’re more than actors. They’re brands. Depp, 43, is almost pathologically unpredictable. He can be bizarre, hilarious, unsettling–even annoying. But he is never the same. He’s the anti-Tom Cruise. ‘Nothing against Tom, but Johnny may be a bigger star now,’ says director John Waters, who cast Depp in 1990’s CRY-BABY. “Nobody is sick of Johnny Depp.”

The Zone thanks emma for breaking the story–and thanks to Sean Smith for a great read! You can read the full story on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Disney makes it official: World premiere of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST at Disneyland on June 24th

Confirming what has been common knowledge among Johnny Depp fans for months now, Disney has issued an official press release announcing that the world premiere of Walt Disney Pictures’ PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST will indeed take place at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, on Saturday June 24th. Red carpet arrivals will occur between 5 and 6 p.m., and it should be quite a crew: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Naomie Harris, Stellan Skarsgard, Bill Nighy, Tom Hollander, Kevin McNally, Lee Arenberg, Mackenzie Crook, Martin Klebba, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski are all scheduled to attend.

The Zone thanks DeepinDepp for posting the press release; you can read it in full, including the non-POTC celebrities attending the premiere, on the Zone News & Views forum.

Johnny Depp to attend French premiere of DEAD MAN'S CHEST and be honored by the city of Paris on July 6th

Johnny Depp will attend the premiere of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST, which will take place on July 6th as part of the Paris Cinema Film Festival 2006. Johnny is scheduled to be joined at the premiere by co-stars Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom. DEAD MAN’S CHEST will screen at 7:45 pm at cinema Gaumont Champs-Elysees Marignan. At the preview, the mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, will present Johnny Depp with the Grande Medaille de vermeil de la ville de Paris, the highest honor the city of Paris bestows. The medal is presented as a reward to those who demonstrate devotion to Paris. Johnny’s love of Paris is well-known; he and his partner, Vanessa Paradis, frequently reside there with their two children. The Zone thanks emma for posting the news.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST on the cover of TOTAL FILM Summer 2006

The UK’s TOTAL FILM magazine devotes the cover of their Summer issue to DEAD MAN’S CHEST, and inside features a long and lively behind-the-scenes article called “The Shore Things” by Martyn Palmer. Palmer includes question-and-answer interviews with Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, and Orlando Bloom; he also talks to new cast member Bill Nighy, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and the sequels’ unsung hero, production designer Rick Heinrichs. Asked why he returned to the POTC franchise, Johnny Depp shrugs off commercial considerations (like a rumored $37-million paycheck for POTC 2 and 3). “For me, there was one reason and one reason only to do more,” he tells Palmer. “Captain Jack. [. . .] I wanted to play Captain Jack again because he’s so much fun to play.” Thanks to Gilbert’s Girl for breaking the news and In-too-Depp for posting scans on our Recent Pics forum. You can see a larger view of the TOTAL FILM cover HERE.

In other magazine news, GAO reports that Johnny Depp (as Captain Jack Sparrow) is on the cover of Japan’s SCREEN magazine once again in August; you can see the cover HERE. This marks the third consecutive month that SCREEN has featured Johnny Depp on the cover–an unprecedented honor. Thanks, GAO, for sharing the news from Japan.

Johnny Depp to appear on The Late Show with David Letterman on June 29th!

Deppheads who fondly remember Johnny Depp’s droll interview with David Letterman in 2003 have been waiting impatiently for Johnny to make a return visit to THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN. Well, the wait is over–Johnny is scheduled to appear on Dave’s show on Thursday night, June 29th (for those fans watching across the pond, Johnny’s appearance will air in the UK one day later, Friday, June 30th, on ITV4). Letterman has become a father since Johnny’s last LATE SHOW appearance, and it should be fun to hear two unabashedly doting dads talk about fatherhood. You can also expect Johnny to say a few words about that modest little pirate movie he has opening on July 7th . . . . The Zone thanks sleepy, DeepinDepp, and emma for sharing the good news!

Paramount fast-tracks SWEENEY TODD, with Tim Burton directing . . . and possibly Johnny Depp to star

Paramount’s DreamWorks division is fast-tracking a feature film of SWEENEY TODD, and has named Tim Burton to direct. Tim has some time free because Paramount has sent the film he was working on, RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT (scheduled to star Jim Carrey), back into development to trim its ballooning budget. Variety and the Hollywood Reporter both confirm that DreamWorks will now focus on assembling and casting SWEENEY TODD, which is being adapted by John Logan (THE AVIATOR) from Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway musical. According to sources at Paramount, Tim Burton already is talking with actor Johnny Depp about taking the lead role in the feature film version as the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Johnny has some time in his schedule, since Peter Weir’s departure from SHANTARAM has postponed that project until next spring.

The Zone thanks sandstorm, DeepinDepp, and emma for contributing news stories about SWEENEY TODD. You can read the full Variety and Hollywood Reporter articles on the News & Views forum.

BREAKING NEWS–Peter Weir leaves as director of SHANTARAM; production of Johnny Depp film delayed until spring 2007

Variety reports that director Peter Weir has left the Warner Bros. production of SHANTARAM, the big-budget adaptation of Gregory David Roberts’ novel. Apparently there was no meeting of the minds between the director and his screenwriter, Eric Roth, and the WB production team and their star, Johnny Depp. Variety notes that Weir’s exit occurred “shortly after the studio received a Weir-supervised rewrite from Eric Roth,” so it’s likely the script revealed some fundamental incompatibility between Weir’s vision of SHANTARAM and what the producers had in mind. According to the UK Guardian, “US speculation suggests Weir and Depp, who is also producing, could not agree on the film’s direction.”

Variety notes that “[w]hile several sources said Weir and star Johnny Depp, who also produces with Graham King, were unable to get on the same page and decided the pairing wasn’t meant to be, a WB spokesman claimed the conflict had been broader than that. ‘Peter moved on from this film because his interpretation of it differed greatly than that of the studio and producers,’ the spokesman said.”

Weir’s departure will push back the SHANTARAM shooting schedule until a new director can be appointed (and presumably, a new shooting script written). “Warners has just begun talking to directors to replace Weir,” writes Variety, “but remains optimistic that production will start by spring 2007. . . . Depp is still expected to star” in SHANTARAM, Variety notes, since his company Infinitum Nihil is one of the producing partners, and since it was Johnny’s “enthusiasm” for Gregory Roberts’ novel that prompted Warner Bros. to spend $2 million for the rights.

The Zone thanks emma for breaking the news; you can read the full Variety story and a lively discussion about SHANTARAM’s future on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

New photos of Johnny Depp taken on his birthday, June 9

For all the Johnny Depp fans who were wondering how Johnny spent his birthday, Los Angeles paparazzi have answered that question: on June 9th, Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis spent three hours watching their daughter Lily-Rose performing in a play. The photo caption gives the site as a “Hollywood Day Care center,” but since many schools in Los Angeles were still in session, it seems possible that this was a school activity. The Zone thanks bonnie for posting the new photos of Johnny on Recent Pics, and Endora for posting crops; note that the photos show Johnny Depp only, no other family members. You can see our newest photo of Johnny HERE.

Happy Birthday to Johnny Depp!

The members of the Zone extend birthday greetings and our very best wishes for a happy year to Johnny Depp, who turns 43 today. We thank Johnny for another year of joy and inspiration: last year brought us CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, TIM BURTON’S CORPSE BRIDE, and THE LIBERTINE, and we are eagerly awaiting the return of Captain Jack Sparrow in DEAD MAN’S CHEST. We invite anyone who would like to honor Johnny on his birthday to stop by our Birthday Project forum–it’s not too late to make a contribution to Children’s Hospice, and it’s a tangible way to say thank you to the man who has given us so much delight.