Articles from April 2007

Wishes come true–Disney's PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END premiere reaches fundraising goal in 14 days!

Fantastic news . . . the Walt Disney Company announced today that all available tickets for the World Premiere of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END have sold out in just 14 days. The AWE premiere fundraiser (tickets were priced at $1,500 each) benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America and Make-A-Wish International. The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Disney set a noble goal of raising $3 million for Make-A-Wish, since AT WORLD’S END is the third POTC movie; now the celebration of the launch of the new film will also bring new hope and joy to thousands of seriously ill children and their families.

Disney kick-started the fundraising campaign with a donation of $1 million two weeks ago, and that generous act started a chain-reaction. Disney reports receiving ticket orders from 35 U.S. states, but the love of POTC is world-wide; Anaheim will welcome premiere attendees from Australia, Japan, Germany, Belgium, Canada and Mexico as well. “Ticket buyers making the trip to Anaheim next month for the event include a family from Chicago, where the father is having his kids volunteer at a children’s hospital so they can fully appreciate their tickets. A doctor from Canada is sending her mother as a thank you for working multiple jobs to put her through medical school,” reports Disney–now there’s one memorable Mother’s Day gift!

“Disney is dedicated to making dreams come true, and now we’re joined by PIRATES fans from all over the world who are making a difference through their generous support and participation in this event,” said Dick Cook, the chairman of Walt Disney Studios. “The Studio is extremely excited about PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END, and we are looking forward to a spectacular premiere to give the movie the send-off it deserves, while also touching the lives of so many children and their families.”

The Walt Disney Company is donating 100 percent of the ticket proceeds to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and underwriting the entire cost of the premiere. Walt Disney Pictures/Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END World Premiere will take place on May 19 at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, with all of the film’s stars expected to participate in the event. Thanks to DeepinDepp for sharing the story; you can read the full article on the News & Views forum.

The Zone salutes The Walt Disney Company for taking their day of celebration and using it to help others. There will be ripples of good rolling out from that red carpet on May 19th that will touch thousands of lives all over the world. –Part-Time Poet

DEAD MAN'S CHEST nominated for four MTV Movie Awards–vote now!

Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley share MTV Movie Awards Best Performance nominations for their roles as Captain Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST–yes, actors and actresses compete in a single category; the forward-thinking MTV honchos don’t indulge in gender discrimination when handing out gilded tubs of popcorn. Bill Nighy joins his colleagues in the kudos-fest with a nomination as Best Villain for his role as Davy Jones, where he will face off against the devil herself, Meryl Streep in THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA. Should be an interesting evening! DEAD MAN’S CHEST competes for Best Movie honors against 300, BORAT, BLADES OF GLORY, and LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE. You can vote for your favorites here: http://tinyurl.com/2rrfv6

Another factor making this year’s MTV Movie Awards interesting is that, for the first time, they will be broadcast live from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California, rather than taped and edited–a move that is sure to send MTV’s Standards and Practices representative (otherwise known as the censor) into cardiac arrest. The 2007 MTV Movie Awards air on Sunday, June 3 at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Promises MTV, “We’re on a mission to throw the greatest party Hollywood has ever seen”–and given Hollywood’s history, that’s quite a challenge!

The Zone thanks emma and DeepinDepp for posting the story and voting links on the News & Views forum. We congratulate Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy, and Gore Verbinski and the cast and crew on their MTV Movie Awards nominations! –Part-Time Poet

Support PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END–announcing the launch of POTC3:STTT! Read on–

POTC3:STTT is an initiative that plans to send AT WORLD’S END Straight To The Top of the box office charts! Members from many Depp and Pirate sites are banding together to support this cause, and the plan is simple and easy to remember: “All you need to do is go have fun seeing POTC3 as many times as possible,” writes organizer Bootstrap Beck. Specifically, the initiative urges supporters to boost box office numbers by seeing AT WORLD’S END one more time on its opening weekend than they did for DEAD MAN’S CHEST (if you saw DMC twice, see AWE three times); and to see AWE at least once more during its full-summer run than they did for DMC.

You can find full details of the POTC3:STTT campaign on the Zone’s News & Views forum; we thank Bootstrap Beck for posting them and for her work in support of AT WORLD’S END. Enjoy the official launch video on You Tube here: http://tinyurl.com/2sf7g8 and visit the official POTC3:STTT website here: http://potc3sttt.com/ We hope you will accept the invitation to join the largest gathering of Pirate Brethren ever! –Part-Time Poet

Some news on REX MUNDI–screenwriter Jim Uhls talks about upcoming Johnny Depp film

FIGHT CLUB screenwriter Jim Uhls was in Tucson for an appearance at The Loft Cinema on Friday, April 27, and he gave an interview to Arizona Wildcat reporter Astrid Duffy in which he discusses (among other things) his current project, an adaptation of the graphic novels REX MUNDI for Johnny Depp’s production company, Infinitum Nihil. Plans are for Johnny to play the protagonist, Julian Sauniere, in this complex alternate-universe mystery set in the 1930s. Many thanks to RumLover for sharing the interview; here’s what Mr. Uhls had to say about REX MUNDI:

WILDCAT: I’ve heard you’re working on a new screenplay, REX MUNDI, that Johnny Depp is rumored to star in. Could you tell me a little bit about that?

UHLS: That’s correct. It’s based on a series of graphic novels that are still coming out, and books one, two and three we are collecting as chapters. Some things we’re keeping and some we’re changing, but the basic premise is that it’s set in the present time but it’s an alternative present.

By that, I mean history happened differently to lead up to the present time. The Catholic Church remained in power over in Europe; the monarchies in Europe are still in control of the rest of the world, most of which is colonies. The Inquisition is still going on, and there’s an internal, deep, complicated mystery that the lead character starts to unravel. I changed that mystery entirely from the graphic novel and in doing so created a lot of work for myself. (laughs)

WILDCAT: Will you have less freedom in adapting a graphic novel since the images are already there?

UHLS: No, in terms of having all the frames already there in the graphic novel and how they’ve organised it, it wouldn’t differ from adapting an ordinary book. I still have to have an approach and have it all fit together my way.

WILDCAT: How long will it be before this new film comes out?

UHLS: Probably, at the earliest, next year sometime.

WILDCAT: It seems like graphic novels are getting to be very popular at the movie theatres right now.

UHLS: Yes, yes. Many of them are very different in content and style, and this one is not in superhero style. It’s a very different kind of story, which shows the versatility of graphic novels.

WILDCAT: Do you think REX MUNDI will have the same kind of success as FIGHT CLUB?

UHLS: Well, I hope it does very well! That’s all I can say! I think it will be unique enough and interesting enough to peak the curiosity, so hopefully that’ll be a success.

REX MUNDI is a wonderfully imaginative tale, one we’re eagerly anticipating as a film; it’s good to hear such an enthusiastic report from Jim Uhls. You can read the full interview at http://tinyurl.com/yvvw67 –Part-Time Poet

Interview with Jerry Bruckheimer–on AT WORLD'S END and beyond

The Zone thanks Emma for posting a recent interview with PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN trilogy super-producer Jerry Bruckheimer; you can read the Q & A in its entirety on the Porch, but here are a few highlights. In these excerpts, Mr. Bruckheimer discusses the possibility of a fourth POTC film, the creative process, and the producer’s role.

Q: You’ve said before that you wouldn’t rule out doing some more Pirates films after AT WORLD’S END. What’s the latest on that?
A: Well, we’ve optioned some material, we’ve optioned a book and we’re looking at it. We’re in talks with the same writers to come back and work on a fourth one so that’s an ongoing thing.

Q: And would that mean that all the major characters are back on board?
A: Well, you know, that’s still on the drawing board but it’s always fun to bring the characters you love back.

Q: How do you shape the Pirates story–do you and Johnny and Gore have input with the writers?
A: Sure, Johnny is a big part of creating his character and Gore is leading everything and very involved with the writers. We all throw our two cents in.

Q: As a producer which part of your job do you enjoy most?
A: I love just about all of it, working on these big ideas, working with major talent like Gore and Johnny and the rest of our cast. And working with the crews that we’ve worked with over the years, you make a lot of friends, and it’s great to put things together and give people work–and good work that they can appreciate and their families can appreciate and be proud of.

Q: What is the key attribute that a producer should have?
A: Oh, I think he has to be a good storyteller, that’s the key. Understanding what good material is and being able to translate that good material to the screen.

Q: If you had to pinpoint why the PIRATES films have been so successful, what would it be?
A: I think the fact that we hadn’t seen a pirate movie in a long time, along with great storytelling, and a brilliant director, and the fact that you have such wonderful actors playing such interesting characters; audiences just love that. –Part-Time Poet

Announcing a new addition to the Zone's photo galleries!

We have a new addition to the Zone’s Photo Galleries . . . a lovely selection of photos from Johnny’s memorable appearance at last year’s Teen Choice Awards. I’m sure you remember that freewheeling event in Los Angeles last August 20th, where several hundred fans screamed themselves into intensive care, and Johnny happily posed for pictures with Orlando Bloom, Snoop Dogg and a couple of seven-foot surfboards. That look–gold teeth and Captain Jack beard–has now passed into history as Johnny has moved on to play Sweeney Todd, but if you’d like to remember it, click on the Photo Galleries button above, choose The Deppartment, and scroll down through “Johnny’s Public Appearances” until you reach the Teen Choice Awards 2006 button. Many thanks to everyone who helped with the gallery, especially bonnie, Carasun, AnaMaria, sleepy, and Theresa. –Part-Time Poet

New Johnny Depp photo–another Zoner meets Johnny at Pinewood on April 26th!

Zone member Jacks Wench took this photo of Johnny Depp when she and two friends met Johnny outside Pinewood Studios after filming on Thursday, April 26th. Johnny is wearing a purple bandana and purple sunglasses, a familiar brown jacket and dark brown hat, and a Bob Dylan t-shirt. Somehow the group managed to keep their wits about them while they were greeting Johnny–no easy task–and they asked some good questions. So here, courtesy of Jacks Wench, is the latest available interview with Johnny Depp:

“I asked him how filming was going and he said it was going really well. I also asked him about the singing, and he said ‘It’s all finished now, all over,’ and I have to say there was definitely a sound of relief in his voice. [. . . My friend] Cheryl asked Johnny how Lily-Rose was doing. He said ‘She’s doing great.’ Cheryl also asked him if there was going to be a Paris or London premiere of PIRATES 3 but Johnny said no. Cheryl asked him if there was going to be a UK premiere for SWEENEY TODD, and he said ‘Yes.’ She asked him if he was going to be there, and he said, ‘If they’ll have me!'”

Many thanks to Jacks Wench (and her friend Cheryl) for sharing their encounter with us–you can read all the details and see more pictures on the Porch. –Part-Time Poet

May issue of Movie Entertainment Magazine (Canada) heaps praise on Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow

In the May 2007 issue of Canada’s Movie Entertainment Magazine, critic Jay Stone writes this about Johnny Depp: “How we love Johnny Depp: his unkempt good looks, his aura of vaguely rehabilitated naughtiness, his determination to keep his name below the title, so you never really know what a ‘Johnny Depp’ movie might be. Director Tim Burton calls him a character actor in a leading man’s body. And how we love Jack Sparrow, unregenerate coward, egotistical scoundrel, amoral buccaneer determined to beat the devil with a combination of betrayal, speed and good luck . . . .”

Although “unregenerate coward” is perhaps not really an accurate description of Captain Jack, who behaves heroically on more than one occasion, most of Stone’s appreciation is close to the mark and great fun to read. He invites us to imagine the consequences of different casting: “Imagine how Brad Pitt, say, could have turned the role into an unregenerate hunk, or how the ‘sensitive’ sincerity of a Jake Gyllenhaal or a Heath Ledger could have spoiled all the knavish fun.” Concludes Stone, “No other actor could have done justice to the Jack Sparrow role.”

The Zone thanks Intodadepps for posting scans of the article on the News & Views forum; you can read all of Jay Stone’s article there. Mr. Stone is the national movie writer for CanWest News Service. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp and AT WORLD'S END on ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT!

Viewers of ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT were treated to a feature on PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END during the broadcast on Wednesday, April 25th–one month before the official release of the film in North America. Brief interviews with the leading actors, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and writers Terry Rossio and Ted Elliot were intercut with clips from the movie, including some brilliant new footage. After a shot of Captain Jack Sparrow pronouncing himself “the last pirate,” Johnny Depp assured the interviewer that “Captain Jack Sparrow definitely rises up to the occasion” in AT WORLD’S END. “It’s amazing–unbelievable,” said Johnny. “I’m very excited to see how it’s all going to match up.”

According to ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, “The stars are back, and judging by these new scenes, uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer and his writers have really topped themselves.” Keira Knightley confesses, “There is a certain amount of guilt Elizabeth feels about the whole Jack situation,” no doubt referring to her character’s sleight of hand with the handcuffs at the end of DEAD MAN’S CHEST. The look on Captain Jack’s face when Elizabeth asks, “Oh, will you never forgive me?” is alone worth the price of admission. Many thanks to Intodadepps for alerting us to the ET segment and capturing the clip for our Video Clips forum, and to Theresa for video work and Susanne for screencaps of the footage.

Writers Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio promise that “All of the main characters’ stories come to a conclusion” in AT WORLD’S END. Adds Mr. Bruckheimer, “We take you to places you’ve never been before with characters you love.” What better definition of entertainment could there be?–Part-Time Poet

New producers come aboard for THE RUM DIARY, with Johnny Depp

Variety reports that a new production company, Dark & Stormy Entertainment, comprised of writer Jason Smilovic and producers Tyler Mitchell and Robert Kravis, will “shepherd the long-distilling adaptation of Hunter Thompson’s THE RUM DIARY” as one of their company’s first projects. Long-time Depp fans will recall that Johnny Depp first discussed filming the Thompson novel several years ago, but the project was delayed by scheduling conflicts and cast changes. Variety confirms that RUM DIARY “still has Johnny Depp attached and Bruce Robinson planning to direct his own script.” Robinson previously wrote and directed the classic film WITHNAIL AND I.

Jason Smilovic’s most recent project was the critically acclaimed NBC drama series KIDNAPPED, starring Timothy Hutton and Dany Delany; he also wrote the film LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN (2006), starring Josh Hartnett and Bruce Willis. Robert Kravis was an executive at Miramax, and Tyler Mitchell was a vice president at Film Engine, where he developed THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT and produced LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN. Mitchell was also a consulting producer and writer for KIDNAPPED. We wish them well as they launch their company and look forward to more news about THE RUM DIARY. Thanks to Emma for posting the news; you can read the full Variety article on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END approved for release in China

Perhaps it was the allure of actor Chow Yun-Fat as pirate Sao Feng that tipped the scales in Disney’s favor; whatever the reason, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END has been approved by Chinese censors for release in China, thus avoiding the fate that befell last summer’s blockbuster, DEAD MAN’S CHEST. Despite earning more than a billion dollars worldwide, DEAD MAN’S CHEST was banned in China last year, “due to the grotesque look of one character and some supernatural elements,” reports Screen Daily. Puzzling, since the original PIRATES film, THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, had been approved for release three years earlier, skeleton-crew and all . . . .

However, it’s mostly smooth sailing for AT WORLD’S END. The film will get a delayed opening in China–after SPIDER-MAN 3 and TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, which are scheduled to open on May 1st and May 22nd. Expect a release date in mid-June for Captain Jack Sparrow and his crew. The Zone thanks Emma for the news–you can read the full Screen Daily story and the details of the Chinese release on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

A musical rumor–Harvey Weinstein drops Johnny Depp's name for the lead in NINE

Now that Johnny Depp is toplining a major musical in Tim Burton’s SWEENEY TODD, he’s popping up on producers’ wish lists for musical films as well as dramas and comedies. Case in point: Harvey Weinstein’s planned film of the Tony-winning Broadway musical NINE. NINE is based on Fellini’s classic film 8 1/2, and focuses on the midlife crisis and complex romantic entanglements of a great director (not unlike Fellini himself). The role of Guido garnered Tony nominations for the late Raul Julia in 1982, and Johnny’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO co-star Antonio Banderas in the 2003 Broadway revival. Weinstein has CHICAGO director Rob Marshall on board. “There are roles for six women in the movie who have to be beautiful and sing and dance . . . it’s a terrible assignment to cast this,” Weinstein told reporters, but director Marshall interjected, “Thrilling!” For the six major female roles, Weinstein says, “I’m thinking Gwyneth Paltrow, Anne Hathaway, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger.” Asked how he’ll pay all the A-list actresses’ salaries, Weinstein told the New York Post, “We’ll figure it out.” And for the role of Guido? Weinstein and Marshall are said to be considering George Clooney, Javier Bardem, Antonio Banderas and (you guessed it) Johnny Depp. Thanks to Gilbert’s Girl for this juicy rumor–while it’s not likely we’ll find Johnny on board, it will be interesting to see how Weinstein handles the math for NINE. –Part-Time Poet

Tribeca Film Festival to premiere Brando documentary, with new Johnny Depp interview

The Tribeca Film Festival, which takes place in New York City from April 26 through May 6, 2007, will show the premiere of the documentary BRANDO. The film combines some never-before seen footage of the late actor with interviews with friends and colleagues, including Johnny Depp, Martin Scorsese, and Al Pacino. A production of Turner Classic Movies, the documentary will also air on the TCM cable channel on May 1st (Part 1) and May 2nd (Part 2) at 8 pm Eastern and Pacific, with repeat performances at 11 pm each day.

“Marlon Brando is probably the most influential actor of American cinema and one of the greatest cultural icons of the 20th century,” notes TCM on their website. “Brando changed the way we thought about acting and about movie stardom. [. . . It’s] hard to imagine the performances of the Deans, DeNiros and Depps without the influence–conscious or not–of Brando’s work. [. . .] Even now after his death, he remains an indelible screen persona and often still the actor against whom others are judged.” Thanks to Charlene for information about the Tribeca Film Festival and Theresa for Turner Classic Movies data. You can read more about the Brando documentary here: http://www.tcm.com/2007/brando/index.jsp –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp returns to Japan for premiere of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END on May 23rd!

Japanese Depp fans have a reason to celebrate once more–Johnny Depp will return to Japan for the Asian premiere of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END. The premiere will be held on Wednesday, May 23rd, with Johnny arriving in Japan on the 21st or 22nd, depending on travel arrangements. He will fly to Japan after attending the world premiere of AT WORLD’S END at Disneyland on Saturday evening, May 19th. According to the press release, Johnny will be accompanied by producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski, and co-star Geoffrey Rush; the report also mentions Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley and Chow-Yun-Fat, but the wording is ambiguous, so at this time their attendance at the premiere is not confirmed.

Johnny’s visits to Japan are becoming an annual event–he went to Tokyo for the premiere of DEAD MAN’S CHEST last July, and for CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY in 2005, and received wonderfully warm receptions from huge crowds. Thanks to Charlotte Depp and GAO for news about the premiere–we’re looking forward to your reports. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp wins Best Actor in the SFX Movie Awards

Readers of the influential British science fiction and fantasy magazine SFX voted Johnny Depp the Best Actor award for his performance as Captain Jack Sparrow in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST. In the best film category, the dark allegory CHILDREN OF MEN edged out DEAD MAN’S CHEST, while Best Actress was awarded to Natalie Portman for her role in V FOR VENDETTA. Best Director went to Christopher Nolan for his film about competing 19th century magicians, THE PRESTIGE. Interesting choices! “The last twelve months have been a truly exceptional time for science fiction,” notes SFX editor Dave Bradley, “with the genre dominating the cinema screen and our TV schedules.” The Zone thanks Emma for posting the news–you can read the full list of winners, including the British television categories, on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Make-A-Wish fundraiser–tickets for Disneyland AT WORLD'S END premiere available to the public!

If you are longing to be among the very first audience to see PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END, and you have plenty of cash to donate to a very worthy cause, you’re in luck: Disneyland is selling premiere tickets to the public in hopes of raising more than $3 million for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Only twelve hundred tickets will be available, however, and the cost will be steep: $1,500 per ticket. You can order tickets at www.piratespremiere.com. The premiere will be Saturday, May 19th at Disneyland in Anaheim, California–you’ve heard of it; the happiest place on earth.

“Disney is dedicated to making dreams come true and we’re extremely proud to be lending our support to the Make-A-Wish Foundation with this benefit World Premiere of PIRATES to make a difference,” says Disney chairman Dick Cook. “The Studio is extremely excited about the upcoming release of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END, and we’re pulling out all the stops to give it the send-off it deserves with a magnificent gala event at Disneyland.” Disney has jump-started the fundraising with an initial donation of more than $1 million to Make-A-Wish, and in addition, the company will underwrite all the costs of the premiere, so 100% of the ticket sales will benefit Make-A-Wish.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of America and Make-A-Wish International will share in the proceeds from the premiere; both organizations are dedicated to granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Fifty Make-A-Wish kids and their families will be Disney guests at the premiere, welcomed to the events at no charge. Says Cook, “Disney has been a longtime supporter of this wonderful organization and we’re excited to be doing something special to bring smiles to the children and their families, giving them magical moments to share.” Johnny Depp is also a longtime supporter of Make-A-Wish; he has been actively involved with the organization since his days on 21 JUMP STREET.

While the two previous PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN premieres have been spectacular, the AWE premiere promises to outshine them: “This year, we get to do a huge amount of good for a lot of kids,” says Lylle Breier, Disney’s senior VP of special events, who promises that AWE will be “the most exciting red carpet ever.” Thanks to Theresa for sharing the news; you can read all the details on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Oops–INSIDE THE ACTOR'S STUDIO DVD delayed to September

If you’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Johnny Depp’s appearance on INSIDE THE ACTOR’S STUDIO on DVD, we have a bit of bad news about that–instead of an early May release, the date has now been pushed back to September 4, 2007. No reason has been given for the delay, reports David Lambert of TVshowsonDVD.com. Thanks to DeepinDepp for the update; we’ll just have to wait until September to see the extra footage from Johnny’s appearance reportedly included on the DVD. –Part-Time Poet

Lucky fans meet Johnny Depp at Pinewood

Yes, that picture of Johnny Depp in a PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN visor, purple sunglasses, a white T-shirt and his black jacket is a new photo, taken on April 11, 2007 outside Pinewood Studios, where Johnny is currently filming SWEENEY TODD. Many thanks to Zoner Jomel10 for sharing her photos and the details of her meeting with Johnny. Jo was a member of a small group of dedicated (and very fortunate) fans who were invited to Pinewood for a quick hello and photo opportunity; you can read all the details of their charming encounter on the Porch. Our favorite comment from Johnny is his reply when asked if it was true that he would be “singing and dancing” as Sweeney: “Unfortunately, yes,” he told the group. “Well, I try to, anyway. I apologize in advance for how it turns out!” –Part-Time Poet

New picture of Johnny Depp in London on April 7th!

The photo at left shows Johnny Depp enjoying a stroll in London last Saturday, April 7th. Johnny is sporting his familiar dark blue sunglasses and is wearing a Viper Room beanie, inside-out and with the logo at the back. Johnny and Vanessa Paradis and their two children, Lily-Rose and Jack, took a sightseeing cruise on the Thames with Vanessa’s parents; photographers also captured them happily walking along the river. Johnny was carrying a paperback copy of Tom Robbins’ novel “Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates.” Long-time Depp devotees will remember that Johnny first gave a glowing review to that novel in an interview published in USA Weekend in 2003; you can read that interview in the JDZ Archives, and a lively discussion of the weekend’s pictures on the Pit. Thanks to mamabear for cropping the original paparazzi picture for us; the Zone does not publish pictures of the Depp children, so we are grateful for her work. –Part-Time Poet

ONBC to interview WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE actress Darlene Cates

Great news for Oprah Noodlemantra’s Book Club–the marvelous Darlene Cates, who portrayed Bonnie Grape, mother of Gilbert and Arnie, in WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE, will be responding to questions posed by the members of the Zone’s book club in connection with their current discussion of the novel. ONBC moderators Liz and DeppintheHeartofTexas will be accepting readers’ suggestions for questions; if you would like to participate, email your questions to jdzonbc@yahoo.com by Friday, April 20th. “Depending on how many questions we receive, we may not be able to use each and every question, and similar questions may be combined,” say the moderators. Look for the answers from Darlene, who calls herself “Johnny’s biggest fan,” on ONBC in May. Congratulations to DITHOT and Liz–we’re very proud of you and ONBC! –Part-Time Poet