Articles from November 2008

Johnny Depp donates artwork for UK Guardian's 2008 Christmas appeal

Johnny Depp has donated an original portrait of singer-songwriter Patti Smith (a member of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame) to the Guardian (UK) 2008 Christmas appeal. The artwork, painted on a page of the Guardian dated April 30, 2007 (during the filming of Sweeney Todd), will be auctioned to the highest bidder via Ebay.uk, and was also featured as part of the Guardian’s Christmas wrapping paper project. To see Johnny’s portrait of Patti Smith, CLICK HERE. The Guardian’s 2008 Christmas Appeal supports their Katine project, in which the newspaper has joined forces with AMREF, Africa’s leading health organization, to transform the lives of 25,000 people who live in the poor and remote sub-county of Katine, in north-east Uganda. For more information on the Katine project, CLICK HERE.

To bid on Johnny Depp’s portrait of Patti Smith, CLICK HERE. Bids will be accepted until 01:00:00 GMT on December 9, 2008. You must be a member of UK Ebay to place a bid; U.S. Ebayers will need to set up a new membership across the pond.

The Zone thanks Emma, In-too-Depp, FANtastic JD and Theresa for information about the Guardian auction and the Katine project. Happy bidding! –Part-Time Poet

Moore wishful thinking: Sir Roger Moore would like Johnny Depp to play him in biopic

Suave British actor Sir Roger Moore is one more celebrity who thinks Johnny Depp would be the ideal choice to portray his younger self on the silver screen. Moore, most famous for playing James Bond in the 1970s and early 80s, has recently penned a memoir, My Word Is My Bond, which details his amorous adventures in Hollywood. Moore’s spicy tale has caught the interest of more than one major studio, according to media sources; a film would likely focus on Moore’s pre-Bond days and his “exploits with legendary Tinseltown co-stars including Elizabeth Taylor, Lana Turner, and David Niven in the 1950s and ’60s,” says WENN.com. Although there is a lot of Internet buzz claiming that Johnny Depp is the A-list actor chosen to play Moore, that is pure speculation at this point, since there is no deal in place–Moore’s memoir has not even been sold to a studio yet.

The rumors apparently stem from an unnamed “source close to Moore” who claims Sir Roger is dropping hints about his own preference for JD: “The whole project is shrouded in secrecy,” the “unnamed source” supposedly said, “but Sir Roger has been telling friends, with a knowingly raised eyebrow, that he’s a great admirer of Johnny Depp.” Good luck with that, Sir Roger–clearly this is just one more case of wishful thinking.

The Zone thanks Jennak for sharing the story; you can read some witty responses to this rumor on the Pit forum, and the full WENN story HERE. –Part-Time Poet

Michael Mann's PUBLIC ENEMIES, starring Johnny Depp, featured in January 2009 Empire Magazine

The January 2009 issue of Empire Magazine offers a five-page feature on Michael Mann’s Public Enemies–the first publicity we’ve seen for this much-anticipated film. The photographs of Johnny Depp (as John Dillinger, at left), Christian Bale (as G-Man Melvin Purvis), and Marion Cotillard (as Billie Frechette) are stunning, and it’s wonderful to hear a few words from the director himself about his work-in-progress. “It’s a big picture, a big drama–big in every regard,” Michael Mann promises. But although Public Enemies is about a brilliant criminal and the dogged lawman who pursues him, it has little else in common with Heat, Mann’s acclaimed film starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. De Niro’s character was “on a completely different trajectory [from Dillinger],” Mann explains. “He thought about the future.” Dillinger and his gang, in the midst of the hopeless Great Depression, had a different outlook. “These guys were fatalistic: history was something that happened to you; there’s a bullet with your name on it.”

Regarding Johnny Depp’s performance as Dillinger, Michael Mann offers only superlatives. “Depp is extraordinary,” the director told Empire. “I believe one of the things that drew him to this character is there’s a certain darkness within him, in his life, that enables him to feel a connection to Dillinger. I mean, the currents within Johnny run very, very deep. I am knocked out by what he’s done in this picture.”

The Zone thanks Emma for breaking the news, and FANtastic JD, AnaMaria, Dharma_bum, Lucky13 and Theresa for sharing scans and photos from the Empire article. You can read much more on the News & Views forum. Public Enemies arrives in theaters in July 2009. –Part-Time Poet

A PUBLIC ENEMIES trailer by Christmas Day? Maybe so–

This is still just a rumor, but it has the advantage of being a logical one: Philip Potempa of nwi.times. com reports in his column today that a trailer for Michael Mann’s Public Enemies, starring Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, will reach a theater near you by Christmas. “For all the readers who have been asking, Universal Pictures is promising that trailers for the much-anticipated Public Enemies film, which will be released nationally in July 2009, will hit theaters by Christmas Day,” Potempa writes. This makes sense, as the last two weeks of the year have high attendance, and tend to draw audiences of all ages and interests to the cinema. That would make a great holiday gift for Depp fans–if we can’t have a new Johnny Depp movie to lift our spirits, a trailer would be most welcome.

The Zone thanks Emma for the story; you can read more in the “Public Enemies Trailer Update” thread on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp featured in People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" issue–cover date December 1, 2008

This year’s “Sexiest Man Alive” issue of People (dated December 1, 2008–featuring Hugh Jackman on the cover) has a full-page picture of Johnny Depp on page 94, in a section devoted to “20 Superstars.” This seems to be where they put previous title winners, as Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matthew McConaughey, and Patrick Dempsey are also in the “Superstars” section (as are Daniel Craig and David Beckham). Johnny was named the “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2003, and has been featured in the celebratory issue in each succeeding year. You can find a full-size scan of the People photo on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Hans Zimmer to score Gore Verbinski's RANGO, starring Johnny Depp

Director Gore Verbinski has tapped prolific film composer Hans Zimmer to score his first animated film, Rango, which will star Johnny Depp. Rango is scheduled to begin shooting in January 2009. Verbinski and Zimmer have previously worked together on The Ring (2002), The Weather Man (2005), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007). Among the 100+ films scored by Hans Zimmer are The Dark Knight, Kung Fu Panda, The Burning Plain, Frost/Nixon, and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa–and that’s just this year’s releases! The Zone thanks Emma for the update.

In other Rango news, Ryan Ball of Animation Magazine reports that Rango is now available for licensing “in all categories” through Paramount Licensing. The film is scheduled to arrive in theaters in March 2011. The Zone thanks Theresa for the news; you can read both Rango stories on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp is "a great actor who's got style," Ralph Lauren tells USA Today

In the November 19th issue of USA Today, legendary designer Ralph Lauren talks about the movie stars who inspire him. Lauren mentions classic names–Cary Grant (of course!), Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Steve McQueen–the usual suspects. “Lauren is almost at a loss, however, when asked for names of younger actors with estimable style,” writes USA Today. “What’s happened is that people don’t last a long time,” Lauren explains. “You see someone in a movie and you say, ‘Oh, she’s great,’ or ‘He’s great,’ and then maybe you see them a few more times. ” Lauren also bemoans the lack of movies with charm and style: they are “few and far between.”

Lauren does see a few current stars who have the style and charm of their predecessors, however; when pressed, he names Gwyneth Paltrow (he designed Paltrow’s pink Oscar gown), George Clooney, and–yes–Johnny Depp. Not only does Lauren admire JD’s style, he keeps a memento in his office just like the rest of us Deppheads. “Perched prominently on an end table in Lauren’s office is a Barbie-doll-sized replica of Depp as Edward Scissorhands,” writes USA Today. Lauren explains, “I thought that was such a great figure.” For Lauren, Johnny Depp is “a hero, a great actor who’s got style–and there aren’t many (of those) at all.”

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the Ralph Lauren article; you can read more about it on the Pit forum. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp and Douglas Brinkley write liner notes for GONZO: MUSIC FROM THE FILM–soundtrack CD available today!

The great, idiosyncratic soundtrack for Alex Gibney’s documentary on Hunter S. Thompson, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, also hits stores today, the same day the DVD of the film is released. “The album becomes a fascinating porthole to Hunter’s essence, excellently pieced together,” writes Jason Lymangrover of the All Music Guide. “Snippets from casette-taped rough drafts [. . .] and soundboard clips of Johnny Depp reading Thompson’s works tie everything together neatly in a tidy package that pays perfect tribute to the one of a kind icon.”

Johnny Depp and historian Douglas Brinkley co-write an 8,000 word essay (liner notes scarcely suggests the scope of their work) that comes with the CD in an illustrated booklet. Their love of both subjects–the music and Hunter–comes through loud and clear. The Gonzo CD is available from BARNES & NOBLE and from AMAZON.

The Zone thanks Mrs Pink for the news, and Emma and Theresa for additional information about the CD. You can read more about the Gonzo soundtrack on the Porch forum, including a brief excerpt from the Depp-Brinkley essay provided by Dharma_bum. –Part-Time Poet

BREAKING NEWS–First picture of Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter in Tim Burton's ALICE IN WONDERLAND?

For your viewing pleasure, here’s the first photo of Johnny Depp in costume as the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s version of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, which is currently filming. We haven’t yet been able to verify the picture’s authenticity from an official Disney or Burton source, but it certainly looks like a true Burton vision–pale skin, wild hair (carrot red, this time), fabulous costume, and deeply shadowed eyes. And no, your eyes are not deceiving you . . . the Mad Hatter’s eyes are not Johnny Depp’s true chocolate brown, but green. To see a larger photo that shows more detail of the Mad Hatter’s costume, CLICK HERE. Notice the skull pattern subtly woven into the Mad Hatter’s elaborate tie!

The Zone thanks Sandsgirl for sharing the Mad Hatter picture with us–she found it on a MySpace page–and Wicked Wench at johnny-depp.org, who is the original source of this picture. Thanks also to Lizzy at johnny-depp.org for letting us know some background on this fascinating image; this certainly seems to be the real deal! You can read a lively discussion about the Mad Hatter’s look on the Zone’s Pit forum. –Part-Time Poet

TV Alert–Johnny Depp featured on Weekend Entertainment Tonight!

Watch for Johnny Depp to appear (in archive footage) on the weekend version of Entertainment Tonight; Johnny will be featured in a segment called “Top Ten Favorite Stars: Countdown.” Many thanks to Veronica, who saw a brief advertisement for the weekend feature during Friday’s airing of Entertainment Tonight and shared the news. Veronica reports that ET showed brief vintage clips from the 21 Jump Street era and from 1993 (circa What’s Eating Gilbert Grape). If you don’t know when the weekend edition of Entertainment Tonight airs in your town, click “Local Show Finder” in the left-hand menu on the ET home page HERE.

FANtasticJD reports that Johnny Depp also made an appearance (in archive footage) on Access Hollywood tonight (Friday, November 14). The segment showed JD on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, “talking about how he always wanted to be a pirate.” It’s interesting to see the entertainment shows raiding their archives for sweeps features. If there’s no new footage, just re-air the old stuff–we’re always happy to see Johnny! –Part-Time Poet

Spoiler alert! Reports from the first test screening of Michael Mann's PUBLIC ENEMIES

The first test screening of Michael Mann’s Public Enemies, starring Johnny Depp as 1930’s bank robber John Dillinger and Christian Bale as his FBI nemesis Melvin Purvis, was held at the Mann theater in Westlake Village, California on Wednesday, November 12. This was an initial edit that ran 2 hours, 40 minutes and did not yet have a musical score, was not color-timed, and did not yet have digital effects added. But even in this “first look” stage, when much editing work remains to be done, viewers were impressed with Public Enemies and with Johnny’s performance as Dillinger. Ain’t It Cool News has the most detailed account, posted by their member MacGuyver; he attended the screening and thinks “this will be a terrific movie when it’s done.” You can read his assessment HERE; beware of mild spoilers (which wouldn’t surprise anyone who knows any of Dillinger’s history).

Other reports posted on imdb are just as laudatory, with Johnny’s Dillinger earning comments like “[H]is performance might in fact be Oscar worthy. . . [Dillinger] doesn’t like violence, but will resort to it if necessary. You actually feel sorry for him and his predicament by the halfway mark of the film.” Public Enemies‘ designers and production staff also earn high praise; even in a rough cut, this film is gorgeous.

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD and Shadowydog for breaking the news; you can read a lively discussion of the screening reports on the Zone’s Porch forum. –Part-Time Poet

Infinitum Nihil's Sam Sarkar to appear at Miami Book Fair for Radical Publishing

Sam Sarkar, the author of Caliber and director of development for Johnny Depp’s production company Infinitum Nihil, will appear with Barry Levine of Radical Publishing at this year’s Miami Book Fair International. The event takes place Friday, November 14th through Sunday, November 16th, 2008 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Radical Publishing can be found at Booth 117 of the Comix Galaxy section of the fair located at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus. Sam Sarkar will be signing his graphic novel Caliber; please stop by, say hello, and wish him well. Caliber is currently in development as a feature film to be directed by John Woo.

The Zone thanks Theresa for sharing the news; you can read more details about the Miami Book Fair on the Porch forum.

Sam Sarkar is a busy man–he will also be doing a book signing in Los Angeles on November 19th, at 7:30 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble bookstore at The Grove. Thanks to KYwoman for the news!–Part-Time Poet

DVD of GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON in stores in Region 1 on November 18th!

Alex Gibney’s documentary Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson will be released on DVD in Region 1 on Tuesday, November 18th; that’s a must-have for Depp fans, not only because of JD’s deep friendship with the Good Doctor, but because Johnny Depp reads lengthy excerpts from Hunter Thompson’s writings throughout the film. Director Gibney recalls, “Working with Johnny Depp was a brief experience, but it was a good one. It was the kind of thing where, under tremendous pressure, he comes into town, does his thing, and goes out again. So, there wasn’t a lot of hang-time. But Johnny loved Hunter,” Gibney says. “He feels deeply connected to him because there was a room in the basement of Hunter’s house called ‘Johnny’s Room.’ It was a small, garret-like room with a cot and a slit for a window, and that’s where [Johnny] lived for a month or so just before [he filmed] Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

In our photo–a screencap from the Gonzo trailer–Johnny reads from Hunter Thompson’s work; the shirt he is wearing belonged to Hunter. Gibney confirms that this footage was shot in Johnny Depp’s home.

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson is available for presale from Amazon. com for $18.99 plus shipping. You can order the DVD HERE. The Zone thanks Emma and Theresa for the news. –Part-Time Poet

Announcing new additions to the Johnny Depp Zone Interview Archive!

We have added some new pieces to the JDZ Interview Archive for you to enjoy: a 2005 interview with Johnny Depp from Nickelodeon (aimed at the younger set), and four interviews from the Sweeney Todd promotion–Susan Wloszczyna’s December 2007 article from USA Today; January 2008 articles by Martyn Palmer for Empire and Cal Fussman for Esquire; and a February 2008 interview with Miles Fielder for The Big Issue of Scotland.

We have also added a new section to the Interview Archive, called “Related Articles,” which carries pieces related to Johnny Depp’s interests, activities or closest relationships; although these are not interviews with Johnny Depp himself, the Zone editors felt that these articles would be of interest to enough of our readers to merit including them in the Zone’s permanent collection. Our first three entries in this section are a Mark Ebner piece from Details, March 1999, on the Viper Room (now gone but not forgotten); a June 2000 feature from Gear on Vanessa Paradis, one of the first articles about her to appear on this side of the Atlantic; and Douglas Brinkley’s 2005 article for Rolling Stone on Hunter S. Thompson’s farewell.

Many thanks to all the Zoners who donated articles and to Theresa and Joni for preparing them for the Archives. For a shortcut to the Interview Archive, CLICK HERE . Enjoy! –Part-Time Poet

Jerry Bruckheimer talks about PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4 and THE LONE RANGER

Ever since Dick Cook announced (at the Disney Showcase) that Johnny Depp would star in Pirates of the Caribbean 4 and would play Tonto in an updated version of The Lone Ranger, the Internet has been swirling with unsubstantiated and frequently absurd rumors about both projects. Finally, there is some credible information, courtesy of Edward Douglas of Comingsoon.net, who had a chance to interview producer Jerry Bruckheimer on the set of his forthcoming Prince of Persia. The producer confirmed that his favorite screenwriting team, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, are hard at work on three projects: they are “in the process of finishing The Lone Ranger,” Mr. Bruckheimer said, whereas sequels for Pirates of the Caribbean and National Treasure are still in the idea-development stage (no script, yet). “We’ve sat with the writers and we’re working up the story and plotlines right now.”

Asked if the next Pirates film might be released in IMAX, Mr. Bruckheimer replied, “Absolutely. I’d love to do it, so let’s just see if we can work it through the production schedule with everything else.” And when might we see Pirates 4 in theaters? “I think they’re pushing towards 2012,” the producer said, although he avoided a firm commitment on the date: “Hopefully we can make it; we’ll see.”

As for The Lone Ranger, that project has a script being written and Johnny Depp confirmed as Tonto, but no director (yet) and no Lone Ranger, either. Jerry Bruckheimer denied rumors that George Clooney would don the black mask: “We haven’t decided who is going to play the Lone Ranger yet,” he told reporters. “[We’ll] get a director first and then figure it out.”

The Zone thanks Theresa for posting the Bruckheimer interview; you can read it on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

"He makes it very easy for you"–ALICE IN WONDERLAND star Mia Wasikowska talks about working with Johnny Depp

Nineteen-year-old Australian actress Mia Wasikowska, shown at left in costume as Alice in Tim Burton’s upcoming Alice in Wonderland, is “one of the hottest young stars in the acting business,” according to the LA Times. Her film Defiance, in which she stars opposite Daniel Craig, closes the AFI Film Festival on Sunday, and she wrapped a role in Mira Nair’s Amelia, with Hilary Swank, right before filming on Alice began. While interviewing Wasikowska, reporter Greg Hernandez couldn’t resist asking what it was like to work with Johnny Depp. “It’s going really well, it’s a lot of fun,” replied Wasikowska. “He’s such a nice guy and makes it very easy for you to feel like the character. Basically it’s just fun every day.” Nice work if you can get it . . . .

The Zone thanks Emma for the article on Ms. Wasikowska; you can read the full interview on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Tom de Rosier, animation storyboard artist currently working on RANGO, to speak in St. Paul

If you live in the Twin Cities area (or can get there easily), you have a chance to hear animation storyboard artist Tom de Rosier speak at the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul on Thursday, November 20th. And why is this of interest to those who follow the career of Johnny Depp? Because the project Mr. de Rosier is currently storyboarding happens to be Gore Verbinski’s Rango, which is due to start filming in January and in which Johnny Depp will play the title character. Mr. de Rosier will give a presentation, free to the public, at 7 p.m., in which he will discuss growing up in St. Paul and his life as a working artist in Hollywood. He is also giving a workshop on Thursday and Friday, November 20th and 21st. This is a great opportunity for our readers who are interested in animation. For further details, CLICK HERE. The Zone thanks Emma for the news. –Part-Time Poet

Happy 5th Birthday to Oprah Noodlemantra's Book Club!

Today–or to be precise, at two minutes past midnight on November 1st–Oprah Noodlemantra’s Book Club will celebrate its fifth anniversary! ONBC was the first book club in existence devoted solely to works that were recommended by Johnny Depp or connected to his movie roles. The first text ONBC discussed was Stephen King’s Secret Window, Secret Garden . . . because Johnny Depp had just wrapped up filming on David Koepp’s Secret Window at the time. Five years and twenty-eight magnificent book discussions later, ONBC’s moderators Liz and DeppintheHeartofTexas are still bringing fresh insight and impeccable research to each work they choose for the book club. The Zone could not be prouder of them or the wonderful community that ONBC has become.

Bravo, Liz and DITHOT! Many thanks for all your hard work and for all the good times we’ve had on the ONBC forum. We will always be in your debt.

Currently ONBC is wrapping up a discussion of Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. Soon to come in 2009–discussions of The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist; Loser’s Town: a Novel of Hollywood by Daniel Depp; John Dillinger–The Untold Story by G. Russell Girardin and William J. Helmer; and Parallel Worlds by Michio Kaku. We can’t wait! –Part-Time Poet