Articles from July 2008
The Zone thanks Emma for breaking the news; you can read more on the News & Views forum. To hear Rebecca Jones’ BBC report, CLICK HERE; her revelation of the follow-up album occurs around 4:22. –Part-Time Poet
Director Terry Gilliam calls Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell "totally heroic" for finishing Heath Ledger's last film
Female actors face a pay gap, as the top male stars outearn them by a considerable margin. The highest-paid actress last year was Cameron Diaz, who made $50 million; she is followed by Keira Knightley ($32 million), Jennifer Aniston ($27 million), and Reese Witherspoon and Gwyneth Paltrow, tied with $25 million each.
The Zone thanks Jasper for the news. You can read more on the results of the Forbes survey HERE. –Part-Time Poet
"A dream come true"–John Woo signs to direct Sam Sarkar's CALIBER for Lion Rock, Infinitum-Nihil and Radical Pictures
“For me as a writer, the dream of telling this story and opening up the world of CALIBER goes back more than twelve years,” said screenwriter Sam Sarkar, “but I’ve been a fan of John Woo’s for even longer than that. It is such a great honor [. . .] to work with John and Terence on the realization of CALIBER. [. . .] I think it is a chance to create something that will really entertain and resonate with people all over the world.”
CALIBER will be produced by John Woo’s Lion Rock Productions, Johnny Depp’s Infinitum-Nihil, and Radical Pictures, the motion picture production company of Radical Publishing. Terence Chang, who is John Woo’s partner at Lion Rock, sounded very happy to be on board: “A big ‘thank you’ to Sam Sarkar for coming up with this brilliant idea,” Chang told the press, “and to him and Barry for bringing it to me. I fell in love with it immediately,” Chang said, “and it is so perfect for John to direct.”
The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the good news; you can read the full press release on the News & Views forum in the John Woo thread. –Part-Time Poet
Asked by a different interviewer to describe what the experience of shooting PUBLIC ENEMIES was like, Dorff replied: “It was awesome. We just finished last week, and it’s a full-on gangster flick–1934, the last year of Dillinger’s life, and shooting real Tommy guns and hanging out of cars, having a ball. It was a journey, with a bunch of great actors.”
Dorff had high praise for his fellow actors: “Johnny [Depp] was incredible to work with, and very sweet to me,” Dorff said. “I’ve known him for years, but had never gotten to work with him. And Marion Cotillard is an incredible actress; Christian Bale, the list goes on. There’s so many great actors in that film.” He had praise for his director as well: “I had a really good time with Michael on it. [. . .] I think it’ll be a really good movie. I think they’re talking about a trailer or teaser going up soon,” Dorff promised. While we’re waiting for the trailer, here’s a PHOTO of Stephen Dorff and Johnny Depp, as Homer Van Meter and John Dillinger, making their escape after a bank robbery.
The Zone thanks Vermontfudge and Emma for the interviews with Stephen Dorff. You can read them HERE and HERE; for a spirited discussion of the interviews, see the Zone’s Porch message board. –Part-Time Poet
In William’s case, a script would have been unnecessary: “He doesn’t have any lines, but he screams a little,” Lindsey Nero told a reporter for the Herald Times. She added that William was “so excited” to spend a day on-set with Johnny Depp: “My son was having him recite lines from CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY.” The two actors pose for the camera in the photograph at left; to see a full-length version, CLICK HERE, and to see a photo of Johnny Depp and William Nero on set, CLICK HERE. The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the story; you can read more about William Nero on the Zone’s News & Views forum. Thanks also to Emma and Carasun for the photographs. –Part-Time Poet
Zone member Sweetchia attended the panel discussion and posted the following summary of the event: “It was really nothing we don’t already know. [. . .] Johnny has purchased the rights. He will play Barnabas; Tim [Burton] is the top director in consideration; there is a script in the works; Warner Bros. is very excited about the property, and all will depend on getting the script done and arranging everyone’s schedule.” Regarding the relationship between the future and past Barnabas Collins, Sweetchia said, “Johnny has yet to meet Jonathan [Frid, who attended this year’s DARK SHADOWS Festival], and they hope perhaps Jonathan will make a cameo, though Frid himself said he’s been out of the biz for a long time and has no notion to return.” As for the overall mood of the conventioneers regarding the new film, “Everyone was very excited about Johnny as Barnabas, and they feel very positive about it getting off the ground, but are cautious.”
The Zone thanks Sweetchia for her eyewitness report, and DeepinDepp and Dharma_bum for additional news. You can read more about the DARK SHADOWS Festival on the Zone’s News & Views forum. By the way, the Los Angeles Times listing on the DARK SHADOWS Festival incorrectly stated that Johnny Depp would participate in the panel discussion on the new film. The Times was wrong; JD did not attend the event, nor was he ever scheduled to do so. –Part-Time Poet
Misher sounded proud of PUBLIC ENEMIES and confident of its box-office appeal as well as its artistry. “If you’re looking for action, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed,” Misher promised. “We’ve got three bank robberies, two prison breaks and who knows how many shootouts.” And PUBLIC ENEMIES also has a strong romantic storyline between Johnny Depp’s John Dillinger and Marion Cotillard’s Billie Frechette. “It’s a seminal gangster saga, but it’s also a classic doomed lovers story,” explained Marc Shmuger, the chairman of Universal Studios. “They meet on the run and you know that they know that the relationship can’t last, which makes the film really heart-wrenching.” Added Shmuger, “With that combination, well, [. . .] not that many filmmakers in the world besides Michael [Mann] could do that.”
While conceding that PUBLIC ENEMIES was “a tough shoot,” Shmuger sees that as a necessary result of director Mann’s passion for his material. “When Sam Fuller said that ‘Film is a battleground–love, hate, violence, action, death–in a word, emotion,‘ he must have been thinking about Michael Mann,” Shmuger told the Times. “With every movie, he goes into battle. [. . . ] But that’s the only way Michael knows how to make movies. And we’re willing to take the bet that out of that commitment and passion will come a great movie.”
The Zone thanks Sleepy for sharing the Patrick Goldstein article. You can read it on the Zone’s News & Views forum or HERE.
PUBLIC ENEMIES comes to theaters July 1, 2009–and we’re counting the days. –Part-Time Poet
Many thanks to Stephanie Breiby at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics for writing such a thoughtful article about the Zone’s Birthday Project, and thanks to all of you who supported this year’s effort and made it such a tremendous success. Thanks most of all to Johnny Depp himself, for bringing out the best in us. The joy he has given us can never be repaid; we just try to follow in his footsteps. –Part-Time Poet
John Woo is currently editing the second part of his epic RED CLIFF, which is scheduled for a January release in Asia. He is also committed to direct Lion Rock’s 1949, described as a period romance “set against the tumultuous background of the Chinese Revolution.” Budgeted at $40 million, 1949 is now casting and is scheduled (pending a SAG contract, of course) to shoot after the completion of post-production work on RED CLIFF. The Western CALIBER will follow 1949; look for more details about this project to emerge at the upcoming Comic-Con in San Diego. To see the gorgeous poster for CALIBER, CLICK HERE.
The Zone thanks Sleepy and Emma for the news about CALIBER. Congratulations to Sam Sarkar! –Part-Time Poet
How time flies! Not only have we seen FINDING NEVERLAND, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, CORPSE BRIDE and THE LIBERTINE make their way into theaters, but we’ve watched every step of the production of the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels DEAD MAN’S CHEST and AT WORLD’S END; we’ve heard Johnny sing his way to a Golden Globe win and an Oscar nomination in SWEENEY TODD; and we’ve eagerly watched the filming of Michael Mann’s PUBLIC ENEMIES. Now we look foward to the settling of the SAG contract and the announcement of Johnny’s next project.
As we celebrate and reminisce on the Porch today, I’d like to thank Sleepy and the Zone staff–Theresa, Joni, Shadow, Liz, and DeppintheHeartofTexas–for their dedication and hard work. Many thanks to everyone who has helped us along the way, and to all of our members for making the Zone a wonderful place to be. Thanks to Liz for sharing her beautiful artwork. Most of all, thanks and much love always to Johnny Depp, for being a continual source of inspiration and delight–he’s the reason we’re here! –Part-Time Poet
Happy 5th Anniversary to Captain Jack Sparrow and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL
Believe it or not, it was exactly five years ago today that PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL opened in movie theaters across North America, and the public got its first glimpse of Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow. Critics were predisposed to sneer at a movie inspired by a theme-park ride–was there even one review that failed to highlight that, or to mention that the pirate movie was a dead genre?–but ecstatic word-of-mouth soon made the pundits and past history irrelevant. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL eventually claimed box-office booty of $654 million worldwide, launched a pair of fantastically successful sequels, and lodged its colorful characters permanently in the popular imagination. Now Captain Jack Sparrow’s boast is true around the world: everyone has heard of him.
Johnny Depp’s performance earned him an Oscar nomination and a SAG Award as Best Actor. “His performance is original in its every atom,” wrote Roger Ebert in his review. “There has never been a pirate, or for that matter a human being, like this in any other movie.” Critic Emmanuel Levy has called Captain Jack Sparrow “the only iconic screen character to have yet emerged in the new millenium.”
The Zone congratulates all of the dedicated artists who worked on PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL; you have given us more hours of pleasure and pure entertainment than we could possibly count. Many thanks to Jerry Bruckheimer, Gore Verbinski, Terry Rossio & Ted Elliott, and those executives at Disney who decided not to fire Johnny Depp. And thanks, above all, to Johnny Depp himself . . . the best pirate we’ve ever seen. –Part-Time Poet
Gibney’s film focuses on Hunter’s work–his innovative style of journalism and his acute political observations. “He (Thompson) found invasive ways to get at the truth, in ways that were more unpredictable,” Gibney told an interviewer from Reuters. While the director would not classify himself as “an obsessive Thompson fan,” he had admired Hunter since first reading FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS in the 1970s. “What I didn’t see then was these larger grander themes about the character of America and the death of the American dream and all of that,” Gibney said.
Now GONZO brings those themes into perspective. “Thompson [. . .] was not just an original, he was also a patriot and a romantic,” writes movie critic David Carr in the New York Times. “Thompson [. . . ] changed the way that much of America thought about itself . . . .”
The Zone thanks Sleepy and Emma for articles about the Gibney film. You can read more about it on the News & Views forum and the Porch. –Part-Time Poet
On its last day of shooting, PUBLIC ENEMIES ended as it had begun: with Johnny Depp striding over to say hello to well-wishers who had gathered at the film site to express their gratitude for his work. On Monday, however, only a couple of people were able to negotiate their way around the immense Santa Anita racetrack on a broiling afternoon and actually encounter Johnny. Dharma_bum (who broke the news of the location on the Zone on Sunday afternoon) met up with Zoner cats7; they were prepared simply to wave goodbye to Johnny as his SUV pulled out of the parking lot. Instead–to their great surprise–Johnny got out of the SUV and came over to them, smiling. He signed autographs and posed for pictures with Dharma and cats7 and a few other very lucky, very happy visitors.
To see photos of Johnny Depp signing autographs at Santa Anita after PUBLIC ENEMIES wrapped, CLICK HERE and HERE. These photos are screencaps taken from the video cats7 shot yesterday; we thank her very much for sharing them. Many thanks, too, to dharma_bum, for sharing her photos on the Zone. You can read more about their adventures on the News & Views forum and on the Pit, where their pictures are discussed.
Many thanks, too, to Johnny Depp, for stopping to say hello, and thereby transforming the end of the PUBLIC ENEMIES filming from sad to sweet. You left us smiling, JD; thanks for the memories. –Part-Time Poet
Michael Mann’s film PUBLIC ENEMIES shot its final scenes today at the Santa Anita racetrack near Arcadia, California. Extras in elegant 1930s summer attire gathered in the grandstand and surrounded Johnny Depp (as John Dillinger) and Marion Cotillard (as Billie Frechette) as they watched a simulated race (horse racing is not in season now, so the track was available to stand in for a dog track). Filming concluded around dinnertime; our photo shows Johnny Depp walking away from the set, holding a celebratory Corona. To see a full-length photo, CLICK HERE, and to see a photo of JD standing beside his trailer, CLICK HERE.
The Zone sends special thanks to our member Dharma_bum, who investigated the Santa Anita racetrack yesterday and ascertained that PUBLIC ENEMIES filming would be taking place there; Dharma went to Santa Anita and phoned in reports about the progress of the shoot all day long (on a very hot day!), much to the delight of Deppheads everywhere. Thanks also to KYWoman for relaying the news, and to Emma, Bonnie and AnaMaria for photos.
Principal photography on PUBLIC ENEMIES is now complete. The Zone extends heartfelt congratulations to Michael Mann, Johnny Depp, and the intrepid cast and crew of PUBLIC ENEMIES; it was truly an inspiration to watch this film being made. Thank you so much for letting us share this adventure with you; we will remember it always. –Part-Time Poet