Articles from March 2007

More Pirates? LA Times story contains rumors of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4

Once again, rumors are circulating that Captain Jack Sparrow may not hang up his compass for good at the end of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END. According to Mary MacNamara’s story in the Los Angeles Times, “Word on the Walt Disney Studios backlot is that, while AT WORLD’S END is the end of the trilogy, it may not be the end of the franchise. According to insiders, Johnny Depp has said he would be interested in keeping the swaggering Capt. Jack Sparrow alive in other pirate adventures and, as the film’s production director Rick Heinrichs says, ‘If Johnny’s interested, why wouldn’t they?'” Adds MacNamara, “Many of the larger set pieces have been kept and put in storage.”

Storage will need to be long-term, since Johnny is scheduled to film SHANTARAM for Mira Nair beginning in November; one current rumor on the web which suggests filming of PIRATES 4 would begin in August 2007 is completely false, and has been denied by screenwriter Terry Rossio on his website. Any future piracy, if it happens, will be many months down the road–say, after a script has been written and deals have been signed.

The franchise’s largest set piece, The Black Pearl, has returned from her winter berth in Ensenada, Mexico, and is currently anchored in San Pedro; you can see new pictures of the Pearl on the Zone’s Porch forum. Many thanks to daisylovesdk for sharing her photos, and to Kimmie for the Los Angeles Times story.

The photo at left, which shows our beloved Captain Jack Sparrow seconds after being slapped (again) comes from this week’s STAR Magazine; he gets top billing in their “Coming Attractions” story on page 6 of the issue dated April 9, 2007. –Part-Time Poet

SWEENEY TODD will sing at Christmas–DreamWorks schedules a limited U.S. release for December 21st!

Tim Burton will add a splash of the macabre to Christmastime this year, as DreamWorks announces a limited U.S. release on December 21, 2007 for Burton’s film of Stephen Sondheim’s musical SWEENEY TODD, starring Johnny Depp as the revenge-obsessed demon barber and Helena Bonham Carter as the pie-maker, Mrs. Lovett. Variety reports that the film will enter wide release in North America on January 11, 2008. Release in the UK is scheduled for January 25, 2008. Encouraging news–despite a few recent production delays, SWEENEY TODD is still on course to make its original release dates. The Zone thanks Theresa and DeepinDepp for the stories from Comingsoon.net and Variety.

“I’ve always wanted to do a musical and SWEENEY TODD is my favorite,” Tim Burton told the press recently. “Stephen’s blend of humor, horror and emotion is something that has always connected with me.” Composer-lyricist Sondheim had equally nice things to say about the artists currently involved in bringing his work to the screen: “Sometimes a story or stage production has to wait a long time until the right people come together to turn it into a motion picture. That’s what has happened with SWEENEY TODD and I’m excited as well as confident that it will be a first-rate and startling movie.” –Part-Time Poet

AT WORLD'S END trailer rocks the world–350 million viewings in the first 24 hours!

Do you think moviegoers might be a wee bit anxious about what happens to Captain Jack Sparrow, last seen disappearing into the jaws of the hideous kraken? Apparently yes, since the trailer containing the first bits of footage from PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END has been viewed a staggering 350 MILLION times in its first 24 hours! Disney reports “unprecedented global viewership” due to its carefully orchestrated worldwide release: “The theatrical trailer for Walt Disney Pictures/Jerry Bruckheimer Films PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END has reached the largest worldwide audience ever for a theatrical trailer debut, capturing more than 350 million viewers in a 24-hour period.”

The trailer launched during ABC-TV’s “Dancing with the Stars” on Monday night, where it reached an audience of 22 million (no surprise that “Dancing” was the evening’s #1 show). The trailer was then released on the Internet and began appearing on television in 61 countries around the world. Disney estimates a worldwide television viewership of more than 300 million, including 52 million in Japan alone; the TV numbers and the Internet numbers exceed 350 million viewers for the first day. Says Jim Gallagher, President, Buena Vista Pictures Marketing, “While we expected a good degree of anticipation and enthusiasm for the new trailer, the final figures for viewers across the globe over the past few days have truly exceeded our wildest expectations.” Well done! The Zone thanks emma for sharing the news. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp to star in SIN CITY 3? Robert Rodriguez talks to MTV

Robert Rodriguez is on the interview circuit, promoting his highly anticipated film GRINDHOUSE (co-directed with buddy Quentin Tarantino). Never reluctant to discuss his future film projects or his favorite actors, Rodriguez told Shaun Adler of MTV that he has Johnny Depp in mind as his protagonist for the third installment of SIN CITY. The director had hoped to cast Johnny in the original SIN CITY, but the scheduling didn’t work out: “He was interested in doing the Jackie Boy character that Benicio [del Toro] played,” Rodriguez says, “but he was doing that movie LIBERTINE in Europe and it just kept getting pushed and delayed and went right through our shooting schedule.”

Now Rodriguez hopes to be able to reunite with Johnny, who played the unforgettable Agent Sands in ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO, when cameras roll for SIN CITY 3, which will focus on the Frank Miller story “Hell and Back.” Rodriguez wants Johnny to play Wallace, “a brooding artist who, due to being drugged repetitively, wanders through most of the tale hallucinating,” reports MTV. Says Rodriguez, “I kept going, ‘Gosh, Jackie Boy is a small part, he could be really good [as Wallace].'” When Johnny’s schedule prevented him from appearing in the first SIN CITY, Rodriguez reflects, “I thought maybe it was meant to be.” We hope so, too. But before SIN CITY 3 can happen, the director will have to shoot SIN CITY 2, which is based on the Miller story “A Dame to Kill For” and features many characters from the original film.

Thanks to RumLover for sharing the news; there is a SIN CITY discussion underway on the News & Views forum. We’d love to see Johnny re-team with Robert Rodriguez on any future project. They make beautiful music together. –Part-Time Poet

BREAKING NEWS–First picture of Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd

Many thanks to the UK’s Daily Mail for publishing the first picture of Johnny Depp in character as Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The photo was taken on Monday, March 26th as Johnny returned to work on the Tim Burton film after a brief hiatus.

The Sweeney look–very pale, clean-shaven face, chin length curly dark hair–reminds us a bit of previous Tim Burton protagonists, notably Edward Scissorhands and Ichabod Crane. The costume consists of a full-sleeved ivory shirt with a wing collar, a dark brown printed ascot, a double-breasted brown vest, and navy blue pin-striped trousers. And yes, that is a straight razor hanging from Sweeney’s leather belt.

You can read a lively discussion of the SWEENEY TODD costume on the Pit, and a discussion about Johnny Depp’s return to work on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp returns to the set of SWEENEY TODD

Contrary to some published reports (for example, the current issue of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY), Johnny Depp is now back at work filming Tim Burton’s version of Stephen Sondheim’s award-winning musical SWEENEY TODD. After a brief hiatus, production resumed on March 26th at Pinewood Studios outside of London, with Johnny playing the Demon Barber of Fleet Street opposite Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett. Although normally we deplore the presence of the paparazzi as they trail Johnny Depp through life, we acknowledge that the European photo agency BrunoPress has paparazzi photos on their site which document Johnny Depp’s presence at the Pinewood set today, March 27th. Since Johnny’s return to work must also signal that his daughter Lily-Rose continues to recover from her recent illness, we have many reasons to celebrate on the Zone today.

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for the excellent news. We send our best wishes to Johnny and his family, and to Tim Burton and the cast and crew of SWEENEY TODD. –Part-Time Poet

SWEENEY TODD director Tim Burton to receive Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival!

Great news! Visionary director Tim Burton will be honored by the Venice Film Festival with the Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement. Yes, September 5, 2007 will be “Tim Burton Day” at the Venice festival (and of course on the Zone as well–how could we resist?). Nick Vivarelli of Variety reports that the director and his work “will be celebrated [. . .] at the Palazzo del Cinema with several special events that may include a sneak peak at his SWEENEY TODD adaptation, now in production.”

“Tim Burton is a cinematic genius, the most imaginative child of the new age of cinema,” says Venice Film Festival director Marco Muller. “He has a unique talent of being able to imbue his fantasies with emotional depth. He can build the most visionary dreamscapes (that reach to the eternal child within us), without ever forgetting his sense of aesthetic integrity and his natural sympathy for the alienated outsider.” All true . . . and we also admire his impeccable ability to match actors and roles. Tim passed over stars with cinematic clout to cast Johnny Depp in EDWARD SCISSORHANDS; their work since then has included ED WOOD, SLEEPY HOLLOW, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, CORPSE BRIDE, and now SWEENEY TODD.

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD and emma for breaking the news; you can read the Variety article and other publicity releases on the Zone’s News & Views forum. Congratulations to Tim on this well-deserved honor! –Part-Time Poet

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END trailer premieres . . . fans celebrate!

Majestic, thrilling, and frequently hilarious, the trailer for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END debuted last night during ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” and fan reaction has been jubilant and euphoric. Every frame of the trailer is beautifully shot and suggests an intricate, epic plot that combines action and adventure with witty dialogue that capitalizes on the chemisty of its extraordinary cast, led by Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. “There has not been a gathering like this in our lifetime,” intones Captain Barbossa in the trailer’s narration. We believe you, Barbossa! And we can’t wait to see AT WORLD’S END.

Many thanks to Carasun for sharing her screencap of Captain Jack Sparrow, and thanks to Susanne, Theresa and dharma_bum for putting the trailer on our Video Clips forum. If you missed the trailer Monday night, it is airing on the Disney website here http://home.disney.go.com/index and on the official AT WORLD’S END site here http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/pirates/atworldsend/

Welcome to PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END! Clip airs on GOOD MORNING, AMERICA

Being owned by the Walt Disney Company brings benefits to ABC today, as two of their television programs carry footage from PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END. The “First Look” segment of GOOD MORNING, AMERICA was first out of the gate, with a brief but hysterical glimpse of Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Hector Barbossa squabbling over the right to command the Black Pearl. If your schedule prevented you from watching GOOD MORNING, AMERICA, you can view the clip in its entirety on their website here: http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=2962715

Some lucky Zoners got to see the AT WORLD’S END trailer Sunday evening at “Ultimate Fan Event” screenings in major cities–the event at the El Capitan theater in Los Angeles was hosted by Orlando Bloom. Attendees got to see PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL on the big screen again, followed by a double-viewing of the new trailer. Reaction on the forums has been uniformly ecstatic–you can read all about it on the Zone’s News & Views forum. Thanks to the many Zoners who attended for posting their accounts, and a special thanks to Susanne and Theresa for the clip from GOOD MORNING, AMERICA.

Remember to watch the AT WORLD’S END trailer tonight during DANCING WITH THE STARS! –Part-Time Poet

TV ALERT–PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END featured on GOOD MORNING, AMERICA on Monday, March 19th!

Set your TIVOs and your VCRs . . . ABC will have TWO promotional events for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END airing tomorrow, Monday, March 19th. With your breakfast coffee, you can enjoy “a sneak peek” at the third Pirates movie, starring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, sometime during GOOD MORNING, AMERICA–thanks to Charlene for that news.

And of course the world premiere of the trailer for AT WORLD’S END will air Monday night during DANCING WITH THE STARS on ABC–we can’t wait to see Captain Jack and company again! –Part-Time Poet

More Agent Sands? Director Robert Rodriguez says he'd like to do OUATIM sequels

While hosting a panel on his soon-to-be-released film GRINDHOUSE at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, director Robert Rodriguez confided that he would love to do a trilogy of films based around Johnny Depp’s blind gunman character from ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO, Agent Sands. “ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO is the first one in series with the Blind Gunman,” Rodriguez ezplained to IGN’s Eric Moro, “where you do two more sequels, which would be Once Upon a Time in Mexico 2 and 3 [. . . .] So I thought, ‘That would be really cool if I could do that.'”

Rodriguez tested the idea on Johnny while they were filming. “I cut together a trailer of some footage I had of Johnny Depp walking blind one night while we were doing ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO,” Rodriguez said. “I had Johnny come down to the edit room and I said, ‘Hey, check this out.’ And I did the voiceover for it while he was walking and I added music, and I said, ‘The man with no eyes is back. ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO PART TWO!’ And Johnny goes, ‘I’m there.’ And I just thought, ‘Wow.'”

Adds Rodriguez, “I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to doing that, but I think it would be cool. I have all kinds of adventures for him.” We think it would be cool, too–here’s hoping it happens someday! Many thanks to DeepinDepp and Theresa for posting the story on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Trailer for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END premieres on U.S. television March 19th!

The long-awaited trailer for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END, starring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, will air during ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” (8 to 10 p.m.) on Monday, March 19th. If you live in another region, fear not, because once “Dancing with the Stars” concludes in the Pacific time zone, the AWE trailer will be making its debut online. Disney reports, “Following the broadcast debut, the trailer will premiere online at Yahoo.com in High Definition, on Disney.com, and other premium online destinations around the world at 10:00 pm PST on Monday, March 19th.” We can’t wait! –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp's daughter Lily-Rose is "doing much better," says Depp publicist Robin Baum

Troubling news surfaced in the British press yesterday, with the Daily Mirror reporting that Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis’s cherished daughter Lily-Rose, 7, was seriously ill in a London hospital. Today Johnny’s publicist Robin Baum brought good news to anxious Depp fans around the world: “We are happy to report that their daughter is doing much better,” says Ms. Baum. She told USA TODAY, “The family greatly appreciates the continued support and respect of their privacy.”

Production on Johnny’s current film, Tim Burton’s SWEENEY TODD, will continue; DreamWorks spokesman Marvin Levy told the press that “they have been accommodating the schedule to meet (Depp’s) needs.”

The Zone thanks Denise, Kittycat88, Theresa, Donna B., and Gilbert’s Girl for bringing us news. We are all thrilled to hear that Lily-Rose’s condition is improving; we wish her a swift and complete recovery, and we send our best wishes and prayers to all the Depp family. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp an honorary host for a Los Angeles Children's Hospital benefit on May 4!

Johnny Depp is the honorary host for the gala opening night party for the exhibit “Modernism on Fire,” the Los Angeles Modernism Show and Sale, which will take place at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on Friday evening, May 4th, from 6 to 9 p.m. Proceeds from the gala benefit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. If that charity sounds familiar, it should–last October, Children’s Hospital honored Johnny Depp with its “Courage to Care” award (the photo at left shows Johnny at the podium accepting that award).

Tickets for the gala are available to the general public and cost $90 in advance or $100 at the door. Information on obtaining tickets is available on the News & Views forum. However, before purchasing tickets, please be aware that there is no guarantee that Johnny Depp will attend the gala in person. The website says, “Please note: Although Johnny Depp is our honorary opening night host–he may not be able to attend due to prior commitments and we cannot guarantee he will be at the opening night gala. We can guarantee a fun evening of great food, music and cocktails–plus you are supporting Johnny’s favorite charity–Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.”

Gala tickets do provide re-entry to the exhibition all weekend. Regular admission on Saturday and Sunday is $15, so that’s a good value. Hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. –5 p.m. on Sunday. The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium is at the corner of Pico and Main Streets. The Zone thanks MA Depp for posting the news. –Part-Time Poet

Announcing two new LIBERTINE galleries for the Zone

As we prepare to celebrate the one-year anniversary of THE LIBERTINE’s “wide” release in U.S. theaters–for so many of us, our first chance to see Johnny Depp’s brilliant performance as Lord Rochester–the Zone has added two new photo galleries celebrating this remarkable film. THE LIBERTINE produced so many stunning photographs of Johnny that Sleepy and I decided to split them into two separate galleries–one for images from the film, and one for behind-the-scenes shots. We hope that seeing the galleries will tempt you to view the film again.

Many thanks to Sleepy for the galleries, and to In-too-Depp, bonnie, and Hiro3 for sharing photos and screencaps. To see the galleries, click on the PHOTO GALLERIES button above and select “By Film.” The entries are chronological, so THE LIBERTINE is just above DEAD MAN’S CHEST. Enjoy! –Part-Time Poet

A new edition of DONNIE BRASCO to be released on DVD–with 20 extra minutes!

Good news for Region 1 viewers–the gangster classic DONNIE BRASCO, directed by Mike Newell and starring Johnny Depp and Al Pacino, will be released in a new “Extended Cut” on May 8, 2007. The new edition’s running time of 147 minutes is 20 minutes longer than the original DVD release. Patrick Luce of monstersandcritics.com confirms that there will be “20 minutes of never-before-seen footage added back into the film.” Apparently the extras will be repeats from the first edition, including a director’s commentary and the feature “Donnie Brasco: Out from the Shadows.” List price for the Extended Cut of DONNIE BRASCO is $19.94; Amazon is offering a pre-release price of $14.99. You can also pre-order the new DONNIE BRASCO with the DVD of Johnny’s appearance on INSIDE THE ACTOR’S STUDIO from Amazon for $26.18; that offer includes free shipping.

The Zone thanks Theresa for bringing us the news. DONNIE BRASCO celebrates the tenth anniversary of its release this year; what better way to mark the occasion than with a new extended version of this great film? –Part-Time Poet