Articles from November 2006

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST is fastest-selling DVD ever in the UK!

Three cheers for Captain Jack Sparrow and his pirate crew–their second adventure, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST, has become the fastest-selling DVD ever in the U.K.! The Johnny Depp film was released on DVD in the U.K. on November 20th and sold nearly 1.5 million copies in its first week. Sam Andrews of The Hollywood Reporter notes that DEAD MAN’S CHEST’s sales “account [. . .] for one in four DVDs purchased in the U.K. this past week. Disney said demand has been so great that it ordered one million extra copies from its plant in Mexico.” Disney marketing director Brian Winsor offered this charmingly modest comment: “With the film doing so well at the box office we always hoped the DVD would prove popular. It seems as though the appeal of Jack Sparrow and his shipmates goes on.”

The Zone thanks DeepinDepp for breaking the news; you can read the full story on the News & Views forum. DEAD MAN’S CHEST will be released on DVD in the U.S. and Canada on December 5th: prepare for more records to fall . . . .

"Johnny's always wanting to hide behind a character"–Tim Burton in January's TOTAL FILM

The January 2007 issue of TOTAL FILM (U.K.) features a four-page interview with director Tim Burton. Although the focus of the interview is the recent re-release of his classic THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, Tim does answer a few questions about his upcoming project, SWEENEY TODD, the Stephen Sondheim musical which stars Johnny Depp as the demon barber of Fleet Street.

TOTAL FILM: It’s rumoured that your current project, SWEENEY TODD, will be R-rated. Have you made gruesome sketches for that too?

TIM BURTON: Well, I do my little doodles, but the movie’s being designed by Dante Ferretti who’s such a brilliant draughtsman. He did a lot of Fellini films, so that’s exciting. But I have done a couple of little doodles . . . and I’m not going to skimp on the blood. I’ve seen some SWEENEY TODD productions that try to be politically correct, y’know? [shakes head] We’re talking about a serial killer and cannibalism, so you can’t exactly skimp on that stuff! It’s a politically incorrect movie; soften it up and it just doesn’t work. And also, we’re doing the full-on musical version. It will be . . . interesting.

TOTAL FILM: On SWEENEY TODD you’ll again be surrounded by friends and family. Does it help you relax on set?

TIM BURTON: I like to mix it up. Sometimes I’ll work with new people and sometimes I’ll work with those I’ve worked with before. It’s not something I consciously go out of my way to do, but obviously, with certain people, there’s a shorthand in terms of discussion. But I don’t like to rely on that, because it makes it too easy. With each film, you want to keep that energy going.

Johnny’s fun to work with, though–it’s always something different. He’s more of a character actor than a leading man. It’s fun to work with an actor like that, much more exciting than somebody who wants to come in and do the same things every time. Johnny’s always wanting to sort of hide behind a character, become a character. I’ve always loved great character actors.

The January TOTAL FILM also comes packaged with a preview calendar for 2007–look for a classic photo of Captain Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann (from THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL) in the month of June, as TOTAL FILM predicts AT WORLD’S END to be the biggest blockbuster of the year. The Zone thanks Gilbert’s Girl for breaking the news and transcribing the Tim Burton interview–you can read more details on the News & Views forum.

Merry Christmas! ABC and the BBC to air PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL on Christmas Day

ABC and the BBC are giving us Johnny Depp for Christmas–they will air PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL on the evening of December 25th. What a perfect way to end the holiday; relax after the festive meal with Captain Jack Sparrow. The film will air on BBC1 and will occupy the prime-time slot on ABC, from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m.–ABC is airing CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL in HDTV. Fun! The Zone thanks Gilbert’s Girl and DeepinDepp for the news.

BREAKING NEWS–new photos of Johnny Depp in Los Angeles November 21st!

The photo at left shows Johnny Depp emerging from Musso and Franks Restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles after dinner on Tuesday, November 21, 2006. Johnny is wearing his gray cap, backwards; tortoise-shell glasses; a favorite, very familiar jacket over a white tshirt; and khaki cargo pants (look for the black-and-white pirate skull bandana peeping out of a pocket). He is still sporting the Jack Sparrow moustache and beard. In his hand, he holds a gift from a young fan–a paper doll with her photograph. To see a larger version of the photo, click HERE, and for a different photo, click HERE. The Zone thanks bonnie and AnaMaria very much for the new photos!

MAGAZINE ALERT–Johnny Depp appears in the November 27, 2006 issue of PEOPLE Magazine

That gorgeous photo of Johnny Depp can be found in the current issue of PEOPLE Magazine, where he appears as the July representative in their “Men of the Year” calendar feature. This is the double issue dated November 27, 2006 and popularly referred to as “The Sexiest Man Alive” issue, although this year PEOPLE, for unfathomable reasons, did not elect to put the sexiest man alive on their cover. He can be found, however, on page 96. For a larger view of the photo, click HERE; a bigger scan is available on the Zone’s News & Views forum, followed by a lively discussion.

The PEOPLE photograph is accompanied by a mention of DEAD MAN’S CHEST’s boffo box office performance, and notes that Johnny (called “bona fide box office gold”) owns his own island in the Caribbean. It includes this brief quote from Johnny: “The only thing money means to me is the freedom it buys me. Living in the islands is heaven. It’ll be easier to give [my kids] a normal upbringing there.”

Sacha Baron Cohen joins Johnny Depp in the cast of Tim Burton's SWEENEY TODD

It’s no longer just a rumor–Variety reports today that Sacha Baron Cohen will appear in Tim Burton’s film of the Stephen Sondheim musical SWEENEY TODD; Cohen will play Signor Adolfo Pirelli, a rival barber to Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street. Cohen joins a cast that includes Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd and Helena Bonham Carter as Todd’s accomplice, Mrs. Lovett. BORAT, Sacha Baron Cohen’s previous film, topped the box office for two weeks in November; he has also appeared in TALLADEGA NIGHTS and the animated film MADAGASCAR.

SWEENEY TODD starts filming at Pinewood Studios outside London in February 2007, with an expected release date in December 2007.

Join ONBC for their next book discussion–Laurent Graff's HAPPY DAYS

Liz and DeppintheHeartofTexas have announced the next selection for Oprah Noodlemantra’s Book Club: ONBC will be reading Laurent Graff’s novel HAPPY DAYS, which devoted Deppheads will remember was the very first title optioned by Johnny Depp’s production company Infinitum Nihil. HAPPY DAYS “poses some of life’s most basic philosophical questions, making this short, briskly paced novel a thought-provoking pleasure,” writes Michele Leber on BOOKLIST. We’re looking forward to another great ONBC discussion! Liz and DeppintheHeartofTexas will begin posting background tidbits for HAPPY DAYS on the ONBC forum tomorrow; discussion of the novel will begin on December 4th. Stop by ONBC and enjoy HAPPY DAYS.

Johnny Depp appears in new Johnny Cash video, "God's Gonna Cut You Down"

The new Johnny Cash video, “God’s Gonna Cut You Down,” premiered on CMT, MTV, and VH1 on Thursday. The first release from Cash’s posthumous album AMERICAN V: A HUNDRED HIGHWAYS, the video is shot as a tribute to Johnny Cash and features 36 celebrities (mainly musicians), wearing black, mouthing the words to the song over Mr. Cash’s vocal. Johnny Depp appears very briefly near the end of the track; he is standing in a theater box in front of a curtain, playing his guitar. The photo at left is from the black-and-white video; to see a larger version, click HERE, and to see a screencap of Johnny playing guitar, click HERE. The Zone thanks Silvia for her screencaps. You can watch the video HERE. Thanks to Mrs Pink, Theresa, Charly, KSmith, FANtasticJD and dharma_bum for their work on this story, and for sharing the video.

BREAKING NEWS–Premiere of Johnny Cash video, featuring Johnny Depp, airs Thursday November 9th

Whether you are a fan of the Man in Black or a fan of Johnny Depp–and many of us are both–you will want to grab some Kleenex and tune in to CMT, MTV or VH1 tomorrow, Thursday November 9th, for the premiere of the first video from Johnny Cash’s AMERICAN V: A HUNDRED HIGHWAYS. “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” features 36 artists–all wearing black, of course–paying tribute to Johnny Cash; the incredible cast includes Johnny Depp, Keith Richards, Bono, Iggy Pop, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, and the Dixie Chicks. USA TODAY reports that cable channels CMT, MTV and VH1 will host the premiere of the video Thursday during CMT Top 20 Countdown, which begins at 4 pm Eastern. The video will air across the networks’ multiple platforms and be repeated during the day.

The Zone thanks Theresa for breaking the news–you can read more about the video on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp leads nominees for 2007 People's Choice Awards

Deppheads have many opportunities to show their appreciation for Johnny Depp in the ballots for the 2007 People’s Choice Awards. Johnny received nominations in the categories of Favorite Male Movie Star and Favorite Male Action Star; he also shares a nomination with co-star Keira Knightley for Favorite On-Screen Match-Up, in a tribute to their chemistry in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST. If you would like to vote for Johnny, and thereby have the chance to watch one of his hilarious videotaped acceptance speeches next January, click HERE.

The other nominees for Favorite Male Movie Star are Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, while the other nominees for Favorite Male Action Star are Samuel L. Jackson and Jet Li. In addition to Johnny and Keira, contenders for Favorite On-Screen Match-Up are paparazzi favorites Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn in THE BREAK-UP, and the threesome of Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and Leonardo DiCaprio in THE DEPARTED.

The Zone thanks DeepinDepp for breaking the news; you can read the news article and a full list of nominees on the News & Views forum.

Winners will be announced when the People’s Choice Awards ceremony airs live on CBS on January 9, 2007. Mark your calendars–and vote!

A new work by Hunter S. Thompson–GONZO hits bookstores December 2nd

A new work by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson will arrive in bookstores on December 2nd–joyous news for everyone who loves the Good Doctor and his work. Called GONZO and published by Ammo Books, the new arrival is a limited-edition collection of some of Hunter’s personal photos and some of his writings; it is organized as “a visual biography” and it features an introduction written by Johnny Depp. Steve Crist and Laila Nabulsi edited the collection, and the photos on display on the Ammo Books website are stunning. You can see them HERE, and you can see a photo of the cover art HERE. The only downside to this happy news is the cost of the edition; the book can be pre-ordered through Ammo Books for $300, or through Barnes & Noble’s online store for $240 ($216 if you are a member of their book club–see details HERE.) Thanks to FANtasticJD for sharing the news–you can read more about Hunter’s newest book on ONBC.

Johnny Depp donates item for upcoming Children's Hospice Ebay auction

Johnny Depp continues his support for the Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition; a story on their upcoming Ebay auction reports that Johnny has donated a signed bowling ball to the fundraising effort. Friends of the Zone will remember that our 2006 Birthday Project raised money for Children’s Hospice, and we have also carried many stories about the leather braided bracelet Johnny wears to support this charity, which is dedicated to offering care to children with life-threatening illnesses, and to assisting their families.

If you would like to obtain a bracelet like Johnny’s–it says “Today is a gift. Have fun!”–they are available on the Children’s Hospice website HERE. 100% of the cost of the bracelet goes to support Children’s Hospice. The Ebay auction to benefit the Hospice will take place in December; we will carry further details as they become available. You can read the full story about the auction and Hospice’s efforts on behalf of seriously ill children on the Porch; thanks very much to emma for the news.

Place your bids–Johnny Depp donates signed photo to East Texas Literacy Council auction

If you have always longed to own a genuine autographed photo of Johnny Depp, here’s your golden opportunity: the East Texas Literacy Council has a photo signed and donated by Johnny Depp included in its fundraising auction. “On November 13th, the public is invited to bid on 66 doodles donated by celebrities including actors Jim Carrey and Johnny Depp, blues legend Bo Diddley, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and supermodel Claudia Shiffer,” reports Glenn Evans of the Longview, Texas News-Journal. The proceeds from the auction will aid the East Texas Literacy Council’s 70 volunteer tutors in their work with 738 adult students, ranging in age from 17 to 81. If you would like to attend the auction and bid on the photo or other artwork, the “Doodles, Dessert & More” fundraiser will take place on November 13th, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Cafe Barrons, 405 West Loop 281, Longview, Texas. There is no cost to attend the auction. For more information, phone (903) 757-9302. The Zone thanks Theresa for posting the story on our News & Views forum; you can read Glenn Evans’ article HERE.

Vote for Johnny Depp as VH1's "Big Entertainer of '06"

The voting for end-of-the-year awards is beginning! VH1 will air its “Big in ’06” awards broadcast somewhat prematurely on Sunday night, December 3rd, saluting those who “were big this year” (I guess anyone who hits it big in December 2006 is just out of luck). Johnny Depp is nominated as VH1’s “Big Entertainer of 2006,” in a category that also includes Dane Cook, Steve Carrell, Jessica Simpson, and YouTube. Winners are determined by the public; you can cast your vote for Johnny HERE. The awards show airs on VH1 on December 3rd at 9 p.m. Eastern time. Thanks to dramaqueen86 for the news and FANtasticJD for the voting link.

Will there be a PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4? Interview with producer Jerry Bruckheimer

Sheila Roberts of moviesonline.com caught up with PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN producer Jerry Bruckheimer recently, and she seized the moment to ask if, due to the phenomenal success of DEAD MAN’S CHEST, there were plans to extend the adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow beyond the third installment, AT WORLD’S END. Here’s what Ms. Roberts asked Mr. Bruckheimer:

SR: What have you seen in the poster for PIRATES 3 that’s got you really excited?

JB: We have Chow Yung-Fat which is really interesting and exciting. It’s a thrill to be able to work with him. There’s always new stuff. We’ve got an ending that’s amazing. It’s really a nice ride and it’s still filming.

SR: Is Keith Richards in it?

JB: He’s in it. We finished him. He’s filmed. He’s got a small little cameo.

SR: Is his head okay now?

JB: Apparently. [Laughter] He was great to be with. He didn’t want to leave. He was having the best time.

SR: Is there going to be a PIRATES 4?

JB: I hope so. I hope so if we could come up with a good story. I think we have a big jump on a story that we’re going to do.

SR: When I interviewed you for the second one, you said, ‘Oh, we don’t know yet.’ With the latest one doing so well, it seems there may be a fourth one coming out?

JB: Yeah, we hope so. We hope so.

The Zone thanks emma for posting the interview; you can read it on the News & Views forum.