Articles from July 2007

Hunter S. Thompson's THE RUM DIARY, starring Johnny Depp, gets a green light from Warner Independent Pictures

Good news for THE RUM DIARY–both Variety and the Hollywood Reporter feature stories today which say that Johnny Depp will star in Warner Independent Pictures’ adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s early novel THE RUM DIARY. The indispensable Graham King acquired the rights to THE RUM DIARY for his GK Films and Johnny’s Infinitum Nihil to produce with Warner Independent Pictures. Also among the production partners is Film Engine, with A.J. Dix, Anthony Rhulen and William Shively attached alongside Robert Kravis and Greg Shapiro. As previously announced, Bruce Robinson will write and direct the adaptation; Robinson wrote and directed the cult classic WITHNAIL AND I, one of Johnny’s favorite films.

According to a GK spokesperson quoted in The Hollywood Reporter, THE RUM DIARY should be scheduled for production “shortly after principal photography is completed on Depp’s next film, Mira Nair’s crime drama SHANTARAM.” SHANTARAM is rumored to be starting after the holidays and shooting through May 2008.

The Zone thanks Mrs Pink and Theresa for posting the articles from Variety and The Hollywood Reporter; you can read both on the News & Views forum. Congratulations to everyone who is working to bring THE RUM DIARY to the screen; we hope your efforts will be crowned with success. –Part-Time Poet

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END to be released on DVD December 4th

For those pirate fans eagerly awaiting the chance to own a (legal) copy of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END, Disney has announced that the year’s worldwide box office champion will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray Disc in Region 1 on December 4, 2007 . . . just in time for holiday gift-giving. The release date announced for the UK is a couple of weeks earlier–November 19th. Shoppers will have several choices, including a single-disc DVD for $29.99 which includes the film and the blooper reel (only); a two-disc DVD version for $34.99 which adds a disc of behind-the-scenes features; and a 2-disc 75GB Blu-ray for $35.99, which includes all the special behind-the-scenes features in HD, plus “Enter the Maelstrom,” a detailed one-hour feature hosted by producer Jerry Bruckheimer, which explores how the maelstrom sequence was constructed.

Behind-the-scenes features on the two-disc DVD include “Anatomy of a Scene: The Maelstrom;” “Keith & the Captain,” described as “a revealing look at the dynamic relationship between living legends Keith Richards and Johnny Depp;” “Tale of the Multiple Jacks,” which explores the special effects that created multiple Jack Sparrows; “Hoist the Colors,” about the song’s composition; 5 individual documentaries called “Masters of Design,” focusing on AWE’s outstanding designers; “Inside the Brethren Court” and “The Pirate Code: Revealed,” two features which give back story on the Pirate Lords and the history of piracy; “The World of Chow Yun Fat;” and “The Pirate Maestro: The Music of Hans Zimmer.” More details on the DVD and Blu-ray content can be found on the Zone’s News & Views forum–many thanks to emma and Gilbert’s Girl for the news. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp appears in all U.S. entertainment magazines for August 6th issues!

Thanks to the recent set of photographs of Johnny Depp vacationing on his yacht, the Vajoliroja, in the Mediterranean off the coast of the Italian island of Elba, the U.S. entertainment magazines all found a reason to include Johnny in their pages this week (issue date August 6, 2007). PEOPLE features our Picture of the Week on page 6 in Star Tracks; STAR has the same photo opposite their table of contents on page 8; and US includes that photo in a 3-photo spread on pages 22-23 (they also show smaller pictures of Johnny applying sunblock and reading a book). IN TOUCH chooses the shot in our thumbnail (see page 21), while LIFE & STYLE (page 18) and OK! both choose a similar shot where Johnny is holding sunblock. OK! has a small inset cover photo of Johnny (from the MontBlanc anniversary in Geneva last year) and a one-column article on page 10, but there is no new information–simply a rehash of wedding rumors from unnamed sources. You can see scans of all the photos on the Zone’s News & Views forum; many thanks to Donna B. for her scan of the OK! article. –Part-Time Poet

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp's Infinitum-Nihil acquires rights to make a feature film of DARK SHADOWS!

Johnny Depp playing Barnabas Collins, the angst-ridden vampire of Collinsport? Yes–that’s not just a dream of DARK SHADOWS fans anymore. According to Michael Fleming of Variety, Warner Bros. is joining Infinitum-Nihil (Johnny’s production company) and Graham King’s Initial Entertainment Group to develop a feature film based on DARK SHADOWS, the unique gothic daytime drama which ran for 1,225 episodes on ABC from 1966-1971. Writes Fleming, “A rights deal just closed with the estate of Dan Curtis, the producer/director who created the soap [. . .] . Depp and King will produce with David Kennedy, who ran Dan Curtis Prods. until Curtis died last year of a brain tumor. Infinitum-Nihil’s Christi Dembrowski served as the point person on the deal.”

Johnny Depp has spoken frequently of his affection for DARK SHADOWS, especially the character of Barnabas Collins as played by Jonathan Frid–to see a photo of Frid as Barnabas, click here: http://tinyurl.com/2s9wo7 “Depp has said in interviews that he has always been obsessed with DARK SHADOWS and has wanted to play Collins, the vampire patriarch of the series,” notes Fleming. Coincidentally, series creator Dan Curtis gave his blessing to Johnny playing his most famous character in an interview given on September 18, 2002. Responding to a suggestion that a DARK SHADOWS remake would work if Johnny Depp were cast as Barnabas, Curtis replied: “I agree that Johnny Depp would be great as a new Barnabas.”

We have an accord! Congratulations to everyone involved–we can’t wait to see Johnny as Barnabas Collins. Thanks to Theresa for breaking the story and FANtasticJD for the Dan Curtis interview. You can read the full Variety article, and a spirited discussion of DARK SHADOWS, on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

New SWEENEY TODD poster debuts at ComicCon

Here’s the first look at artwork promoting the Tim Burton film of SWEENEY TODD; the image shows Johnny Depp (as Todd) sitting in his lethal barber’s chair and brandishing a razor in his right hand, while over his shoulder a fog-shrouded image of Big Ben appears through a window. The words “Never forget. Never forgive.” appear in red beneath Todd’s feet. Johnny’s name appears above the title (“Johnny Depp is . . . SWEENEY TODD”), and the release date is given as “This Christmas.” The poster was shown at ComicCon in San Diego today as part of the DreamWorks slate; it also appeared on Entertainment Tonight. You can see a larger version of the poster here: http://tinyurl.com/2rk8cy

Many thanks to Holden, who found the original image at ET.online, SB, capnjacksgirl85, and JD101, who posted successively larger versions of the poster on the Zone’s News & Views forum. You can read a lively discussion of the poster and all things SWEENEY TODD there. –Part-Time Poet

BREAKING NEWS–New photos of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis on their yacht in the Mediterranean!

That’s a brand new photo of Johnny Depp, taken on Friday, July 20th, as he cruised the Mediterranean off the island of Elba near the coast of Italy. Johnny and Vanessa Paradis were snapped by paparazzi on board their yacht, the Vajoliroja (formerly the Anatolia, now re-christened in honor of the members of the Depp family. FANtasticJD points out that the yacht’s name is comprised of the first two letters of VAnessa, JOhnny, LIly ROse and JAck–good catch, FAN!). Many thanks to bonnie for sharing the photos with us. To see a full-length photo of Johnny, click here: http://tinyurl.com/2bgs3u and to see a photo of Johnny and Vanessa together on deck, click here: http://tinyurl.com/2y9fr4 Clearly Johnny still has quite a bit of the pirate in his soul: his yacht’s new name, said rapidly, sounds like “the Jolly Roger!” –Part-Time Poet

Announcing a new photo gallery for the Johnny Depp Zone!

We’re happy to announce the latest addition to the Zone’s Photo Galleries: we have added a gallery for the AT WORLD’S END Premiere at Disneyland. It features 44 swoon-worthy pictures of Johnny on the red carpet and waving to the premiere audience from the stage. We hope this gallery will bring back happy memories for those who were at Disneyland or on the Zone on May 19th and will delight new fans who discover Johnny and want to learn about him.

To see the new gallery, click on the Photo Galleries button above, select THE DEPPARTMENT, and scroll down through “Johnny’s Public Appearances.” The gallery for the AWE Premiere is the last entry in that section.

Many thanks to everyone who helped make this gallery possible, especially bonnie, Carasun, Aisha, AnaMaria, sleepy, and theresa. –Part-Time Poet

Actor Adam Beach credits Johnny Depp as his inspiration

Johnny Depp might be surprised to know that actor Adam Beach credits Johnny’s work in 21 JUMP STREET for inspiring him to pursue acting as a profession. But that’s exactly what Beach told the Television Critics Association recently, when he appeared to promote his new role as a detective on NBC’s LAW & ORDER:SVU. The Canadian actor, who grew up on the Dog Creek Indian Reserve in Manitoba before moving to Winnipeg, told the assembled reporters, “Johnny Depp was the one who made me want to act. [Depp] was doing 21 JUMP STREET and he was playing these different characters that were involved with different high schools. And as a kid, I just wanted to live a different life.”

Added Beach, “Coming from the second-worst neighborhood in Canada, my neighborhood was predominantly Native, and the statistics for people coming out of that neighbourhood was 80% going to jail. But we’re not just a statistic of failure. There are some of us who are doing good.”

Adam Beach received excellent reviews for his role in Clint Eastwood’s FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS. Now he has another high-profile role on LAW & ORDER: SVU playing a Native American character. He hopes he can help to change many of the negative perceptions about Native people. “LAW & ORDER basically did in one year what I’ve been trying to do for 17 years, which is to get away from the stereotype of the Hollywood Indian,” Beach said. “Here’s this character, he’s a detective, yes he’s Mohawk, and he has a depth in that his ancestors built New York City.” The Zone wishes Adam Beach well in his new role; you can read the full interview with Beach on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Happy 70th Birthday to the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the birth of the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Needless to say, the Zone very much regrets that the Good Doctor is not here to lift a glass and celebrate his remarkable life with his loved ones. But his vivid and prescient writing lives on, as does the indelible mark he left on the memories of those who met him in person or through his work. We send condolences to Hunter Thompson’s family and friends, and to Colonel Depp, whose portrayal of Raoul Duke in FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS served as an introduction to HST’s work for so many. We are grateful that we got to travel along with Hunter on some of his adventures, and we miss him. Happy Birthday, dear Doctor. –Part-Time Poet

"The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg" DVD features Johnny Depp interview

The photo at left shows Johnny Depp as he speaks about Allen Ginsberg; the Depp interview is included on the second disc of THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ALLEN GINSBERG in the deluxe two-disc set released on July 17, 2007. Here’s what Amazon.com has to say about the DVD: “The re-release of Jerry Aronson’s biopic, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ALLEN GINSBERG, timed to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of “Howl,” suits this wonderful documentary and proves Ginsberg central to all radical artistic and political movements of the past 60 years. The feature-length film, segmented by decade, provides ample footage of Ginsberg’s life; but extras added into this package, including footage of his memorial and 35 interviews with artists inspired by the visionary poet–from Beck to Lawrence Ferlinghetti–solidify Ginsberg as an American cultural icon.”

Johnny is one of those artists inspired by Ginsberg, and the Depp interview is a substantial one. It includes Johnny’s story of how the famous photograph in Allen Ginsberg’s kitchen was taken–if you don’t remember that photo, click here: http://tinyurl.com/2rdg2u

The DVD is available from Amazon.com for $26.19 (a 25% discount) and qualifies for free shipping; you may also order it through the website here: http://tinyurl.com/2stgey Many thanks to Roux~Gal for the news and AnaMaria for the photographs; you can read more about the Ginsberg DVD on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Hats off to PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END–now #5 on all-time box office list!

As the summer of 2007 rolls along, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END has been quietly and steadily piling up box office receipts around the world. The latest take puts AT WORLD’S END’s box office gross at $304.5 million domestic and a whopping $624.9 million international, for a worldwide total of $929.4 million. This places AT WORLD’S END fifth on the list of all-time moneymakers, exceeded only by TITANIC, THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING, its sister ship PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST, and the first of the Harry Potter films, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE. This is an amazing feat in a very competitive summer–congratulations to Disney, Jerry Bruckheimer, Gore Verbinski, and their marvelous band of pirates!–Part-Time Poet

It's Captain Jack Sparrow vs. Davy Jones and the Kraken–at the New England Sand Sculpting Festival

Just to show how thoroughly the influence of the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN films permeates popular culture, this year’s New England Sand Sculpting Festival, held on Revere Beach in Massachusetts, features as its festival centerpiece an enormous sand sculpture of Captain Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl confronting the kraken and Jack’s nemesis, Davy Jones. That’s a bit of Davy Jones’s face, rendered convincingly tentacley despite the decidedly non-slippery medium, in the thumbnail at left. To understand the size of these sculptures, check out this photo of Davy Jones with sand sculptor Deb Cutulle of Saugus, Massachusetts at work on the kraken tentacle behind him: http://tinyurl.com/2wvsk9 Larger than life, indeed! And here’s a team of sculptors at work creating a 12-foot-tall Captain Jack Sparrow on the deck of the Black Pearl: http://tinyurl.com/2k4psb Hats off to these talented sculptors and of course to the brilliant artists who created the movie world of Captain Jack and implanted it forever in our imaginations.

The New England Sand Sculpting Festival is one of the premiere events for sand sculptors around the world and runs from July 6th through July 15th. The grand prize for individual sculptors is $10,000. Many thanks to Bohemian for sharing the story. –Part-Time Poet

"It's got a lot of blood in it and that's fine by me"–Stephen Sondheim discusses the film of SWEENEY TODD

Speaking at the Theatre Royal in Sydney, Australia last Friday, Stephen Sondheim, who wrote the music and lyrics for the award-winning musical SWEENEY TODD, discussed Tim Burton’s film adaptation, due for release at the end of the year. “It has got a lot of blood in it and that’s fine by me,” says Sondheim of the film, which stars Johnny Depp as the notorious demon barber of Fleet Street. Sondheim acknowledges that some of the musical has been cut in the interest of time, but agrees that doing the full stage text would make the film “too long.” As for the cuts, “There are songs that have been cut, and cuts within some of the songs, but generally it is pretty much the score,” says Sondheim. As for the twists and turns of the story, “The plot is very little changed . . . . It is pretty faithful.”

Sondheim understands and respects the challenge of writing for the film; he co-wrote an acclaimed mystery movie, THE LAST OF SHEILA, with actor Anthony Perkins in 1973. Although the pair won the Edgar Award, given by the Mystery Writers of America, for best mystery film of the year, Sondheim never wrote another screenplay, nor has he any further aspirations to turn screenwriter: “Film is a director’s medium,” he says, “and I would not have the patience to direct even if I had the talent for it.”

The Zone thanks emma for the report from Sydney; you can read the full article from The Australian on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Announcing the Johnny Depp Zone's new Reflections Archive!

We’re celebrating the Zone’s 3rd Birthday on this site by adding something new to the Johnny Depp Zone Archives. The Reflections Archive now joins Interviews, By Johnny, and Fan Fiction; Reflections contains brief comments made about Johnny Depp in the media over the past twenty years. Most of these quotes come from Johnny’s friends and colleagues, but some are from celebrities with no known connection to Johnny Depp; they simply find him fascinating . . . as we all do.

The Reflections Archive is Sleepy’s brainchild; she has been collecting quotes about Johnny ever since she began the Zone. Many thanks to her for starting this project, and to Joni and Theresa, the editors of the Archives, for all their work as well. The Reflections Archive is a great place to browse–you can learn a lot about Johnny Depp in a short time here, and it’s great fun to see what other people have to say about Johnny . . . what he’s like to work with, and what he’s like as a human being. You can visit Reflections by clicking on the JDZ Archives button above. –Part-Time Poet

Happy 3rd Birthday to the Johnny Depp Zone! We're celebrating!

Yes, this venture of Sleepy’s and mine has been underway for three years now, continuing the Zone tradition that goes back more than 9 years. We officially opened the “new” Zone on July 9, 2004, the first anniversary of the release of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL. When we began the website, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY had just started shooting at Pinewood, CORPSE BRIDE had just been announced, there were rumors FINDING NEVERLAND would finally be released in the fall, and Johnny had just bought an island in the Exuma chain in the Bahamas. Johnny’s production company, Infinitum Nihil, had just been formed. THE LIBERTINE was in post-production and headed for a work-in-progress showing at the Toronto Film Festival.

How time flies! We are celebrating and reminiscing on the Porch and on ONBC, as we share our memories and look toward the future with SWEENEY TODD and SHANTARAM and many other projects still unnamed. Thanks to Shadow for our birthday card and to all the Zone staff for their tireless efforts. Sleepy and I want to thank everyone who has helped us along the way, and all of our members for making the Zone a wonderful place to be. Most of all, thanks and much love always to Johnny Depp–he’s the reason we’re here! –Part-Time Poet

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END reaches $300 million in domestic box office–cheers!

Congratulations to Jerry Bruckheimer, Gore Verbinski, Johnny Depp and the cast and crew of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END, which passed the $300-million mark in domestic box office on Saturday, July 7th! David Germain of the Associated Press reports that “Disney’s PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END took in $3 million to climb to $301.7 million domestically.” Combined with its outstanding overseas performance, AT WORLD’S END now ranks 9th on the list of all-time box office performance, with a worldwide take of $901.6 million; it just passed HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE, and has JURASSIC PARK in its sights. Well done! –Part-Time Poet

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END earns seven 2007 Teen Choice Awards nominations!

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END has received seven nominations for the 2007 Teen Choice Awards–congratulations! The film is nominated as Choice Movie: Action Adventure; Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom are both nominated as Choice Movie Actor: Action Adventure; and Keira Knightley is nominated as Choice Movie Actress: Action Adventure. Bill Nighy’s Davy Jones earned a nomination as Choice Movie Villain, Keira and Orlando’s kiss rated a nod in Choice Liplock, and AWE received a nomination for Best Rumble. The Teen Choice Awards will be televised live on Fox on Sunday night, August 26th, at 8 pm Eastern.

If you would like to vote for the Teen Choice Awards, go here: http://www.fox.com/teenchoice/ but be warned–the voting site is not exactly user-friendly, so be prepared for some frustration to cast your ballot. Best wishes to all the nominees–we hope to see you carrying surfboards home on August 26th! Thanks to rumsgone for the news. –Part-Time Poet

August UNCUT features exclusive UK interview with Johnny Depp and Keith Richards!

The UK movie-and-music magazine UNCUT celebrates its 10th anniversary in a big way: its August issue features a cover story on Bob Dylan and a “UK- exclusive joint interview with Keith Richards and Johnny Depp.” According to associate publisher Gareth Beesley, “UNCUT is celebrating its tenth anniversary with an all star cast this month: the celebratory August issue is packed full of features and interviews with many of our heroes from music and film.” On the subject of heroes, Johnny concedes to UNCUT that he was “afraid to meet” Keith Richards “for a long time, because there is always a fear that your heroes are going to be sh**heads.” As for Keith Richards, he admits that his first reaction to Johnny Depp was “‘Not another one of my [. . .] son’s friends’ [. . . .] Johnny started kind of like that and then he worked his way up with me.” While the interview may be exclusive in the U.K., U.S. readers will recognize it as the one that ran in ROLLING STONE last month.

The August 2007 issue of UNCUT goes on sale in the United Kingdom today, July 3rd. Happy hunting, and thanks to AnaMaria for the cover image and interview snippet. –Part-Time Poet

Congratulations! PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END tops the global box office for 2007!

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END is now the biggest international and global release of calendar year 2007, as its worldwide and international box office totals passed SPIDER-MAN 3. AT WORLD’S END took in $14.1 million in overseas box office last week, making it the sixth biggest international film in history with a box office total of $608.9 million, reports Screen Daily. The third PIRATES film seems likely to move up one spot on this chart in a few more days, as it will soon pass the $614.7 million earned by the current #5 international film, HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS.

AT WORLD’S END now ranks ninth on the all-time worldwide box office charts, with a combined international and domestic box office of $905 million. Its performance tops SPIDER-MAN 3, which was released several weeks earlier yet has a worldwide box office total to date of $882 million. AT WORLD’S END needs less than $10 million in combined box office to pass the eighth-place film, JURASSIC PARK.

Congratulations to our favorite pirates on this wonderful achievement! Many thanks to emma, rumsgone and RumLover for the box office updates; you can read the news stories and see RumLover’s helpful graph of box office totals on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet