Articles from April 2009

THE RUM DIARY, starring Johnny Depp, shoots its carnival parade in Vega Baja

Director Bruce Robinson began filming the most ambitious sequences of The Rum Diary in Vega Baja yesterday–a carnival parade involving several hundred extras in elaborate, colorful costumes. The photo at left shows Johnny Depp, in character as journalist Paul Kemp, walking by one of the parade floats. To see a larger version, CLICK HERE,, and for a behind-the-scenes photo of Johnny amid the carnival preparations, CLICK HERE.

El Nuevo Dia writes that 800 extras reported at 3:00 a.m. to get into costume and makeup for the carnival scene. The morning hours were devoted to filming the crowd; Johnny Depp watched from the mayor’s balcony and gave encouragement to the extras, although he declined their request to join them in dancing the Pelu, a traditional dance of the island.

The Zone thanks Emma and Marijose for several articles about the filming of The Rum Diary’s carnival scenes. You can read them and see many more pictures of the carnival on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

THE RUM DIARY, starring Johnny Depp, resumes filming in El Condado County

Johnny Depp and Aaron Eckhart reported for work on Bruce Robinson’s film of The Rum Diary at 7:30 a.m. on Monday morning, April 27. The location was on the sixth floor of a luxury apartment building on Ocean Street in Nairn in El Condado county, near the Ashford Presbyterian Hospital. Many local residents, including pupils from the nearby St. John’s school and their parents, waited behind barricades on Ashford Avenue to observe the coming and going of the cast and crew.

During a break in the filming, Johnny Depp came out on a balcony to enjoy the ocean view, and photographers took advantage of the opportunity, as you can see in the photo above. To see a larger version, CLICK HERE. The Zone thanks Marijose for the news from Puerto Rico; you can read more about The Rum Diary on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

THE RUM DIARY goes to sea–new photos of Johnny Depp

The Rum Diary, directed by Bruce Robinson, headed for an unfamiliar location yesterday . . . the open sea, as Johnny Depp’s Paul Kemp stepped aboard a sailboat to shoot some scenes. To see a larger version of our photo at left, CLICK HERE, and to see another photo of Paul Kemp on the sailboat, CLICK HERE. The Zone thanks Emma for the latest Rum Diary news; you can read more about the film on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Terry Gilliam's THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS to premiere at Cannes

Terry Gilliam’s allegory The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, featuring the late Heath Ledger’s final performance, will hold its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, the filmfest organizers announced today. Gilliam’s film will screen out of competition, and will include a tribute to Ledger. As Zone readers will remember, Ledger’s role was completed by a trio of actors: Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell. JD finished his work on Doctor Parnassus before reporting to work on Public Enemies in March 2008.

The Zone thanks Emma for breaking the Cannes news; you can read more on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp resumes filming THE RUM DIARY–new photos

That’s Johnny Depp waving to fans on Monday, as filming resumed on Bruce Robinson’s The Rum Diary; to see a larger version of the photo, CLICK HERE. According to El Nuevo Dia, the production has moved to Vega Baja and was shooting some scenes in Altos de Cuba. Even in this out-of-the-way place, there were onlookers waiting for a chance to meet JD, and they were rewarded with a brief meet-and greet. To see Johnny signing autographs on Monday, CLICK HERE, and on Tuesday, CLICK HERE.

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the latest news from Puerto Rico; you can read more on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Jerry Bruckheimer discusses THE LONE RANGER and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer invited reporters to view some footage of his upcoming animated film G-Force, and graciously answered a few questions about other projects he’s developing for Disney. His version of The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp as Tonto (with a Masked Man to be named later), will be “geared toward the Pirates of the Caribbean audience, [age] 10 and up,” Mr. Bruckheimer said. He also said it was possible that both The Lone Ranger and Pirates of the Caribbean 4 might be shot in 3D.

Steve “Frosty” Weintraub of Collider.com managed to ask the producer privately about the recent news that Gore Verbinski would not be directing the next installment of Pirates. “Jerry confirmed that Gore is NOT directing Pirates 4,” Weintraub reports, “and when I asked him who might do it, he said they’re still trying to figure that out.”

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing articles about Jerry Bruckheimer’s press conference; you can read them on the Porch forum. –Part-Time Poet

PUBLIC ENEMIES featured in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY's Summer Movie Preview Issue

Entertainment Weekly’s 2009 Summer Movie Preview (cover date April 24-May 1) gives plenty of space to Michael Mann’s Public Enemies: July opens with a full-page photo of Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, followed by an entertaining article by Chris Nashawaty. “For a summer movie that features neither superheroes nor cyborgs, it certainly helps to have a cast headlined by Depp and [Christian] Bale,” writes EW. “In a way, you could say that Depp and Bale are the movie’s special effects. This might also be the only movie opening during the air-conditioning months that could still be talked about at Oscar time.”

The Zone thanks Emma for posting the EW article and FANtasticJD for sharing scans. To see the photo from Public Enemies, CLICK HERE; you can read more on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp rides vintage motorcycle for RUM DIARY scenes–new photos

Filming of Bruce Robinson’s The Rum Diary took to the streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico once again yesterday, with Johnny Depp’s intrepid newspaper reporter Paul Kemp trading a tiny Fiat for a vintage motorcycle. Kemp’s passenger, riding in the sidecar, is actor Michael Rispoli, playing photographer Bob Sala. To see a picture of the unique duo, CLICK HERE and for a different photo, CLICK HERE. The Zone thanks Emma and FANtasticJD for news articles about The Rum Diary–you can read more about the film on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Oprah Noodlemantra's Book Club begins their discussion of Daniel Depp's LOSER'S TOWN today!

Oprah Noodlemantra’s Book Club begins their discussion of Daniel Depp’s debut novel, Loser’s Town, today . . . so when you’ve popped your tax return into the mail, give yourself some well-deserved R&R by stopping by the ONBC forum. Loser’s Town is a detective thriller in the Hollywood noir vein; its private eye, David Spandau, is a former stunt man who knows the movie business too well to be taken in by its illusions (or delusions). Spandau “is irreverent with the suits and respectful toward the industry’s working stiffs,” says Kirkus Reviews. “Spandau is grounded in reality and possessed of a cool Robert Mitchum might envy.” He takes the case of an up-and-coming actor who is being blackmailed–but soon uncovers far more sinister doings in Tinseltown.

ONBC moderators Liz and DeppintheHeartofTexas invite you to share in what is certain to be a lively and provocative discussion!–Part-Time Poet

Filming continues on Bruce Robinson's THE RUM DIARY

Although filming lasted until midnight on Monday, the cast and crew of The Rum Diary were back at work on Tuesday, shooting scenes inside a building in San Sebastian, according to El Nuevo Dia. This is the 13th day of a projected 49-day shoot. The filming of exterior scenes involving the blue Fiat 500 proved to be a golden opportunity for the paparazzi; several entertainment news sites have lots of photos posted. To see a collection from The Insider, CLICK HERE , and to see Just Jared’s photos, CLICK HERE.

The Zone thanks Emma and Theresa for updates on The Rum Diary; you can read the latest news about filming on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

RUM DIARY filming resumes in Puerto Rico; new pictures of Johnny Depp

Filming of The Rum Diary, directed by Bruce Robinson and starring Johnny Depp as journalist Paul Kemp, resumed in Puerto Rico today after a four-day Easter break. The first scene filmed involved Paul Kemp riding in a taxi; it was shot in Norzagaray Street in Old San Juan, El Nuevo Dia reports. Our photo shows Johnny inside the vintage dark blue taxi; to see a larger photo, CLICK HERE.

Later in the day, filming shifted to a road overlooking the ocean, where scenes were shot involving Paul Kemp driving a light blue Fiat 500 and apparently having a minor accident and an unpleasant encounter with the local police. If you see paparazzi photos of Johnny Depp with blood on his face, don’t worry–it is only stage blood, not the real thing. To see a photo of the filming process, CLICK HERE, and for a photo of Johnny Depp peering through the Fiat’s shattered windshield, CLICK HERE.

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing several articles from Puerto Rican news sources, and reggi for sharing news photographs. You can read much more about the filming of The Rum Diary on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

"I'm so delighted to have such a great team"–an interview with RUM DIARY director Bruce Robinson

“I’m working with the world’s most famous movie star all of a sudden,” director Bruce Robinson told Screen International‘s Wendy Mitchell in a recent interview. “It’s kind of a shock to the central nervous system.” Robinson is referring to the fact that he has been absent from the director’s chair since 1992. However, his affection for Hunter S. Thompson’s novel and his regard for Johnny Depp, who approached him about adapting and directing The Rum Diary nearly four years ago, persuaded him to say yes. “It’s really about Hunter S. Thompson before he became Hunter S. Thompson,” Robinson explains. “He’s looking for that voice.”

Robinson does see some similarities between The Rum Diary and his own much-lauded comedy Withnail and I: “The Rum Diary is a much more sophisticated film, and it’s got boats and car chases, but I’m going to try to keep it simple, and in that way it’s like Withnail and I,” he explains. The “surreal humor” which rises from the characters’ situations is another common factor. “It’s a frightening, thrilling ride, but I’m so delighted to have such a great team,” says Robinson. “I’m driven to make this great film to live up to the material and to Johnny. [. . .] It’s not a solo effort.”

The photo at left shows the director with his star on the set of The Rum Diary in Puerto Rico; to see a larger version of the photo, CLICK HERE. The Zone thanks Emma for the Bruce Robinson interview; you can read more on the Porch forum. –Part-Time Poet

PUBLIC ENEMIES premieres in Los Angeles on June 23rd!

Breaking news about the much-anticipated world premiere of Michael Mann’s Public Enemies, starring Johnny Depp: the premiere will take place in Los Angeles on Tuesday, June 23, 2009, at Mann’s Village Theater at 961 Broxton Avenue in Westwood Village, near UCLA. No time has been announced for the screening, but for a Tuesday night premiere, the normal time for celebrity arrivals would be between 5:00-6:30 p.m. Veterans of previous Johnny Depp premieres know that if JD runs true to form, he will be the last to arrive, so pack your patience and your sunblock if you are thinking of going to Westwood Village to watch the red carpet.

The Zone thanks Emma for breaking the news! You can read more about the Public Enemies premiere on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Watch the new international trailer for PUBLIC ENEMIES!

Great news–Universal has released a new trailer for Michael Mann’s Public Enemies! Aimed at the international market, this trailer gives some more detail about who John Dillinger was and why he became a folk hero to Americans sunk in the depths of the Depression; it also shows how Dillinger’s popularity made him a target for J. Edgar Hoover’s newly-formed FBI. For the romantics among us, this trailer also sheds more light on the relationship between Dillinger and Billie Frechette, played by Marion Cotillard.


The Zone thanks Mrs Pink for sharing the trailer with us! –Part-Time Poet

RUM DIARY filming continues, but not in Old San Juan

The filming of Bruce Robinson’s The Rum Diary, starring Johnny Depp as journalist Paul Kemp, moved away from Old San Juan this week, making it much more difficult for local residents to catch a glimpse of the actors. El Nuevo Dia reports that the production may have “more peace and privacy” now–something that was not possible once the site of last week’s filming, on Calle Tetuan in Old San Juan, became widely known and drew large crowds of stargazers to the area. This will be a short work week, with the production taking a break on Thursday for the Easter holiday; filming will resume on Monday, April 13th. The Zone thanks Emma for many articles on The Rum Diary from the Puerto Rican press; you can read them all on the News & Views forum.

The photo at left shows Johnny Depp en route to work, carrying his Rum Diary script binder; the Gonzo emblem on his shirt honors The Rum Diary’s author, the late Hunter S. Thompson. To see a larger version of the photo, CLICK HERE. –Part-Time Poet

Gore Verbinski will not direct PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4

Gore Verbinski, director of the enormously successful Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, has informed Disney and POTC producer Jerry Bruckheimer that he will not direct the fourth installment of the series. Variety’s Michael Fleming reports that Verbinski has chosen instead to focus on Universal’s Bioshock, an adaptation of a popular video game with a script by John Logan. Verbinski will make Bioshock when he finishes work on his animated feature Rango, which stars Johnny Depp and Isla Fisher.

“I had a fantastic time bringing Pirates to life, and I am eternally grateful to Jerry, Johnny and the rest of the creative and production team,” Verbinski said. “I’m looking forward to all of us crossing paths again in the future.” According to Variety, it is not clear how Verbinski’s decision will affect POTC 4, which is “in development” but has yet to receive a green light from Disney; the sequel lacks a director, an approved script, and (very important in this tough economy) a budget. Sounds like we may be waiting a while before the Black Pearl sets sail again; although we are sorry to see Gore Verbinski leave the franchise, we wish him fair winds and following seas as he sets out on a new adventure.

The Zone thanks Emma for breaking the news; you can read the Variety article HERE. For a lively discussion about POTC 4’s future, see the Zone’s Porch forum. –Part-Time Poet

Journalist Manny Suarez welcomed to THE RUM DIARY set

The filmmakers of The Rum Diary showed their respect for Dr. Hunter S. Thompson by inviting journalist Manny Suarez to the set on Friday. Suarez also worked on the San Juan newspaper where Thompson gathered the experiences that would later inspire his novel. Suarez found the recreated newspaper offices on Calle Tetuan in Old San Juan to be an uncannily faithful reproduction of the newsroom he remembers: “I had the opportunity to be on the set,” Saurez told Melba Bruguera of El Vocero. “It was great! It was an incredible time.” The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the El Vocero article; an English translation is available on the News & Views forum. To see a larger version of the photo of Johnny Depp (in costume as Paul Kemp), CLICK HERE. –Part-Time Poet

RUM DIARY films exteriors in Old San Juan; Johnny Depp greets fans

Bruce Robinson’s film of Hunter S. Thompson’s novel The Rum Diary took to the streets of Old San Juan on Friday, filming a labor protest outside the office of the fictional newspaper, The San Juan Star. About 150 extras, dressed in 1960s attire, swarmed the street and blocked traffic; they waved picket signs and shouted protests on cue. The exterior shooting meant that fans could not get as close to the San Juan Star building on Friday, but those who were patient still had a chance to meet Johnny Depp. Around 6 p.m., after a day of filming, Johnny came out to greet the waiting crowd, reports Cristina Quiles Sea of Primera Hora. To see a photo of Johnny saying hello to an awestruck young fan, CLICK HERE.

The Zone thanks Emma for the article and photo; you can read much more about The Rum Diary filming on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Terry Gilliam's THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS now complete–may screen at Cannes

Director Terry Gilliam has finally completed post-production work on The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and the much-anticipated film is now ready to screen for possible distributors in the United States. Doctor Parnassus lost its leading man when Heath Ledger died in January 2008, but a trio of A-list actors–Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell–stepped in to complete Ledger’s role. “Everybody in the crew and cast said, ‘We have to finish this thing.’ It was a team effort,” Gilliam told ITN.co.uk. “It’s done and it’s . . . wonderful, it’s beautiful and I’m very happy with it.”

Steven Zeitchik of The Hollywood Reporter writes that The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is considered a likely candidate for this year’s Cannes Film Festival, although the official announcement of Cannes offerings is still a few weeks away. The Zone thanks Emma and FANtasticJD for the updates. –Part-Time Poet

"Puerto Rico has been kind to me," Johnny Depp tells reporter in San Juan

Filming continues in Old San Juan on Bruce Robinson’s The Rum Diary, and in what has become a daily ritual, crowds gather on the street, hoping to catch a glimpse of Johnny Depp and other stars as they enter and leave the building which houses the set of the fictitious newspaper, The San Juan Star. Melba Bruguera of El Vocero exchanged a few words with Johnny on Wednesday: she describes a tumultuous scene with hundreds of people constantly shouting and attempting to take the actor’s picture with their cell phones. “The Puerto Rican hot sun has not been an impediment to being close to the public,” Bruguera writes. She adds that Johnny has been “friendly and accessible,” walking out after shooting ends in the evening to greet fans individually. Often he is still in costume as Paul Kemp, wearing 1950s attire: to see a larger photo of Johnny in costume, CLICK HERE.

“I love Puerto Rico,” Johnny told the reporter, saying that it is easy to be kind to Puerto Rico because the people of Puerto Rico have been so nice to him. Bruguera tells a heartwarming story of one little girl named Gladys who waited in the crowd dressed up as Captain Jack Sparrow; she did get her chance to meet Johnny, and he autographed her Captain Jack Sparrow action figure.

The Zone thanks Emma for the El Vocero story; you can read much more about the filming of The Rum Diary on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet