Articles from January 2010

"I think this will be . . . a great role for you"–Graham King explains how he enticed Johnny Depp into filming THE TOURIST

In an interview with Steve “Frosty” Weintraub of Collider.com, producer Graham King described how he became involved with his upcoming film The Tourist, and how he persuaded Johnny Depp to join the project. One day, said King, he received a call from Gary Barber at Spyglass Entertainment, who suggested King might be interested in The Tourist. “And I read it and I saw a movie–I saw a great movie. And I watched the original, Anthony Zimmer, the French movie, and I really liked that.” Angelina Jolie was already attached to the project at this time: “[She] really wanted to play this role and work with Florian [director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck], who obviously did The Lives of Others and has a lot of talent.”

The next step for the producer was bringing Johnny Depp on board. “I [ . . . ] sent Johnny the script and I said, ‘I think this will be really a great role for you.’ And I went over to see him and we spoke about it, and he read it, and he saw the original, and he said, ‘I love it.’ And he said, ‘It’s really, really special.'” Adds King, with obvious enthusiasm, “All of a sudden I’ve got Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in a movie, you know? Which is a really fun feeling, right?”

“I think that’s one you’ll be on the set of,” reporter Weintraub commented, and King replied, “Every day. [. . .] Me and 300,000 paparazzi.” The producer also said the start of filming is “around the corner;” he expects to start at the end of February.

The Zone thanks reyhan for posting the interview with Graham King; you can read it on the Zone’s News & Views forum. King has many interesting things to say about his projects with Johnny, including The Rum Diary and Dark Shadows. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp to perform on charity single for Haiti–"I Put a Spell on You"

Johnny Depp is joining longtime friend Shane MacGowan, frontman of The Pogues, Nick Cave and other musicians to record a cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ 1956 classic “I Put A Spell On You.” All proceeds from sales of the single will go to Haitian earthquake relief. Not a lot of details are available yet, but British singer Paloma Faith tweeted this from Friday’s recording session: “I feel I have accomplished something. Singing with Nick Cave, Bobby Gillespie, Shane Mcgowan, Johnny Depp!, Chrissie Hynde! I have arrived.” Many thanks to Theresa and FANtasticJD for this exciting news; you can read more on the Zone’s News and Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

THE TOURIST, with Johnny Depp, begins filming March 1st in Venice

Preparations for Johnny Depp’s next film, The Tourist, are quietly underway: director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck will begin shooting in Venice on March 1st and filming will continue until May. A casting call has been issued for actors and 1,000 extras to appear in The Tourist, which will feature scenes at the Rialto market, in Piazza San Marco, and at a palace overlooking the Grand Canal. Sounds breathtaking! If you live in the area and would like to appear as an extra in The Tourist, selections will be held on Tuesday February 2nd, Wednesday February 3rd and Thursday, February 4th, from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Ca ‘Zanardi, 4132 Cannaregio. There are no age restrictions, but do bring a valid ID and a recent photo.

Johnny Depp’s co-star in The Tourist is Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie. You may have heard of her.

The Zone thanks Emma for the news; you can read more about The Tourist (often in very amusing but somewhat incoherent machine translations from Italian) on the Zone’s News and Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Ignore the Twitter hoax–Johnny Depp is alive and well

Once again, reports of Johnny Depp’s death are greatly exaggerated. A false report (actually a copy of an Internet death hoax about Johnny that circulated several years ago) began making the rounds on Sunday claiming that JD had died in a car accident in France over the weekend. According to E!News, fans began posting “RIP Johnny Depp” messages on their Twitter pages, sending the story spreading like wildfire. Be careful what you tweet, folks . . . because this story was bogus. (And so is the well-traveled hoax that claims Johnny Depp died in a fall in the mountains in New Zealand–that one resurfaces every couple of years.)

Robin Baum, JD’s longtime publicist, issued the following statement to the media: “He isn’t dead. He’s fine.” So there you have it: good news. –Part-Time Poet

"Trying to . . . make the actors as great as they can be"–Director Rob Marshall on PIRATES 4

MTV’s movie reporter Josh Horowitz spoke to Rob Marshall on the red carpet at the Golden Globes (where Marshall’s Nine was nominated) and asked the director for an update on his next project, Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides. “We’ve now started, officially,” Marshall replied; Pirates 4 is scheduled to film this summer. “I’m talking to Johnny and it’s been great. I’ve been working already. I’m spending a lot of time with [producer] Jerry Bruckheimer, learning this whole adventure of this . . . different genre for me, which I feel so at home [with] already.”

Asked how he will make On Stranger Tides “his own,” Marshall replied, “I never quite think of myself in terms of putting a stamp on anything. I think we’re just trying to bring what’s on the page to life, to make the actors as great as they can be, serve them, serve the material.”

The Zone thanks Emma for the interview with Rob Marshall; you can read more about Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

ALICE IN WONDERLAND featured on the cover of March TOTAL FILM

Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter graces the cover of the March 2010 issue of Total Film. Inside, a six-page article by Mark Salisbury describes the filming and includes Q&As with the film’s Alice, Mia Wasikowska, and Johnny Depp, as well as remarks from director Tim Burton, Helena Bonham Carter, and Anne Hathaway. “I was telling Tim, I think this guy’s poisoned and that’s what makes him mad. Obviously that’s where the term came from, ‘mad as a hatter,'” Johnny tells Salisbury. “You always get images in your head of what the guy should look like [. . .], and for some reason I thought he should look like a lit match.”

The Zone thanks In-too-Depp for sharing the Total Film article; you can find it on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Mad Hatter shows emotions "like a mood ring," says Johnny Depp

The photo at left shows Johnny Depp during a newly released promotional interview for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Describing his character, the Mad Hatter, Johnny says, “He’s unpredictable. You see instantly what he’s feeling, like a mood ring. His emotions are very, very close to the surface. Being able to play the Mad Hatter, to breathe life into that, was a dream come true.”

Johnny also has an explanation for the Mad Hatter’s temperament, which could perhaps best be described as “mercurial.” In an earlier interview, Johnny told reporter Rachel Abramowitz of the Los Angeles Times that he believes the Mad Hatter was a victim of mercury poisoning. “In the 18th and 19th centuries, mercury was used in the manufacture of felt, and when used in hats it could be absorbed through the skin and affect the mind,” Abramowitz wrote. Hatters who suffered from mercury poisoning developed “an orange tint” to their hair . . . “hence Depp’s interest in adding brushstrokes of that particular watercolor to his portrait.”

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the interview; you can read more about Alice in Wonderland on the Zone’s News and Views forum. To see a larger version of AnaMaria’s screencap of Johnny’s interview, CLICK HERE. Thanks to AnaMaria for sharing it with us. –Part-Time Poet

"Unconventional" Johnny Depp on cover of February GQ

That’s Johnny Depp on the cover of the February issue of GQ, in a 1999 photo by Patrick DeMarchelier. (Clues that this is an older photo? Several missing tattoos and a cigarette-in-hand.) The accompanying feature is called “The 25 Most Stylish Men in the World, 2010,” and Johnny tops the list. Explaining the reason for the honor, Barney’s Creative Director, Simon Doonan, says, “Johnny Depp’s a unicorn–a really glamorous, one-of-a-kind eccentric. Usually guys try to fit in; they don’t want to get criticized. At any red-carpet event, there are going to be guys who look spiffy in their Prada or Armani tuxedos, but you wait for Johnny Depp, because he’s always going to look super-groovy and unconventional. He wears great man jewelry. He doesn’t shy away from color. He’s always peeking through his amazing hair. It doesn’t matter if Johnny Depp’s lying in a ditch–he’s always going to look incredible.”

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for breaking the news and AnaMaria for the cover photo. To see a larger version of the cover, CLICK HERE. The February issue of GQ will be on sale on January 26th. –Part-Time Poet

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4: ON STRANGER TIDES to film in Hawaii this summer

Captain Jack Sparrow will be sailing well west of the Caribbean when Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides goes before the cameras later this year. Disney has confirmed that On Stranger Tides, with Chicago’s Rob Marshall directing, will shoot on the Hawaiian islands of Kauai and Oahu this summer; preproduction will start in the spring. Bob Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, met with Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle on Friday, January 15th, to deliver the good news (and it is very good news for Hawaii, since the production will pump as much as $85 million into the local economy).

“The Walt Disney Company has a great relationship with Hawaii that we’re looking forward to building upon with the filming of the latest adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow and his crew,” Mr. Iger said. “I thank Governor Lingle and her team for their tremendous support of the projects Disney has underway in this great state.”

“Hawaii provides an amazing range of both land and seascapes, and we’re delighted to return for On Stranger Tides,” said producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Sequences in previous Pirates films were shot on Maui and Molokai. Mr. Bruckheimer said his production company has always sought out “the most extraordinary and exotic locations for the Pirates of the Caribbean films.”

The Zone thanks Theresa and Emma for breaking the news; you can read more about Pirates 4 on the Zone’s News & Views forum. Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides is due in theaters May 20, 2011. –Part-Time Poet

UK Vogue names Johnny Depp one of its "Best Dressed Men"

Deppheads who can remember when Johnny Depp was regularly taken to task in fashion columns for his idiosyncratic attire will be pleased (and perhaps amused) to hear that UK Vogue has named Johnny one of its “Best Dressed Men.” Says Vogue, “His eccentric red carpet get-ups show an originality of dress that is always impressive. He never fails to look as though every element of his look–from pocket watch to jewellry–has received due consideration, as though he’s always in character–but he wears it all with an irresistible nonchalance.” The cliche is that clothes make the man, but in Johnny Depp’s case, clearly the opposite is true.

To see a larger photo of Johnny on the red carpet at the London premiere of Public Enemies, CLICK HERE. The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for sharing the news. –Part-Time Poet

Johnny Depp "honored" to play Pancho Villa in upcoming Kusturica film

During a press conference at the Kustendorf International Film and Music Festival, Johnny Depp confirmed that he will work with friend and festival founder Emir Kusturica again (Kusturica directed JD in 1993’s Arizona Dream). Johnny will play Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa in The Seven Friends of Pancho Villa and the Woman with Six Fingers, which will shoot in 2011. “I’m very honored to say that I get to play Pancho Villa in a film for Emir,” Johnny told the press. “When Emir told me that he wants me for the role of Pancho Villa, I thought that a Mexican actor would be a better choice, since Villa is the national hero. However, I am sure that Emir probably has something on his mind, some vision that he wants to realize.”

To see a larger photo of Johnny speaking to the press, CLICK HERE, and to see a photo of Johnny and Emir Kusturica laughing at the press conference, CLICK HERE. The Zone thanks Emma for reports on the press conference and Evochka for the photos; you can read more about Johnny’s trip to Kustendorf on the Zone’s News and Views forum. –Part-Time Poet


Johnny Depp to direct a documentary about Keith Richards

One bit of surprising information from an interview Johnny Depp gave at the Kustendorf Film Festival: he intends to direct a documentary about his longtime friend (and Captain Jack Sparrow’s film father), rock immortal Keith Richards. Since we are working from a machine translation of a Serbian report rather than text written in English, the details are unfortunately sketchy (and involve some guesswork). However, when asked if he would ever consider directing another film, Johnny Depp replied, “I will [. . . ] do a documentary on Keith Richards. While I am in Drvengrad, my editor [is examining] the miles of archival material, recordings of his concerts.” Added Johnny, “I am very touched that Keith has accepted to be found in front of my camera.” That’s how the Serbian report appears when translated into English–we’re guessing that Johnny’s actual words to the interviewer were something like, “I am very touched that Keith has agreed to let me film him” or “I am very touched that Keith has agreed to be in my film.” In any case, it’s great news!

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for sharing the story; you can read the full interview with Johnny Depp (in its machine translation) on the Zone’s News & Views forum. It takes imagination and patience to de-code it, but there is a lot of fascinating material. –Part-Time Poet

BREAKING NEWS–Statue of Johnny Depp unveiled at Kustendorf Film Festival opening ceremonies–new photos

The third annual Kustendorf International Film and Music Festival got underway in Serbia with a lavish fireworks display, music by the award-winning Dejan Pertrovic Orchestra, and the unveiling of a carved wooden statue of Johnny Depp, this year’s guest of honor. The life-sized statue depicts Johnny in his role as Axel Blackmar in Emir Kusturica’s award-winning film Arizona Dream. To see a photo of Johnny Depp and Emir Kusturica with the statue, CLICK HERE, and to see Johnny waving to the crowd during the fireworks display, CLICK HERE.

The opening ceremony included the screening of a short film tribute to Johnny, which featured highlights of many of his movie roles. Acknowledging the ovation from the crowd, Johnny said that he had just realized “how many strange films” he has made. “I want to thank my brother Emir and my second family here, and all of you,” Johnny told the crowd. “Thanks to directors such as Jim Jarmusch, Tim Burton, and Emir Kusturica, I was able to stick around for so many years. Thanks once again!”

Many thanks to all the Zoners who have been providing pictures of the Kustendorf festival, and to Emma and FANtasticJD for news reports. You can read much more on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck set to direct THE TOURIST with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie

German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck will direct The Tourist, starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie; GK Films has confirmed to the press that the director, who was attached to direct The Tourist when it was in development, has now returned to the project. Donnersmarck won an Academy Award in 2007 for Best Foreign Language Film for his writing/directing debut The Lives of Others. The Tourist, a thriller based on the French film Anthony Zimmer, casts Johnny Depp as an American tourist who is lured into a web of intrigue by a duplicitous female Interpol agent (played by Angelina Jolie) who needs his help to locate a criminal.

The Tourist is scheduled to film this spring in Venice.

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

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp arrives in Drvengrad for the Kustendorf International Film and Music Festival

Johnny Depp and director Emir Kusturica arrived by helicopter at the village of Drvengrad in Mokra Gora national park, 200 km southwest of Belgrade, where Kusturica’s 3rd annual Kustendorf International Film and Music Festival will begin tomorrow. Picture-perfect and nestled high on a mountainside, Drvengrad was built in 2005 as a setting for Kusturica’s film Life Is A Miracle, and won the 2005 Philippe Rotthier European Architecture Award. To see a larger version of the photo of Johnny smiling as he arrives in Drvengrad, CLICK HERE, and to see a photo of Johnny with Emir Kusturica (and the helicopter), CLICK HERE. A man of endless talents, Kusturica flew the chopper himself.

The Zone thanks Carasun for the beautiful photos and Emma for several news stories; you can read about Johnny’s adventures in Serbia on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp arrives in Belgrade, meets with Serbian President Boris Tadic–new photos

Not many actors get personal greetings from a foreign head of state when they travel abroad, but that’s exactly what happened to Johnny Depp when he arrived in Belgrade today. Serbian President Boris Tadic took time to greet Johnny and native son Emir Kusturica; to see photos of Johnny with President Tadic, CLICK HERE and HERE. Johnny is in Serbia for the 3rd annual Kustendorf International Film and Music Festival, where he will be honored with showings of 3 of his films and will participate in a workshop with Emir Kusturica and young filmmakers.

To see a photo of Johnny leaving the building, surrounded by security guards and photographers, CLICK HERE. Yes, that is security chief Jerry Judge (with a new haircut) standing behind Johnny.

The Zone thanks all the members who have generously shared photos and news stories from Serbia, including AnaMaria, Bonnie, Theresa, Emma, Carasun, and FANtasticJD. You can read much more about Johnny’s trip to the Kustendorf International Film and Music Festival on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

THE TOURIST to film in Venice, says costume designer Colleen Atwood

We haven’t heard much, officially, about The Tourist since those first tantalizing rumors about a thriller starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie started appearing last November. However, producer Graham King has given several press interviews where, despite the lack of official announcements, he has spoken confidently about “a little film called The Tourist, starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie,” which he expects to begin filming in February. Now Women’s Wear Daily, of all unlikely sources, gets some confirmation from costume designer extraordinaire Colleen Atwood, who has named The Tourist as her next film project. Today’s WWD reports the following about Ms. Atwood:

Next up, Atwood said she’s off to Venice to work on The Tourist, starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. Then she teams up once again with Tim Burton–having previously worked on a number of Burton’s films, including Edward Scissorhands–for his take on the 1970s vampire soap opera Dark Shadows. ‘It’s really the most fun a person can have because Tim really lets you do your thing,’ she said.”

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the article on Colleen Atwood; you can read more about the Tourist on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Jerry Bruckheimer on PIRATES 4: "Everything's fine"–filming to start in June

During an interview January 9th in Pasadena, producer Jerry Bruckheimer laid to rest the uncertainty regarding Johnny Depp’s participation in the 4th Pirates of the Caribbean film. According to Mr. Bruckheimer, both Johnny and director Rob Marshall are “confirmed” for On Stranger Tides, now due to be released on May 20, 2011. “Yeah, everything’s fine,” the producer said. “We’re moving forward. We hope to start in June, and Rob Marshall’s set. We’re moving forward.” Will Geoffrey Rush, Keira Knightley and/or Orlando Bloom be returning to the high seas? Mr. Bruckheimer skillfully evaded that question. “No deals have been made yet, other than Johnny’s,” he told the press. “We’ll make those decisions later and let you know.”

As for the plot of the fourth installment, “I think it kind of takes off from the end of 3 [At World’s End], where he’s got that map to the fountain of youth,” Mr. Bruckheimer said. “That’s where the story starts. That was the inspiration.”

And how will new franchise director Rob Marshall top the maelstrom climax of At World’s End? “Rob Marshall is an ex-choreographer, so I’m sure he’ll find some really interesting things to play with,” Mr. Bruckheimer said. “Hopefully there will always be signature sequences.”

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for the Jerry Bruckheimer interview; you can read more about Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

Jerry Bruckheimer on PIRATES 4: "Everything’s fine"–filming to start in June

During an interview January 9th in Pasadena, producer Jerry Bruckheimer laid to rest the uncertainty regarding Johnny Depp’s participation in the 4th Pirates of the Caribbean film. According to Mr. Bruckheimer, both Johnny and director Rob Marshall are “confirmed” for On Stranger Tides, now due to be released on May 20, 2011. “Yeah, everything’s fine,” the producer said. “We’re moving forward. We hope to start in June, and Rob Marshall’s set. We’re moving forward.” Will Geoffrey Rush, Keira Knightley and/or Orlando Bloom be returning to the high seas? Mr. Bruckheimer skillfully evaded that question. “No deals have been made yet, other than Johnny’s,” he told the press. “We’ll make those decisions later and let you know.”

As for the plot of the fourth installment, “I think it kind of takes off from the end of 3 [At World’s End], where he’s got that map to the fountain of youth,” Mr. Bruckheimer said. “That’s where the story starts. That was the inspiration.”

And how will new franchise director Rob Marshall top the maelstrom climax of At World’s End? “Rob Marshall is an ex-choreographer, so I’m sure he’ll find some really interesting things to play with,” Mr. Bruckheimer said. “Hopefully there will always be signature sequences.”

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for the Jerry Bruckheimer interview; you can read more about Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet

New photos of Johnny Depp in Los Angeles, January 8th

That’s Johnny Depp in a black SUV arriving at a Los Angeles office building for a business meeting on Friday, January 8th. A photographer snapped Johnny’s picture as he alighted from the vehicle and walked into the building. Johnny was wearing his Viper Room beanie, a flannel shirt, and jeans. To see a larger version of the photo at left, CLICK HERE, and to see a photo of Johnny walking into the building, CLICK HERE. The Zone thanks Serendipity and Evochka for the pictures; you can read a discussion of them on the Zone’s Pit forum. –Part-Time Poet