Articles from March 2009

Johnny Depp greets fans during filming of THE RUM DIARY

Filming of Bruce Robinson’s The Rum Diary continued at the building designated as the offices of the San Juan Star in Old San Juan today; local media reported seeing actors Johnny Depp, Aaron Eckhart, Richard Jenkins and Marshall Bell entering and leaving the set. The fans who congregated, hoping for a chance to say hello to JD, were not disappointed, but they had a long day of waiting: Johnny reported to the set before 8:00 a.m., and it was 6:00 p.m. before he was at liberty to come out and greet the well-wishers. ELNUEVODIA.com reports that Johnny was friendly with the crowd, signing autographs and “handing out kisses.” To see a larger photograph of Johnny greeting his supporters, CLICK HERE. The Zone thanks Emma for the story; you can read much more about the filming of The Rum Diary on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

THE RUM DIARY, starring Johnny Depp, now filming in Old San Juan

Filming on Bruce Robinson’s The Rum Diary shifted to the narrow streets of Old San Juan on Monday morning, with the cast and crew congregating at a beautiful yellow five-story building bearing a new neon sign which read “The San Juan Star.” That happens to be the name of the (fictional) newspaper where Hunter S. Thompson’s protagonist, Paul Kemp, finds a job, but it could just as easily refer to the film’s leading man, as crowds began to gather early in the day in hopes of seeing Johnny Depp. They were not disappointed. Filming began at 7:00 a.m., and JD ventured out on his lunch break, around 1:00 p.m., to wave to the crowd. He was accompanied by security chief Jerry Judge. To see a larger photo of JD and Jerry, CLICK HERE.

Renowned Panamanian musician and sometime actor Ruben Blades dropped by the set to visit with JD; the two appeared together in Robert Rodriguez’s 2003 film, Once upon a Time in Mexico. Many thanks to Emma for sharing several articles from Puerto Rican newspapers and websites; thanks also to Marijose for help with translations. You can read much more about The Rum Diary on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Cast and crew updates for THE RUM DIARY

Giovanni Ribisi will be joining Johnny Depp in Bruce Robinson’s film, The Rum Diary, currently shooting in Puerto Rico. Ribisi previously worked with JD in Michael Mann’s Public Enemies, due in theaters on July 1st; according to Variety, Ribisi will play “a carousing journalist” (is there any other kind?). Also joining the cast is Amaury Nolasco, familiar to Zone readers from his role in the TV series Prison Break. Nolasco, a native of Puerto Rico, told the press that he is “doubly happy” to be cast since he will be coming home. Thanks to FANtasticJD and Emma for the casting news; you can read more on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Director of Photography for The Rum Diary is the always-brilliant Dariusz Wolski, who shot the entire Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, as well as Tim Burton’s most recent films, Sweeney Todd and Alice in Wonderland. Two-time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood is designing the costumes; she has previously worked on five Johnny Depp films (Public Enemies, Sweeney Todd, Sleepy Hollow, Ed Wood, and Edward Scissorhands). –Part-Time Poet

BREAKING NEWS–First photos of Johnny Depp filming THE RUM DIARY!

That’s Johnny Depp in costume as Paul Kemp in Bruce Robinson’s film of The Rum Diary–credit Oscar-winning designer Colleen Atwood for the beautiful Kennedyesque look. To get catapulted back into the 1960 world of Hunter S. Thompson’s novel, simply look at the larger version of this picture available on People’s website, which shows JD (as Paul Kemp) riding in co-star Aaron Eckhart’s gorgeous red convertible, identified by Zone sleuths as a 1960 Austin-Healy 3000 MkI/BT7. To see the photo, CLICK HERE.

You can read a lively discussion of Johnny Depp’s look as Paul Kemp on the Zone’s Pit forum. Thanks to FANtasticJD, Chocolat and her husband for identifying the Austin-Healy–that’s fine detective work. And congratulations to Johnny Depp, Bruce Robinson, and the cast and crew of The Rum Diary–may good fortune smile on you as you begin your journey. –Part-Time Poet

No Moe–Johnny Depp will not appear in the Farrelly brothers' THREE STOOGES

Johnny Depp will not be playing Moe in the upcoming Farrelly brothers film about the Three Stooges–Production Weekly and Variety are both reporting a cast of Sean Penn as Larry and Benicio Del Toro as Moe, with Jim Carrey in talks to play Curly (with Carrey gaining 40 pounds to play the rotund funnyman). The film is not a biography of the legendary slapstick comedians, says Michael Fleming of Variety, but rather “a comedy built around the antics of the three characters that Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard played in the Columbia Pictures shorts.” Production on The Three Stooges is scheduled to begin in the fall for a 2010 release; this would put it in conflict with Dark Shadows, which is now scheduled to shoot in the fall.

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for breaking the news; you can read more about The Three Stooges on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

RUM DIARY update–Johnny Depp arrives in Puerto Rico

According to El Nuevo Dia, Johnny Depp has arrived in Puerto Rico to prepare for the filming of Bruce Robinson’s The Rum Diary; he was sighted on the streets of the walled city of Old San Juan, wearing a beret and visiting local shops. For those who pay close attention to the length of JD’s hair (and you know who you are), the news from San Juan is that Johnny has already received the requisite late-1950s short haircut that the role of Paul Kemp requires.

In other Rum Diary news, Michael Rispoli has been cast as Bob Sala, joining JD, Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard, and Richard Jenkins. A talented character actor, Rispoli appeared on The Sopranos and is well-remembered for his featured role in While You Were Sleeping, in which he played the lovelorn son of Sandra Bullock’s landlord. The Zone thanks FANtasticJD and Theresa for the news on Mr. Rispoli, and Emma for the other news from San Juan. You can read much more about The Rum Diary on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Shooting on The Rum Diary is scheduled to begin on March 3oth. –Part-Time Poet

Happy Anniversary! PUBLIC ENEMIES began shooting one year ago today

The photo at left shows Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, behind the wheel of a vintage car, motoring down a street in Columbus, Wisconsin exactly one year ago today. This was one of the first photos we saw as cameras rolled on Michael Mann’s gangster drama Public Enemies on March 17, 2008–the beginning of a three-and-a-half month shoot that brought JD in almost daily contact with the public. It was a spring we will never forget. Thanks for the memories, Johnny Depp and Michael Mann. Thanks for opening up the filmmaking process and letting us witness it on our streets and in our towns, and for letting us cheer you on as you walked in the footsteps of Dillinger.

Many Zoners were present for part of the Public Enemies filming, and they are sharing their memories on the Zone’s Porch forum. –Part-Time Poet

Oprah Noodlemantra's Book Club begins tidbits for Daniel Depp's LOSER'S TOWN today

Oprah Noodlemantra’s Book Club is preparing to discuss Daniel Depp’s debut novel Loser’s Town–background tidbits begin today on the ONBC forum! Loser’s Town follows in the footsteps of classic Hollywood detective novels, with a world-weary, skeptical private investigator trailing clues through Tinseltown. Depp’s hero is David Spandau, a stuntman-turned-detective who “is irreverent with the suits and respectful toward the industry’s working stiffs,” according to Kirkus Reviews. “Spandau is grounded in reality and possessed of a cool Robert Mitchum might envy, which comes in handy when he takes the case of a somewhat disconnected actor name Bobby Dye, fast on the road to superstardom, who has found himself involved in a blackmail plot underneath which lies something far more sinister.” Kirkus adds, “Bikers, hookers, drug dealers, and worst of all, agents and producers figure in at points in the nicely tangled plot . . . .” How can you resist?

ONBC moderators Liz and DeppintheHeartofTexas invite you to stop by the ONBC forum and get to know the fascinating world portrayed in Loser’s Town. –Part-Time Poet

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY loves the PUBLIC ENEMIES trailer

Entertainment Weekly has joined the bandwagon of those who find the trailer for Michael Mann’s Public Enemies a smashing success: EW has named the trailer #5 on their “Must List” of the ten things they love this week (March 20, 2009). “Hat rakishly tilted, machine gun at the ready, Johnny Depp looks like he’s having a blast playing bank robber John Dillinger in the Michael Mann drama, also starring Christian Bale and Oscar winner Marion Cotillard,” notes EW. We think Dillinger–who loved movies and loved seeing himself onscreen in newsreels–would be delighted to find himself once again the talk of the town.

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for posting the news; you can read more about the Public Enemies trailer on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Poll finds Johnny Depp "most overdue" to win Oscar

A poll conducted by Tom O’Neil of the Los Angeles Times shows that respondents consider Johnny Depp the actor “most overdue” to win an Oscar. “Johnny Depp is leading by a wide margin,” O’Neil reports. “Currently he has received almost 44% of the votes while Leonardo DiCaprio sits in second place with 16% of the total. And none of the remaining eight choices–Jeff Bridges, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr., Ralph Fiennes, Ed Harris, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law or Brad Pitt–is above 7% in the latest results.” Each of the actors has been nominated for an Oscar at least once; Johnny has received three Best Actor nominations since 2004, for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Finding Neverland, and Sweeney Todd. The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for posting the news; you can read more about the Gold Derby poll HERE. –Part-Time Poet

ONBC attends Daniel Depp's book signing for LOSER'S TOWN in San Jose–a "Southern gentleman" holds court

Daniel Depp appeared at the Borders at Santana Row in San Jose on March 5th to read from his novel Loser’s Town, and–how lucky for us!–Liz, one of the moderators of Oprah Noodlemantra’s Book Club, was able to attend. (That’s Liz’s personal photo of the dapper Mr. Depp on the left–nice work, Liz!) “He began by giving us a short synopsis of the book; and then proceeded to read from Loser’s Town,” Liz reports. “He would be a great one to read the audiobook. He read the first part of Chapter 2, which begins to tell Spandau’s story. And then he read one of my favorite parts . . . the ride down Sunset. How did he know that I wanted him to read that excerpt?”

During the question-and-answer session, Depp spoke about Loser’s Town’s affinity to film noir, and said that his detective, David Spandau, like Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, is a moral man forced to deal with an amoral world. Spandau “is a guy with a heart who goes out there and does the job he has to do—does the right thing even though he realizes that he’s probably going to get clobbered for it,” Depp told his audience. “He’s not going to change the world; but he does it because it is the right and correct thing to do. I was brought up in the south and I was educated as a Southern gentleman; and a Southern gentleman knows what’s right and does it.”

You can read more of Liz’s report on the ONBC forum in the thread “Daniel Depp’s book-signing appearances–Zoner reports”–Liz’s account of her evening appears on page 2. We thank her for sharing her experience and her photos. Liz found Daniel Depp “so personable and comfortable to talk to,” and extremely gracious–if he will be appearing at a bookstore near you, do stop by and say hello!–Part-Time Poet

Entertainment Weekly reports on THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS

The current issue of Entertainment Weekly (March 13, 2009) features an article by Josh Rottenberg concerning Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus; the focus of the article is on the film’s failure (so far) to find a distributor in the U.S. , despite its stellar cast and the fact that it holds Heath Ledger’s final (although incomplete) performance. “Like the Joker in the last act of The Dark Knight twisting upside down at the end of Batman’s rope, the actor’s final performance is hanging in midair,” writes Rottenberg.

Reading between the lines of the story, however, indicates that such melodramatic language is probably unwarranted. U.S. distributors are simply waiting to view the finished film before submitting bids, and Doctor Parnassus is not finished yet: the article indicates it is still in post-production and won’t be available to show to distributors for another month. “The script isn’t a slam dunk,” one acquisitions executive told Entertainment Weekly. “Having Heath in it is appealing. But I’m waiting to see the movie.” Rottenberg adds, “As it happens, the filmmakers won’t screen the movie anyway at least not until April, when postproduction is complete.”

Film representative Dennis Davidson told EW, “The producers felt that it was better to wait for Terry’s vision to be fully realized on screen so that the distributors can see exactly what they’re acquiring.” Director Gilliam is confident that Doctor Parnassus will have no problems securing a deal when it’s complete: “I think people are going to be astonished when they see the film, and there will be a rush to want it.”

The Zone thanks Emma for the EW story; you can read more on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Debut of PUBLIC ENEMIES trailer generates huge positive buzz for Michael Mann's film

The debut of the Public Enemies trailer, starring Johnny Depp as the legendary John Dillinger, has sent interest in Michael Mann’s film so high that it is spilling over into all things Dillinger, reports Yahoo’s Buzz Log. “Queries on the clip are soaring,” reports the internet site, and even though Public Enemies “won’t hit theaters until July, queries on the movie’s real-life characters are beginning their climb.” The Buzz Log notes a surge in searches for “John Dillinger mugshot,” “Dillinger body,” and “John Dillinger escape plan,” which shows a growing interest in the movie’s subject matter, as well as the more predictable searches like “Dillinger movie” or “Johnny Depp gangster movie” which are obviously designed to locate the Public Enemies trailer. To read more about the trailer’s hot buzz, CLICK HERE.

James White offers a witty play-by-play of the trailer on the TotalFilm.com website; CLICK HERE to see a 22-picture slide show of the trailer’s key moments, with White’s commentary. The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for sharing the link to TotalFilm.com. You can read a very lively discussion of Zoners’ reactions to the Public Enemies trailer on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

"To say that I'm proud is a monumental understatement"–Johnny Depp writes about his brother Daniel's debut novel, LOSER'S TOWN

When reporters hear that Daniel Depp has written a detective novel called Loser’s Town that explores the dark side of Hollywood, one of the first questions they ask is–um, how does your brother, the Oscar-nominated actor, feel about that? Perhaps less than pleased? The truth is just the opposite: Johnny Depp went on the record with his feelings about Loser’s Town, sending the following email to USA Today which was published with their interview with Daniel Depp. Here is what Johnny had to say about his brother’s novel:

“To say that I am proud is a monumental understatement. I’ve been proud for a long, long time, having been well aware of my brother’s great talent for the majority of my life. That he and his work are finally being recognized by readers and serious book-heads alike is, of course, spectacular, but not all that surprising. And though this particular genre isn’t your typical laugh/riot fare, there are a mere handful of writers who can describe a situation to the degree that it can send me into giggling fits: Hunter Thompson, Terry Southern, Tom Robbins, Bruce Robinson and my very own brother, Daniel. Yes I’m biased, but what brother wouldn’t be??? I’d be recommending this book, blood or no blood!!!”

The Zone’s book club is also recommending Loser’s Town–the ONBC discussion begins with tidbits on March 20th, and we hope to see you there!

Many thanks to Theresa for sharing JD’s email to USA Today; you can read it on the USA Today website HERE, along with the interview with Daniel Depp. See the Zone’s Porch forum for more interviews with Daniel about Loser’s Town. –Part-Time Poet

Daniel Depp, author of LOSER'S TOWN, featured in USA TODAY

USA Today’s Craig Wilson interviewed up-and-coming author Daniel Depp about his detective thriller, Loser’s Town, which has debuted to excellent reviews. “It’s the first in a series starring David Spandau, a stuntman turned no-nonsense PI who has to deal with every kind of Hollywood type,” writes Wilson, but as the title Loser’s Town suggests, the author’s view of Tinseltown is more cynical than complimentary–which is just fine with his brother, that actor named Johnny you may have heard of . . . . “I told him I was going to write a detective novel about Los Angeles,” Daniel Depp told USA Today. “He said I should go for it.”

When asked if Loser’s Town might be made into a film someday–a film featuring his kid brother, perhaps?–the elder Depp shrugged off the suggestion as vastly premature. Film rights to the novel have not been sold, and Depp is not particularly interested in seeing his novel turned into a screenplay. “I don’t want to think about any of that right now,” Depp told USA Today. “I’m not so horribly anxious to do it. I like writing books.” That’s good news, because there are two more Spandau detective novels on the horizon. “But if people like it, I’ll just keep writing.”

Simon & Schuster publisher David Rosenthal thinks Loser’s Town is a winner. “This has breakout potential. Daniel is one deeply cool writer who has a dark, funny streak to him,” Rosenthal told USA Today. “It’s very noir. It’s nasty and fast-paced. And none of it goes where you expect it to go. The book transcends a lot of the normal conventions of the detective genre.”

The Zone thanks Theresa for sharing the interview with Daniel Depp; you can read more about Loser’s Town on the Porch forum. To read the full USA Today article, CLICK HERE. And be sure to join Oprah Noodlemantra’s Book Club for their discussion of Loser’s Town–tidbits begin on March 20th!–Part-Time Poet

Hold on to your hats! The PUBLIC ENEMIES trailer is here, and it's a knockout!

Prepare to be dazzled–the trailer for Michael Mann’s gangster thriller Public Enemies has just been released, and it’s a two-and-a-half minute stunner. The trailer’s beautiful images show us a Depression-era America and introduce the bank robber/folk hero John Dillinger (Johnny Depp), his girlfriend Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard), and the relentless FBI agent Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale) whose mission, as articulated by J. Edgar Hoover (Billy Crudup), is “to get John Dillinger.” But that won’t be easy: as Dillinger explains, “I hit any bank I want, anytime . . . they’ve got to be at every bank, all the time.” Let the chase begin!

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD, Martina, and jdpes for posting links to the trailer on our forums; it is also available on apple.com in several different sizes for download. You can watch the trailer here:


Public Enemies opens July 1, 2009. See you at the multiplex!–Part-Time Poet

TV ALERT–Entertainment Tonight offers "First Look" at PUBLIC ENEMIES trailer tonight, March 4!

If you are among the many Johnny Depp fans who can’t wait to see the trailer for Public Enemies, be sure tune in to your local broadcast of Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday, March 4! ET has been promising a “first look” at the trailer for the Michael Mann gangster saga, and has been teasing us with brief clips all week long. Now it’s time for them to deliver!

Zone members can find this week’s ET promotional videos on our Video Clips forum–many thanks to dharma_bum for sharing them in HD, and to RumLover and Theresa. Clips are also available (of course) on YouTube. –Part-Time Poet

Here's the official PUBLIC ENEMIES poster!

We’re finally getting some official Public Enemies promotion! In advance of the release of the trailer on March 4th, today we received a glimpse of the first official poster for the Michael Mann film–yes, there have been other “posters” circulating around the Internet for months, but those were all made by fans. To see the real Public Enemies poster, which shows a larger-than-life John Dillinger looming over Chicago’s LaSalle Street,CLICK HERE. The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the poster, and congratulates the artist who designed it. We love this iconic image!–Part-Time Poet

"SpongeBob vs. The Big One," featuring Johnny Depp, released on DVD tomorrow!

Even if you don’t have young children in your home, you have a reason to pick up the latest SpongeBob Squarepants DVD–Johnny Depp voices a surfer called Jack Kahuna Laguna (otherwise known as “The Big Kahuna”) in the episode “SpongeBob vs. The Big One,” one of six episodes on the DVD. The Chicago Sun-Times says that the episode “gets a boost from Johnny Depp as the voice of Jack Kahuna Laguna (a chiseled blond god who possesses, um, the longest surfboard in the world). SpongeBob and his friends are swept out to sea and into the Dutchman’s Triangle (the resting place of Davy Jones’ locker), where they’re stranded on a deserted island. Their only hope to get back to Bikini Bottom and Goo Lagoon is to surf the ‘Big One,’ the perfect wave, ‘the world’s biggest, fastest, longest gnarliest, most totally awesome perfect wave’ that comes along every thousand years. It’s the biggest Big Kahuna, Jack Kahuna Laguna, who comes to the rescue [. . .] . And just what’s inside Davy Jones’ locker? Why, it’s ex-Monkee Davy Jones singing ‘Daydream Believer.'” Sounds like fun for all ages.

“SpongeBob vs. The Big One” will be released on March 3rd with a list price of $19.95. The Zone thanks Emma for the news and AnaMaria for the photo of Jack Kahuna Laguna with SpongeBob. You can read more about the episode and the voice Johnny adopts for the role on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Call for extras for THE RUM DIARY, starring Johnny Depp, draws huge crowd of hopefuls

The casting agency in charge of finding extras to appear in Bruce Robinson’s upcoming film The Rum Diary was astonished at the response to their first casting calls. For example, Sunday’s session at the Marriott Hotel in Condado, Puerto Rico drew more than 800 people; in this photo, CLICK HERE, you can see the hopefuls crowding into the ballroom and snaking up the stairs, waiting for their chance to register and have a photo taken. Why such a huge turnout? Ten-year-old Hillary Santana told a reporter from El Nuevo Dia that she is hoping for a chance to meet the film’s star, Johnny Depp, while others like 18-year-old Yeslian Martinez just want to gain some film experience, and hope that work on The Rum Diary will be the start of an acting career. “We expected many people to come,” said Jessica Rodriguez, assistant to the extra casting director Patricia Alonso, “but not like this.”

The Zone thanks Emma for posting the news; you can read more about The Rum Diary, which begins shooting on March 30th, on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet