Articles from April 2013

Johnny Depp arrives on set to film TRANSCENDENCE–new photos!

Johnny Depp reported for work on Wally Pfister’s Transcendence today, and photographers captured him walking from his SUV to his trailer. In the spirit of celebration that always permeates the Zone when Johnny is making a film, we are happy to share a small gallery of pictures taken around the set today, including one of leading lady Rebecca Hall. If Johnny looks a bit different, it’s not just because he has cut his hair; the familiar tattoos on his arms are covered by makeup here. Zoners will recognize Johnny’s security chief Jerry Judge standing behind Johnny in one photo. Photos are available HERE.

The Zone thanks Chocolat and Emma for sharing pictures; you can read more about Transcendence on the Zone’s News & Views forum. More photos are available at Just Jared HERE.

Johnny Depp attends Rolling Stones concert in Los Angeles–new photos!

The photo at left shows Johnny Depp inside his SUV as he left the Rolling Stones concert in Los Angeles on Saturday night. The Stones played a warm-up gig for their upcoming tour at the Echoplex in Hollywood, a relatively intimate venue that holds only 700 patrons. Tickets for the surprise show were awarded by lottery, although presumably the high-profile celebrities in attendance didn’t need to win their way inside. Johnny was accompanied by his Rum Diary co-star Amber Heard (the woman in the red jacket) and security chief Jerry Judge. Photos are available HERE. The Zone thanks Evochka and Aida for sharing photos.

Surprise! Johnny Depp may sing Sondheim again, in Rob Marshall’s INTO THE WOODS

Johnny Depp’s first appearance in a Stephen Sondheim musical, singing the title role in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, earned Johnny a Golden Globe and a Best Actor Oscar nomination. Now multiple media outlets are reporting that Johnny is “in talks” to join the cast of another Sondheim musical: the Disney film version of the fairy-tale mashup Into the Woods, to be directed by Rob Marshall, whose credits include the Oscar-winning Chicago as well as Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Meryl Streep — yes, that Meryl Streep, who has more Oscar nods than letters in her name — may join Johnny in the cast; she is currently in negotiations to play the tale’s witch. Johnny’s potential role has not been announced: Variety reports that he will play the Baker, while the Hollywood Reporter suggests that he will play the Wolf. The storyline of Into the Woods revolves around a childless baker and his wife who attempt to lift a family curse by journeying into the woods to confront the witch that put the spell on them. Along the way, they encounter Rapunzel, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (from “Jack and the Beanstalk”) and other classic fairy tale characters.

Into the Woods has no official start date yet. According to Variety, if Johnny signs on, he would film Into the Woods after he finishes Wally Pfister’s Transcendence, which is currently shooting, and Barry Levinson’s Black Mass, which follows in the fall.

The Zone thanks Emma for breaking the news; you can read more about Into the Woods on the Zone’s News & Views forum. The Hollywood Reporter story is available HERE, and the Variety article is available HERE.

TRANSCENDENCE begins shooting in Los Angeles; filming will shift to New Mexico soon

Principal photography for Wally Pfister’s directorial debut, Transcendence, got underway at Sunset Gower Studios in Los Angeles today. Transcendence stars Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara, and Cillian Murphy. Written by Jack Paglen, Transcendence is being financed and produced by Alcon Entertainment’s Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove, with Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas and Aaron Ryder as executive producers.

Shooting will soon move to New Mexico, where filming is expected to continue in and around Albuquerque until the end of July. New Mexico Film Office director Nick Maniatis announced that Transcendence will employ approximately 250 New Mexico crew members and over 2400 New Mexico background and principal talent. That should provide a nice boost to the local economy!

The Zone thanks Emma and humiliatedgrape for sharing the news. You can read more about Transcendence on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

TRANSCENDENCE, starring Johnny Depp, gets its release date moved up to April 18, 2014!

Transcendence will reach us a week earlier than originally planned! Warner Bros. has moved the release date of Wally Pfister’s directorial debut from April 25, 2014 to April 18, 2014, which will coincide with next year’s Easter weekend. Warner Bros. will also release the film in IMAX. Very little is known about the plot of Transcendence — details are closely guarded — but the generally accepted synopsis is that Johnny Depp plays a scientist who creates a computer program that develops “a malevolent awareness.”

Transcendence has also acquired another new cast member: Cole Hauser, most recently seen in A Good Day to Die Hard and Olympus Has Fallen, will join an ensemble that includes Johnny, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara, and Cillian Murphy.

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

Clifton Collins Jr. and Cory Hardrict join TRANSCENDENCE cast

Two new cast members have joined Johnny Depp in Transcendence, Wally Pfister’s directorial debut: Clifton Collins Jr., soon to be seen in Pacific Rim, and Cory Hardrict, most recently seen in Warm Bodies. Transcendence also stars Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara, and Cillian Murphy. The film, written by Jack Paglen, will be financed and produced by Alcon Entertainment’s Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove, with Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas and Aaron Ryder as executive producers.

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

Director Verbinski strives to bring realism to THE LONE RANGER

Director Gore Verbinski joined stars Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer and producer Jerry Bruckheimer to promote their latest film, The Lone Ranger, at an exclusive Q&A with Yahoo! Movies at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. Verbinski emphasized how hard his production team worked to make the film as realistic as possible; rather than relying on green-screen and CGI effects, they went to remote areas in the mountains and the desert to film. “I tried to actually put people on trains, on horses, under horses, in the dirt,” Verbinski told the crowd. “I tried to make it feel like all of it actually occurred. We were a very large production, but lo-fi.”

Verbinski’s insistence on realism took its toll on cast and crew. “The weather was horrendous,” he recalled. “It rained, it snowed, it was 145 degrees … this was the hardest film ever.”

Johnny said that he considered The Lone Ranger “the most dangerous movie I’ve ever done, and I’ve worked with Michael Mann. [. . .] Staying alive on a horse that’s moving at high speed … that was the greatest challenge.”

Photos of Johnny onstage with Gore at the Las Vegas Q&A are available HERE.

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the news and Theresa for sharing the pictures. You can read more about The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum. Yahoo!Movie’s Movie Talk article on the Las Vegas Q&A is available HERE.

Johnny Depp appears at CinemaCon Q&A in Las Vegas–new photos!

Johnny Depp appeared with his Lone Ranger producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski, and co-star Armie Hammer at a question-and-answer session to promote the film in Las Vegas this afternoon at the AMC Town Square 18 in Las Vegas. The quartet responded to questions submitted by fans in the audience and via Facebook and Twitter. While the questions broke little new ground, they did allow Johnny and Armie to display their vibrant senses of humor. Johnny also had an opportunity to explain how his “new approach” to Tonto was grounded in his desire to show respect for Native Americans.

“Not to take away from anything the great Jay Silverheels did,” Johnny said, referring to the actor who played Tonto on the Lone Ranger TV series, “but as a kid when I watched the show I didn’t understand why Tonto was the sidekick. I always felt a little unnerved about it. [. . .T]he goal really was to try to in my own small way right the many wrongs that have been done to [Native American] people and to show Tonto not only as a proud warrior but as a man just a bit outside.”

Johnny also said that he wanted to reflect the “fantastic sense of humor–very dry” that is typical of Native Americans; we can see a bit of that on display in the Lone Ranger trailers.

The Zone thanks Emma and Lou Lou 63 for sharing news coverage and photos; you can read more about the event on the Zone’s News & Views forum and the Pit General Discussion forum. Photos of Johnny at CinemaCon are available HERE.

BATMAN franchise vet Cillian Murphy is latest TRANSCENDENCE cast addition

Wally Pfister is having no difficulty convincing actors who know his work as Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer to sign up for Pfister’s directorial debut, Transcendence — Cillian Murphy is the latest Nolan alum to join the project, which begins filming soon. Murphy played Scarecrow in Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises; his impressive resume also includes Inception, Red Eye, TRON: Legacy, The Wind That Shakes the Barley, and Girl with a Pearl Earring. Murphy joins Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman, and Kata Mara in Transcendence, which is scheduled for release on April 25, 2014.

The Zone thanks summer70 for breaking the news; you can read more about Transcendence on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

ET airs “First Look–on the Set of THE LONE RANGER”

Entertainment Tonight aired a minute of exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from the set of The Lone Ranger on their broadcast on Monday, April 15th. ET noted that the “Disney update of the Western classic” pairs Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the Ranger, John Reid: “The crimefighting duo tackle greed, corruption, and a runaway train traveling at up to 40 mph — try running on that chained together!” ET pointed out that the Iron Horse used in The Lone Ranger is real, consisting of more than 25,000 pounds of iron mounted on 4,000 pounds of turntable skidding on 10,000 pounds of track. Impressive!

ET had no interview with Johnny, but their footage includes some enthusiastic comments from Armie about the size and scope of the film. Clearly he enjoyed playing the Ranger: “If you find a job you love,” he told ET, “you never have to work another day in your life.”

The Zone thanks humiliatedgrape for sharing the footage; you can read more about The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum. ET did not air in all of its usual markets in the U.S. due to pre-emptions for news coverage of the tragedy at the Boston Marathon. The “First Look” video is available on ET’s website HERE.

TV ALERT–Johnny Depp’s appearance on THE LATE SHOW with David Letterman re-airs on Thursday, April 18th!

Johnny Depp’s memorable appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman — a program that originally aired on February 21, 2013 — will be rebroadcast on Thursday night, April 18th. Johnny appeared with good friend and fellow musician Bill Carter and played slide guitar with Bill Carter and the Blame for their performance of “Anything Made of Paper,” a song written by Bill and his wife Ruth Ellsworth for the West of Memphis soundtrack. Johnny’s long and relaxed interview with Dave includes tales of his beginnings as a musician and that funny but rather terrifying incident when he was nearly trampled by his horse while filming The Lone Ranger. Definitely a must-see!

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

“Tonto is a proud warrior,” Johnny Depp tells ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Disney’s new version of The Lone Ranger, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Gore Verbinski, is prominently featured in Entertainment Weekly‘s summer movie issue (cover date April 19). This Lone Ranger unfolds from the perspective of Native American shaman Tonto, played by Johnny Depp, rather than the more familiar focus on Texas Ranger John Reid (Armie Hammer). Johnny explained to EW’s Adam Markovitz that when watching the TV series as a kid, he “identified with the slow-talking but quick-witted Native American” and “hated the fact that Tonto was always on the sidelines.” In an email to EW, Johnny wrote, “I couldn’t help but feel he was getting shortchanged somehow. That was something I was keen to remedy. To set the record straight, if you will. Tonto is nobody’s sidekick. Tonto is a proud warrior.”

EW describes Tonto as “a character as idiosyncratic as any on Depp’s resume,” which takes in quite a bit of quirky territory. “Tonto is something of a lost soul,” Johnny told EW. “Ostracized from his tribe, most likely by his own design, out of guilt. But yeah, he’s damaged. He’s just looking to get back on track,” Johnny explained. “His own particular brand of eccentricity stems from all that. He’s searching for a resolution, in his own, warrior way.”

The Zone thanks Lou Lou 63 for sharing the Entertainment Weekly article; you can read more about The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum. A photo from EW is available HERE.

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

Morgan Freeman in “final negotiations” to join TRANSCENDENCE cast

The acting ensemble for Wally Pfister’s directing debut keeps getting stronger and stronger — Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby) is now in “final negotiations” to join the Transcendence cast, reports Justin Kroll in Variety. Freeman has previously collaborated with Pfister and Transcendence executive producer Christopher Nolan on Nolan’s wildly successful Batman franchise; Freeman played Lucius Fox in Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises, for which Pfister served as cinematographer. Freeman has also earned Best Actor Oscar nominations for Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption, and Invictus, in which he portrayed Nelson Mandela.

Freeman will be joining Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, and Kate Mara in the sci-fi drama, which is scheduled to begin shooting at the end of the month.

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

New trailer for THE LONE RANGER released–see it here!

Disney unveiled a new trailer for The Lone Ranger during the NCAA men’s basketball championship game on Monday night. It combines stunning cinematography with fast-moving action and a bit of 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 Lou Lou 63 and Theresa 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.

New character posters for THE LONE RANGER released–see photos!

With the Jerry Bruckheimer/Gore Verbinski version of The Lone Ranger due in theaters in less than three months, Disney has released two beautiful new character posters for its leading actors, highlighting the strength and dignity of the Lone Ranger and Tonto. You can see the new posters HERE. “In our film, the Lone Ranger is a lot more rugged than in any version of the character we’ve seen in the past,” producer Jerry Bruckheimer told USA Today. “This is not your father’s Lone Ranger. And Armie looks great with that 5 o’clock shadow.” Johnny’s take on his appearance as Comanche shaman Tonto was typically self-deprecating: “This is not the look you want to wake up to in the middle of the night and see hovering over you,” he said. Zoners might disagree with that remark — the Tonto poster is generating a lot of positive feedback on our forums.

The Zone thanks emma for sharing the new posters and the article introducing them in USA Today; you can read the article HERE. More information about The Lone Ranger is available on the Zone’s News & Views forum.