Articles from October 2007

Announcing a new gallery for the Zone–our third featuring Japanese magazine covers

Japanese movie and entertainment magazines have featured Johnny Depp on so many covers this year that we had to add a separate gallery just for 2007 . . . and although the year is not yet complete, there are already 31 covers in this gallery. Wow. You can check out the gallery and marvel at the array of poses of Captain Jack Sparrow–definitely the editors’ favorite character–by clicking on the PHOTO GALLERIES button above, selecting THE DEPPARTMENT, and scrolling down to the gallery named “Japanese Covers 2007,” which features the picture at left.

Many thanks to Sleepy for putting the gallery together, and to her friend Kyoko for all her help. We would also like to thank Zoners GAO and Hiro3 for their help with the new gallery; Hiro3 generously shared many of her scans with the Zone. We really appreciate your kindness! –Part-Time Poet

INSIDE THE ACTOR'S STUDIO DVD of Johnny Depp contains NO new footage of Johnny

The saga of the promised but many-times-postponed release of the DVD of Johnny Depp’s appearance on INSIDE THE ACTOR’S STUDIO has taken another disappointing turn. The initial press release indicated that the DVD would contain additional footage from Johnny’s appearance with James Lipton that did not air on the Bravo channel–much more is filmed than can be shown in a one-hour program with commercials. Deppheads were eagerly awaiting those lost moments of Johnny’s interview . . . but, alas, we are not going to see any new footage on the DVD. Here’s an excerpt from Jamie S. Rich’s review of the ITAS DVD, now scheduled for release on November 20th for a price of $14.99:

“Depp is a good subject, openly guarded and shy, thoughtfully considering his answers and what he is willing to share. A droll sense of humor emerges the more comfortable he gets in the hot seat. [. . .] The show runs a little over fifty minutes, and Depp’s perspective is wholly unique, as anyone who has tracked his choices of acting roles will already know. It would have been preferable to get some kind of updated edition, covering his transition into blockbuster superstar in the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movies and his further explorations with his regular collaborator, Tim Burton, up to and including the forthcoming SWEENEY TODD.”

Under “Extras,” the reviewer on DVDTalk.com notes, “Unlike previous INSIDE THE ACTOR’S STUDIO releases, the Johnny Depp disc has no deleted scenes. The only extra here is James Lipton’s new video introduction that plays before the episode. That’s it. Not even a scene selection menu. ” That’s certainly a disappointment–we were hoping to see more of this fascinating interview.

The Zone thanks Theresa for locating the Jamie Rich review and posting it on the News & Views forum. You can read the complete article there. –Part-Time Poet

Announcing the Zone's new SWEENEY TODD photo gallery!

To celebrate Halloween and all the excitement surrounding the impending release of SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET–which can’t get here soon enough!–we’ve put together a brand new gallery of pictures from the first SWEENEY TODD trailer. To access the new gallery, click on the PHOTO GALLERIES button above, select BY FILM, and scroll down to the last gallery entry, where you’ll find this picture welcoming you to the demon barber’s macabre world.

Many thanks to Susanne and AnaMaria for sharing their screencaps with us; these beautiful images of Johnny as Sweeney will help ease the wait until we can see him create the character on the silver screen. Or (since it’s SWEENEY and Tim Burton) should that be a silver-and-red screen? –Part-Time Poet

DARK SHADOWS' owners approached Johnny Depp to play Barnabas eight years ago

In Hollywood, movie projects–even dream projects–often take many years to reach the screen. For example, last July when Johnny Depp’s Infinitum Nihil signed an agreement with Dan Curtis Productions to make a new DARK SHADOWS film, it came as a bolt from the blue to most Depp fans, who assumed that Johnny had initiated and pursued the project because of his lifelong love of the franchise and the role of vampire Barnabas Collins. But that was not a case: on the contrary, Dan Curtis Productions approached Johnny Depp . . . and they initiated talks eight years ago, when SLEEPY HOLLOW took the box office by storm.

“We’ve always wanted to do it as another feature and I read that Johnny Depp was a fan of the show so we approached his people,” Jim Pierson of Dan Curtis Productions told reporter Richard Knight Jr. “This was like eight years ago, when SLEEPY HOLLOW came out.” Scheduling could never be worked out, though, says Pierson, because “Johnny Depp’s always been so busy [. . .] . But now he’s figured out a way to squeeze it in his schedule.” At the end of July, an agreement was signed to develop DARK SHADOWS as a film for Johnny; “there’s no word on whether [Tim] Burton will join him” as director, notes Knight, although Burton expressed interest in directing the project when it was first broached in 1999. Internet speculation that Rob Zombie might direct the film is just a rumor, says Pierson. He assures DARK SHADOWS fans that the agreement with Infinitum Nihil, GK Films and Warner Bros. requires the new movie “to be faithful to the original premise of the show”–it will respect the DARK SHADOWS mythology.

Original DARK SHADOWS cast members are delighted with the new movie and the prospect of Johnny Depp becoming the next Barnabas C0llins. Pierson reports that the original Barnabas, Jonathan Frid, autographed a photo for Johnny “and certainly wishes him well.” Lara Parker, who created the role of the witch Angelique, told Richard Knight, “I’m very proud that Johnny Depp is going to make a movie from our show. [. . .] I think he’ll be marvelous.” Ms. Parker, who has penned a couple of DARK SHADOWS-themed novels, sees no reason to stop with a single film. “I think there could be not one, but many made. There are five years of DARK SHADOWS stories to draw on, after all.”

Many thanks to Emma for posting the Richard Knight Jr. article; you can read it in its entirety on the Zone’s News & Views forum, or here: http://tinyurl.com/25cags As for our photograph of Johnny Depp with fangs, that’s Shadow’s interpretation of what Johnny’s Barnabas Collins might look like. We thank her for sharing it; you can see a larger version here: http://tinyurl.com/2zcu83 –Part-Time Poet

"Absolutely fantastic"–a review of SWEENEY TODD from the first screening

Steve Biodrowski is a lucky man–he attended the first screening of Tim Burton’s SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET on Tuesday, October 23rd in Los Angeles. Fortunately for us, Mr. Biodrowski is also an articulate man with a good memory. “Got a sneak peak at SWEENEY TODD on Tuesday, and it is absolutely fantastic,” he declares on the Cinefantastique website. Biodrowski pronounces the movie “one of the best things Tim Burton has ever directed! [. . .] The movie is pretty much your dream of what it would be when you first heard that Burton and Johnny Depp would be turning the Stephen Sondheim musical into a movie,” says Biodrowski. “It’s a dark, brooding horror-musical-comedy that hits all the right notes.”

As for Johnny’s interpretation of the demon barber, “Depp casts aside the over-the-top antics of Jack Sparrow for a much more self-contained performance,” writes Biodrowski, “in which the emotions (primarily a lust for revenge) ooze up to the surface in controlled bursts; without ever blunting the character’s knife-sharp edge, the actor demands that we sympathize and root for Sweeney as he slashes his way through half the throats in London.” Biodrowski has much more to say, including lavish praise for the supporting cast; you can read his comments in full on the Zone’s News & Views forum. Many thanks to Emma for sharing the review!

The screening was conducted for marketing purposes, so the audience was polled after the movie to gauge their reactions. “It was clear that the small audience (a bit over forty, made up mostly of fans of Burton and/or Johnny Depp) loved the film,” says Biodrowski. “Over thirty called it great; eight called it very good; two said it was merely good; and no one disliked it.” We imagine the marketers, as well as the audience, went home happy. –Part-Time Poet

A new SWEENEY TODD trailer premieres!

Viewers of Spike TV’s 2007 Scream Awards got an unexpected delight when they were treated to a World Premiere of a new trailer for Tim Burton’s Christmas release, SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET. The footage was captured and posted on YouTube (but of course) and can be seen here: http://tinyurl.com/2w9rel Many thanks to myfave for sharing the news and alerting us to the presence of the trailer during the broadcast! CinemaBlend has posted another (slightly different) official trailer on YouTube, rumored to be the one designated for overseas audiences: http://tinyurl.com/2ogppd Neither of these trailers has yet made it to the official SWEENEY TODD website, but hopefully we will see them there soon. You can check the official website here: http://tinyurl.com/3dyk9j Until then, there’s always YouTube. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp and Keith Richards win 2007 SCREAM Awards from Spike TV

Congratulations to the Sparrow boys, father and son–both Johnny Depp as Captain Jack and Keith Richards as Captain Teague won their categories at the 2007 SCREAM Awards, broadcast on Tuesday October 23rd on Spike TV. Johnny was honored as Fantasy Hero for his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END, while Keith scooped up the award for Best Cameo in the same film. Keith accepted his award via videotape, with a very funny speech. Alas, Johnny did not attend the awards . . . but he did make an appearance as Sweeney Todd in a new trailer for the Tim Burton film which was shown during the ceremony, to great acclaim.

Johnny’s performance as Captain Jack Sparrow in AT WORLD’S END collected another award this week, as he was voted Best Movie Actor at the UK edition of the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. Thanks to Theresa and myfave for the awards news, and congratulations to Johnny and Keith! –Part-Time Poet

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN Soundtrack Treasures Collection to be released December 4th

If you love the music from the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movies, you’ll want to put the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN SOUNDTRACK TREASURES COLLECTION on your holiday wish list. The 5-disc box set will be released on December 4, 2007 and includes the soundtracks from THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, DEAD MAN’S CHEST and AT WORLD’S END, plus a CD of brand new remixes and a behind-the-scenes DVD about the making of the music, with interviews with composer Hans Zimmer. The set is being advertised as “a true collector’s item” and it comes with a collector’s item price–suggested retail of $74.98 (gulp). The box set is available for pre-order from Amazon.com for $64.97 with free shipping: http://tinyurl.com/3ycavg Thanks to Lucky13 for sharing the news. –Part-Time Poet

USA TODAY sees Johnny Depp and SWEENEY TODD as strong Oscar contenders

USA TODAY’s Life section features a substantial article on this year’s Oscar race by Anthony Breznican, who assesses the awards chances of films already released this year and those waiting in the wings. He points out that many of the early releases that were touted as potential Oscar candidates have fizzled at the box office, leaving room for the November and December releases to eclipse them and garner the awards. Breznican sees three “powerhouse films” looming on the horizon: NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR and, yes, Tim Burton’s SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET. Breznican especially likes Johnny’s chances in the Oscar sweepstakes: “Johnny Depp is likely to be a fearsome opponent when Tim Burton’s musical SWEENEY TODD, about a serial-killing London barber in the early 1800s, makes its crimson splash on the big screen,” he writes. It’s great to see SWEENEY TODD and Johnny Depp so prominently mentioned on the “likely nominee” list.

You can read the entire article on the Zone’s News & Views forum or on the USA TODAY website: http://tinyurl.com/2h34l2 –Part-Time Poet

NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET director Wes Craven says "Johnny Depp owes his career to my daughter"

Every great career starts somewhere, and Johnny Depp’s first movie job was playing the protagonist’s boyfriend in Wes Craven’s surprise horror classic, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. Interviewed for a television program called “Inside Haunted Hollywood,” set to air on Saturday, October 20th, on Fine Living TV, the director credits, not his own instincts, but his daughter Jessica’s discerning eye for his decision to cast Johnny in the 1984 film. “I could make up all kinds of stories about why I had the perception and presence to cast Johnny Depp, but I would be a liar,” Craven admits. “We were looking for someone in the role as Nancy’s boyfriend . . . the boy next door . . . and in comes Johnny Depp with a friend–the long hair, his fingers were yellow, and I thought, ‘This isn’t the boy next door and he can’t act and he’s so nervous. Sweet, but . . . ‘ ”

What changed the director’s mind and made him decide to cast Johnny in the role of Glen Lantz? Craven reports that his daughter Jessica saw Johnny’s audition photos and said, “He’s beautiful!” Persuaded by her reaction, Craven discarded his concept of Nancy’s boyfriend as a blond boy-next-door. He cast Johnny Depp instead–thank you, Mr. Craven!–and the rest is movie history. –Part-Time Poet

Get your tickets now–Tim Burton to speak in New York City on November 14th!

The Film Society of Lincoln Center, displaying impeccable taste, will present FRESH BLOOD: AN EVENING WITH TIM BURTON–A FIRST LOOK AT FOOTAGE FROM SWEENEY TODD on Wednesday evening, November 14th, at the Rose Theater, Broadway and 60th Streets, New York City. Here’s what the Film Society of Lincoln Center has to say about their honored guest: “Witty, often elegant and always unpredictable, the films of Tim Burton have created a special niche for themselves within contemporary cinema. A born spinner of tall tales, whose subjects have ranged from Martians to Z-list Hollywood directors to, now, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Burton takes audiences places they’d never thought they’d go–and in ways they couldn’t have imagined. We’re delighted to welcome Tim Burton for an evening of conversation, clips featuring some of the greatest moments from his films, and a ‘first look’ at his eagerly anticipated screen adaptation of SWEENEY TODD, marking his sixth collaboration with Johnny Depp.”

This event is open to the public, so if you are in the New York area, how can you resist? Orchestra and mezzanine tickets are $50 for Film Society members and $60 for the general public; balcony tickets are $40 for Film Society members and $50 for everyone else. To order tickets for FRESH BLOOD: AN EVENING WITH TIM BURTON, click here: http://tinyurl.com/28askd and to read the press release from the Film Society of Lincoln Center, click here: http://tinyurl.com/ytv6ht Many thanks to Emma for bringing us the news! You can read more about it on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

SWEENEY TODD press junket dates set for London, November 23-25

Exciting news–there will be a three-day press junket in London to publicize the upcoming release of Tim Burton’s film of the Stephen Sondheim musical SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET, starring Johnny Depp! The junket will take place from November 23rd through November 25th . . . which coincides with the Thanksgiving holiday weekend for Deppheads in the U.S. Our advice–do your holiday shopping early so you can avoid the crush at the mall, and enjoy the weekend watching new Johnny Depp pictures and interviews arrive from London.

A U.S. press junket is tentatively scheduled for the following weekend, Saturday, December 1st and Sunday, December 2nd in Los Angeles, but those dates have not been confirmed yet. Hopefully this will allow a SWEENEY TODD screening (or two) for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, as the Golden Globes nomination ballots are due by December 10th. Many thanks to Emma for the press junket information and FANtasticJD for the Golden Globes dates. You can read more about the press junket on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

SWEENEY TODD soundtrack CD arrives on December 18th

For all the Johnny Depp fans who can’t wait to hear him sing, the soundtrack CD for Tim Burton’s film SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET will be released in region 1 on Tuesday, December 18th . . . three days before the film arrives in North American movie theaters. The soundtrack will retail for $18.98; it is available for pre-order from Amazon.com for $14.99. To see the Amazon entry, click here: http://tinyurl.com/3yaekh Deppheads in the UK can hear the score one day earlier–UK release date is December 17th. Thanks to SqueakyDoor and emma for the information.

Mark Salisbury’s behind-the-scenes guide to the film, also called SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET, will be released on December 4th. It has a list price of $30.00 but is available for pre-order at Amazon.com for $19.80. http://tinyurl.com/yoq7ov Salisbury’s book features an introduction by Tim Burton; his previous work includes the companion volume for THE CORPSE BRIDE. Both the soundtrack and the Mark Salisbury book would make excellent holiday gifts for your favorite Depphead. –Part-Time Poet

Great buzz for the SWEENEY TODD trailer: "I think Johnny Depp could fly," says E's Daily 10

The just-released SWEENEY TODD trailer has been generating a lot of excitement in the media–responding to the trailer shown on E!’s “Daily 10” news show, the host declared, “I think Johnny Depp could fly.” Variety’s blogger Anne Thompson assessed the trailer with an eye to the marketplace, noting that the two-and-a-half minute trailer used a narrative introduction to SWEENEY rather than the opening musical number (“Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd” etc.) : “DreamWorks/ Paramount’s first trailer for the Tim Burton film [. . .] downplays the score. The marketers are playing this one carefully. They don’t want to turn people off. They figure that they have the Sondheim and theater buffs who know the music. It’s everyone else they want to lure into the theater. Yes, Johnny Depp does break into song in this trailer,” Thompson assures all those who were skeptical about Johnny singing the demanding role. “And he’s singing the right words to the right music. ‘At last my arm is complete again!’ Yes, it does send a chill.”

The website for the UK’s EMPIRE Magazine has a wonderfully witty slideshow called “Who’s Who in the SWEENEY TODD Trailer,” which introduces each of the characters; you can see it here: http://tinyurl.com/2bq6qq It’s well worth a visit. Many thanks to FANtasticJD for the slideshow, to Cindy for the E! story, and to Emma for the Variety blog. The photo is cropped from Susanne’s screencaps of the trailer–many thanks, Susanne! –Part-Time Poet

The SWEENEY TODD trailer is here–and wow!

A feast for the eye and the ear, the trailer for Tim Burton’s SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET, starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, is now online. Can’t wait to see it? No worries–you can view the two-and-a-half minute trailer here: http://tinyurl.com/2plkwt The trailer is available in standard format and in high definition. You can also find the trailer posted on the official SWEENEY TODD website, along with some evocative wallpaper: http://www.sweeneytoddmovie.com/ The Zone thanks Mrs Pink for posting the trailer, and pandora and Susanne for their video work; the beautiful screencap of Sweeney Todd at left is courtesy of AnaMaria. Here’s another of her screencaps of Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd: http://tinyurl.com/2vx49j and one of Johnny with Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett: http://tinyurl.com/2knxnt Many thanks to AnaMaria for sharing her work! –Part-Time Poet

SWEENEY TODD is coming! The trailer premieres in Europe October 4th!

It’s finally here! After months of anticipation, Warner Bros. Pictures–which is handling overseas distribution for SWEENEY TODD–has announced a release date for trailers for the movie. According to their press release, “[E]xciting new footage from the highly anticipated first quarter 2008 worldwide release of SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET” will be released via satellite feed in Europe on October 4th between 2300-2315 GMT, and at the same time in Latin America. The Australian release is October 5th, 0900-0915 EST. Paramount is handling the U.S. theatrical release of SWEENEY TODD, and they have not yet announced when the trailer will be available in the U.S., but we’re hoping it will be up on the official website soon after its European release. The official website for SWEENEY TODD can be found here: http://www.sweeneytoddmovie.com/ Thanks to Emma for breaking the news; you can read the full press release on the Zone’s News & View forum. –Part-Time Poet

Captain Jack Sparrow voted the UK's favorite film character–of all time, mate

Captain Jack Sparrow, lovable rogue that he is, has sailed off with another prize . . . as if a couple of billion dollars at the box office for the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN films weren’t enough of a reward, Captain Jack has now been voted the UK’s favorite (or favourite) movie character of all time. Aye, Jack–as incarnated by Johnny Depp–topped the TOTAL FILM poll of 4,000 moviegoers, pushing STAR WARS’ Darth Vader into second place, and iconic secret agent James Bond into third. Says TOTAL FILM editor Matt Mueller, “Captain Jack Sparrow has totally caught everyone’s imagination–he’s the perfect combination of mischief, adventure and alcohol . . . . It is Jack’s sense of fun that made fans put him way out in front of a traditional UK favourite, James Bond.”

The Zone thanks Emma for breaking the news and In-too-Depp for posting scans of the TOTAL FILM article on the Zone’s News & Views forum. Their feature on “The Top 100 Movie Characters of All Time” begins with a full-page picture of Captain Jack Sparrow, followed by a three-page article on Johnny’s career and his creation of the Captain. Congratulations, Johnny!–Part-Time Poet