Articles from February 2013

Casting news–Paul Bettany to join Johnny Depp in TRANSCENDENCE

Yesterday we learned that Johnny Depp’s next film role will be in Wally Pfister’s Transcendence, and that principal photography is scheduled to begin in April. Now Deadline is reporting that Paul Bettany will be joining Johnny in Transcendence; although plot details are being kept under wraps, the scuttlebutt is that Bettany will be playing a scientist. The two actors previously worked together in The Tourist.

The Zone thanks Lou Lou 63 for sharing the news; you can read more about Transcendence on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

It’s official–Johnny Depp to film TRANSCENDENCE in April, followed by BLACK MASS

The confusion over which movie Johnny Depp will film next disappeared this afternoon when Johnny’s representatives officially confirmed his schedule for the next few months . . . and a busy schedule it is! First up is Transcendence, which is set to begin principal photography in April under the direction of Wally Pfister. Transcendence, which will be released by Warner Bros., will mark the Oscar-winning cinematographer’s first time in the director’s chair. According to Deadline, Pfister will direct from newcomer Jack Paglen’s screenplay, which was developed with Annie Marter, with the most recent draft by Noah Oppenheim.

After Transcendence, Johnny will play the notorious (and still very much in the news) Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger in the film Black Mass, to be directed by Oscar-winner Barry Levinson (Rain Man). Deadline reports that Jez Butterworth is writing a new draft of the screenplay by Mark Mallouk, based on the New York Times best-seller Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob by Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerald O’Neill.

Filming of Black Mass is scheduled to begin in the early summer of 2013.

The Zone thanks Lou Lou 63 for breaking the news; you can read more about Johnny’s upcoming film projects on the Zone’s News & Views forum. The Deadline article is available HERE; The Hollywood Reporter confirms the news HERE.

“I watched him smile and shake every hand”–Letterman writer Bill Scheft explains why Johnny Depp is his “favorite big-time celebrity”

Late Show staff writer Bill Scheft has seen hundreds of celebrity guests occupy the chair next to David Letterman over the years, so it is a real tribute to the unique character of Johnny Depp that Mr. Scheft was so impressed by Johnny’s appearance on the February 21st show that he wrote a post on his blog in praise of Johnny. (You can read the entire blog post HERE.) “I think I have a new favorite big-time celebrity,” Mr. Scheft writes, and names Johnny.

“Up to yesterday, his greatest quality to me was how much he enjoys talking to Dave. I am beyond charmed by that,” Scheft writes. “. . . And until last night, that’s what I loved about Johnny Depp. And then I saw him bring out his friend, singer/songwriter Bill Carter, to share home base with him and Dave, then recede in the next act to play some haunting slide guitar, perched on a stool in the well-defined background. Then, when that was done, I watched him smile and shake every hand in the band, the crew, other staffers on the show, and all the way out through the stage door, onto 53rd Street, where hundreds of screaming faces reminded him of who they think he is. Who they want him to be.”

You can see photos of Johnny greeting the crowd after the show and signing autographs HERE.

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the article and Evochka, Emma and Theresa for sharing photographs. You can read more about Johnny’s appearance on The Late Show on the Zone’s News & Views forum and the Pit General Discussion forum.

“We wanted to make the book as beautiful as possible”–Johnny Depp talks about publishing Woody Guthrie’s HOUSE OF EARTH

During his interview with David Letterman on The Late Show Thursday night, Johnny Depp spoke publicly for the first time about his new publishing venture, the Infinitum Nihil imprint for HarperCollins. Earlier this month, Infinitum Nihil published its first title, House of Earth, a lost novel by American musical icon Woody Guthrie. David Letterman displayed a copy of the book and asked Johnny about the project’s genesis.

DAVID LETTERMAN: Johnny, you’re now publishing . . . I know you have a love of books, and you have published this New York Times bestseller already. This is a lost novel from Woody Guthrie?

JOHNNY DEPP: Yes.

DL: About the Dust Bowl?

JD: Yes.

DL: How did you find the transcript of this?

JD: It came to me through a mutual friend of Hunter Thompson’s and myself, this guy named Douglas Brinkley, who’s a brilliant writer and historian — professor — he’s just amazing. So he called me and said, “I’ve just been shown the manuscript to Woody Guthrie’s last novel . . . . I think you’re the guy. I think we should publish it.” And so we went into it, and just wanted to make the book as, you know, beautiful as possible, since they’re a dying breed, these things.

DL: You have plans to publish other volumes, different things?

JD: We have a couple of things in line. There’s a thing we’re doing with Bob Dylan, which should be interesting.

For those curious about House of Earth, ONBC — the Zone’s online book club — will be discussing the novel in March, and our moderators are currently presenting tidbits of background information to enhance your enjoyment of the novel. You can join the conversation HERE; everyone is welcome. House of Earth is available on Amazon for $16.61 in that dying breed, the hardcover, and $12.74 for the Kindle edition.

The Zone thanks Maritza 1 for the photo of Johnny on The Late Show; you can see a larger version HERE.

Johnny Depp tells David Letterman how he “hit the deck” during LONE RANGER filming–new video!

While appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman, Johnny Depp told Dave about a particularly harrowing moment during the filming of The Lone Ranger, when he was riding a horse at full gallop and things suddenly “went sideways,” literally:

Many thanks to Theresa for sharing the video. You can read more about Johnny’s appearance on The Late Show on the Zone’s News & Views forum and the Pit General Discussion forum.

Johnny Depp appears with Bill Carter on THE LATE SHOW with David Letterman

Johnny Depp has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman many times, but tonight was a first: in addition to a friendly, relaxed interview with Dave, Johnny also played guitar with Bill Carter and the Blame on “Anything Made of Paper,” Bill and Ruth Carter’s song from the West of Memphis soundtrack. Johnny explained how he met Bill and Ruth Carter in the early 1990s: “They’re amazing songwriters, and I met them when I was doing Gilbert Grape in Austin. And we all just hit it off, and so they were my kind of saving grace during that period, because it was a long movie . . . . And we did the movie and then I moved in with them for a few months.”

Asked to explain the history of “Anything Made of Paper,” Bill Carter told Dave that the song was written for Damien Echols, one of the unjustly imprisoned West Memphis Three, and Damien’s wife Lorri Davis. “When Lorri [. . . ] came to visit Ruth and I, she brought three roses that he [Damien] had made out of paper, as a gift, to represent the West Memphis Three. And I asked her what I could send back for him, and she said that all he can have is anything made of paper. So I immediately had this image. A song.”

Pictures of Johnny’s appearance on The Late Show are available HERE. Many thanks to Emma, Evochka, humiliatedgrape and Theresa for sharing pictures; you can read more about Johnny appearance on The Late Show on the Zone’s Pit General Discussion forum.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp arrives to tape THE LATE SHOW with David Letterman

Wearing a double-breasted plaid coat and a familiar Viper Room beanie, Johnny Depp arrived at the Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York City this afternoon to tape his appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. The show, which airs tonight on CBS, will feature Johnny playing guitar with longtime friend and musical collaborator Bill Carter and Bill’s band the Blame (watch for Bruce Witkin, too). Johnny will be interviewed with Bill in connection with Bill’s new CD, “Unknown.” We can also expect to hear a little bit about The Lone Ranger, too, since the official @Lone Ranger twitter feed sent this tweet today: “Watch The Late Show with David Letterman TONIGHT, Kemosabe, to catch Johnny Depp talking about The #LoneRanger.” We’ll be there!

The Zone thanks Lou Lou 63, Chocolat, and FANtasticJD for sharing news and Emma, Evochka, and Theresa for sharing photos. You can see pictures of Johnny arriving at the Ed Sullivan Theatre HERE.

TV ALERT–Johnny Depp to appear on THE LATE SHOW with David Letterman on Thursday, February 21, performing with Bill Carter and the Blame!

Here’s a happy surprise! Johnny Depp will be returning to The Late Show with David Letterman on Thursday night, February 21 . . . but this isn’t a visit to promote The Lone Ranger or any other film project. No, this time Johnny will be appearing as a musician, performing with Bill Carter and the Blame! Bill has a new CD, the excellent “Unknown,” and that’s the reason for the booking. Johnny has been performing with Bill and the Blame frequently over the past year.

Many thanks to FANtasticJD for sharing the news; you can read more about Johnny’s upcoming appearance with Letterman on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp introduces Mumford & Sons at the Grammys!

Johnny Depp spent less than a minute onstage at the Grammys tonight, just long enough to say this to the crowd: “Good evening. It is, uh, it is a great honor for me to be here tonight to introduce to you . . . (acknowledging the audience cheering) hi, how’re you doing? . . . to introduce to you the sublime Mumford & Sons.” Short and sweet. Mumford & Sons performed with their usual brilliance and capped off the evening by winning the Grammy for Album of the Year for Babel. Sublime indeed! You can see photos of Johnny onstage HERE.

The Zone thanks Theresa and Evochka for sharing photos and Joni for the transcription of Johnny’s speech. You can read more about Johnny’s appearance at the Grammys on the Zone’s Pit General Discussion forum.

Johnny Depp attends MusiCares Person of the Year event in Los Angeles–new photos!

Johnny Depp attended the MusiCares Person of the Year event at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Friday night, February 8; this year’s honoree was the Boss, Bruce Springsteen. Johnny was wearing a familiar brown plaid double-breasted coat, a newsboy cap, blue sunglasses, and a couple of scarves. He posed for pictures with Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons; pictures are available HERE. Johnny’s band Tonto’s Giant Nuts covered Mumford & Sons “Little Lion Man” for the West of Memphis: Voices of Justice album, which was released to raise awareness for the continuing fight for exoneration of the West Memphis Three. Damien Echols has said that “Little Lion Man” was an inspiration to him at the end of his prison term.

The Zone thanks christinaFAN and Theresa for sharing the pictures. You can read more about the events of Grammy weekend in Los Angeles on the Zone’s Pit General Discussion forum.

TV ALERT– Johnny Depp to present award at the Grammys on Sunday!

Set your DVRs (if they weren’t set already) to record the Grammy awards on Sunday night — Johnny Depp has been announced as a presenter for the music-industry ceremony. The Grammys will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 10th and will be broadcast on CBS from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (or thereabouts). The show will be tape-delayed in the Pacific time zone (alas). The Zone thanks Theresa for breaking the news; you can read more about Johnny’s appearance at the Grammys on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Cheers to Infinitum Nihil! Woody Guthrie’s HOUSE OF EARTH is published by Johnny Depp’s HarperCollins book imprint

Johnny Depp’s HarperCollins book imprint, Infinitum Nihil, has published its first title: Woody Guthrie’s House of Earth, which was finished in 1947 but never previously published. Johnny Depp and historian Douglas Brinkley edited and wrote an introduction for the novel, which Amazon.com describes as “a powerful portrait of Dust Bowl America, filled with the homespun lyricism and authenticity that have made his [Guthrie’s] songs a part of our national consciousness. It is the story of an ordinary couple’s dreams of a better life and their search for love and meaning in a corrupt world.”

Early reviews for House of Earth are laudatory. USA Today included House of Earth among their “Top Ten Winter Reads.” Kirkus Reviews calls House of Earth “an achievement [. . .], yet another facet of Guthrie’s multiplex talents.” Publishers Weekly observes, “With dialogue rich in ‘hillbilly’ vernacular and a story steeped in folk traditions, Guthrie’s drought-burdened, dust-blown landscape swirls with life. His heritage as folksinger, artist, and observer of West Texas strife lives on through these distinct pages infused with the author’s wit, personality, and dedication to Americana.”

House of Earth will be the next selection read by Oprah Noodlemantra’s Book Club! Tidbits begin later this month, with the discussion occurring in March. Check the ONBC forum for details HERE.

House of Earth is available on Amazon for $16.61 (hardcover) and $12.74 for the Kindle edition. You can see the cover artwork — a beautiful painting by Woody Guthrie, whose talents knew no boundaries — HERE. An audiobook edition will be available on March 19th for $19.79.

See the Super Bowl trailer for THE LONE RANGER here!

Disney unveiled a new trailer for The Lone Ranger before the Super Bowl kickoff show; this version combines action and storyline information with a glimpse of the humorous byplay between Johnny Depp’s Tonto and Armie Hammer’s Texas Ranger. You can see the new trailer here:


The Lone Ranger is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Oscar-winner Gore Verbinski, with cinematography by Bojan Bazelli. The film also stars Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Frain and James Badge Dale.

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the trailer; you can read much more about The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

The Lone Ranger will ride into North American theaters on July 3, 2013. The UK release is scheduled for August 9, 2013.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp to play Boston mobster Whitey Bulger in Barry Levinson’s BLACK MASS

Johnny Depp has a new role to play, and it’s a juicy one: Boston mob kingpin Whitey Bulger, who spent more than a decade on the FBI’s Most Wanted List and eluded capture until 2011. Barry Levinson is set to direct the crime thriller, entitled Black Mass after its source, the New York Times bestseller Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob, by Dick Lehr and Gerald O’Neill. Deadline.com reports that Black Mass will be “a co-production between Cross Creek and Nigel Sinclair and Guy East’s Exclusive Media, with the two entities co-financing. Universal Pictures is aboard to release the film in the U.S. through Cross Creek’s distribution deal with the studio, and production is to begin in May.”

Black Mass will be produced by Cross Creek’s Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson, John Lesher, and Infinitum Nihil’s Christi Dembrowski. No further cast has been announced.

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for breaking the news; you can read more on the Zone’s News & Views forum. The Deadline.com story is available HERE.