Articles from August 2004

News on THE LIBERTINE, from one who has seen the film~~

DeepinDepp found several posts on from an Englishman named James who has seen a test screening of THE LIBERTINE. She has kindly edited the posts into a coherent review which is now on the Zone’s News & Views Forum. To read the entire thread, go here. The review is full of SPOILERS which I don’t want to publish here–check News & Views if your inquiring mind wants to know. One key fact James does report, however, is that Johnny Depp has no nude scene in THE LIBERTINE. The extras flash some skin, but the Earl of Rochester, the Libertine himself, keeps his clothes on.

Dallas screening of FINDING NEVERLAND another big success!

Zoners attended the Dallas screening of FINDING NEVERLAND and reported that the film was “as wonderful as everyone says.” Marc Forster was once again in attendance and stayed after the screening to answer questions from the audience. The director confirmed that Johnny Depp was his first choice to play J. M. Barrie–wise choice! How fortunate for all of us that Johnny said yes . . . . Bam A Lam got Marc Forster’s autograph after the screening, and he generously let her keep the pen as a souvenir. Thanks to Mom O Bam A Lam for her report–it’s always nice to see a mother and daughter enjoying their JDOCD together. You can read about their Dallas adventure on page 3 of Johnny Angel’s thread on the News forum called “My thoughts of FINDING NEVERLAND.” That thread has Zoners’ accounts of the Seattle screening as well–don’t miss it!

RUNNING WITH SCISSORS–another possible film project for Johnny Depp?

A new Hollywood rumor has Johnny being offered the role of Bookman in the upcoming film of Augusten Burroughs’ coming-of-age story, RUNNING WITH SCISSORS. Other A-list names attached to this project include Brad Pitt as producer and Gwynneth Paltrow, Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave, and Julianne Moore in the acting ensemble. Given Johnny’s affinity for playing damaged characters, the role of Bookman (who is the protagonist’s first lover) might appeal to him; however, this is only an offer to Johnny, not a firm deal. No projected shooting schedule was given, so it is impossible to judge if Johnny could be available for RUNNING WITH SCISSORS, and there has been no expression of interest, official or unofficial, from Johnny. The Zone thanks Micdus for reporting the offer and Sam for contributing background information on the plot. For more details, see the News & Views forum.

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT features Johnny Depp in their fall movie preview~~

Viewers of the Thursday edition (August 19) of ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT saw a little footage from FINDING NEVERLAND as part of their exclusive story on fall movies. ET showed the “Just believe” scene, noting that “Johnny Depp wants to brighten everyone’s day as the creator of PETER PAN in FINDING NEVERLAND.” He certainly brightens everyone’s day around the Zone! Thanks to alias4 for the report.

Gorgeous Nigel Parry photograph of Johnny Depp in new IN STYLE!

The new issue of IN STYLE magazine features selections from photographer Nigel Parry’s new coffee-table book, PRECIOUS. A terrific photograph of Johnny appears on page 450. Depp fans remember that Nigel Parry has taken many great photographs of Johnny, including the shots picked by PEOPLE to illustrate “the sexiest man alive.” The idea behind PRECIOUS, by Parry and Melanie Dunea, is that the photographers asked each subject to name his or her most precious asset. What was Johnny’s reply? “Breath. We tend not to think much about it. Each one is a blessing–every inhale, every exhale.”

What an apt reflection. When you see a Nigel Parry photograph of Johnny, you have to think about breath–to remember how to breathe! Thanks, Sleepy, for posting the scan on the News Board.

A little news on the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequel~~

Zoner Kellyr2 has visited the POTC writers’ site, WORDPLAY, to check the current status of the script(s) for the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequel(s). So how IS that script coming along? Terry Rossio replied, “Unfinished, overdue, and potentially brilliant.” Here’s hoping the scribes actualize that potential–pronto! We can’t wait to see Captain Jack Sparrow sail the Black Pearl back to our local multiplex.

Johnny Depp movie news! Get your updates here!

Do you remember that, in the UK, THE LIBERTINE and FINDING NEVERLAND were scheduled to open on the same day, October 29th? UK Deppheads will no longer need to bilocate; film distribution executives must have realized that having two Johnny Depp films debut on the same day is likely to depress individual box-office totals. Nichola reports that THE LIBERTINE premiere has been brought forward one week–it will now debut on October 22, 2004; FINDING NEVERLAND remains scheduled to open on October 29th in the UK.

Italian Zoners will have a chance to attend the screening of FINDING NEVERLAND at the Venice film festival on September 10th. Thanks, emma!

FINDING NEVERLAND news–an interview with director Marc Forster

A recent article by Bob Rivers blends background on J. M. Barrie and details of the plot of FINDING NEVERLAND with comments made by director Marc Forster at Sunday night’s Seattle screening of the film–the result is a very informative and entertaining read. The article confirms that Forster gave a Thanksgiving release date for FINDING NEVERLAND. About Johnny, Rivers writes, “Central to the movie is Johnny Depp, the recent Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee, who as much as any leading modern actor, seems to have kept his own childlike spirit vibrantly alive. Says Marc of Depp: ‘Johnny is perfect to represent a man who never wants to grow up because you can see that he has this very accessible child inside him from the choices of movie roles he makes. He brought something very special to the role, underplaying it in a way that really pays homage to the man we both believe Barrie wanted to be.'” Thanks to Emma for bringing this story to the Zone. You can read the entire article on the News & Views forum, but beware–there are many FINDING NEVERLAND spoilers!

Johnny Vegas to join Johnny Depp in POTC sequels?

According to the latest UK rumor, Johnny wants British comedian Johnny Vegas to join him on the Black Pearl for the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels. The two met when Johnny Vegas performed a cameo role in THE LIBERTINE last spring. The article quotes Depp as eager to have Vegas around to enhance “the comic element” in the sequels:”Johnny would be great. He could play the first mate. I’m sure he’d be up for it.” We suspect this rumor is mere wishful thinking by Johnny Vegas’s publicity reps–Johnny has not been giving any interviews to the press lately. Thanks, Emma, for keeping the Zone rumor mill up-to-date!

Captain Jack Sparrow outpolls Mary Poppins!

The summer 2004 Disney Magazine readers’ choice awards names PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN as their favorite live-action film of all time! Captain Jack beat out enduring favorite MARY POPPINS to take top honors–yet more proof that Johnny’s portrayal of Captain Jack is an instant screen classic. FANtasticJD, who broke the story on the News board, posted a charming cartoon of Captain Jack duelling with Mary Poppins: his sword vs. her famous umbrella. Thanks!

This just in . . . Johnny Depp is sexy!

This month’s award for Stating the Obvious goes to In Style magazine’s 7th annual “What’s Sexy Now?” poll. Entertainment Tonight reports that the issue, which goes on sale Friday, names “the boyishly handsome Johnny Depp” as “the Sexiest Actor over 40.” But why drag an age barrier into it? People magazine had the right idea last November, when they proclaimed Johnny “The Sexiest Man Alive. . . .” Thanks to Alias 4, Rainey, and DeepinDepp for the information.

Ain't It Cool News Raves about FINDING NEVERLAND!

A reviewer from Ain’t It Cool News attended the screening of FINDING NEVERLAND in Seattle on Sunday evening, as well as the Q&A session with director Marc Forster. The review is long, detailed, full of spoilers, and overwhelmingly positive. The reviewer praised Johnny’s performance as J. M. Barrie: “Johnny Depp again seamlessly makes this person his own unique character and plays the part with a Scottish accent that is never distracting. [. . .] It is a sure bet that this is the movie that Miramax will be pushing for their annual Oscar Campaign.”

The reviewer also praises the rest of FINDING NEVERLAND’S acting ensemble, particularly Freddie Highmore, who plays Peter and “just makes you cry watching him cry.” (Freddie and Johnny will be reunited as Charlie Bucket and Willy Wonka in Tim Burton’s CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, currently shooting.) “I really enjoyed this movie,” the review concludes. “The performances were excellent, and I was swept away by the visual styling and storytelling. When the movie was over and the ongoing applause died down, I truly felt that this could be a contender for best picture.”

Thanks, Emma, for posting the full review on our News Board! The story ends with the reviewer recounting a bit of Marc Forster’s question-and-answer session with the audience. There are great details here, but Zoners will particularly enjoy the final anecdote: “Another audience member tried getting Johnny Depp’s cell phone number from Forster, but failed much to the dismay of the audience.” We know that inquiring gal was none other than Zoner MelaDepp33. Our sympathies, friend–according to FINDING NEVERLAND director Marc Forster, Johnny doesn’t have a cell phone!

A new gallery for the JOHNNY DEPP ZONE!

We are delighted to announce the opening of our new JAPANESE COVERS gallery in The Deppartment. Sleepy shares more than thirty beautiful covers from Japanese movie magazines–come see the many faces of Johnny Depp! Our heartfelt thanks to Kyoko for her help in making this gallery possible.

Marc Forster, FINDING NEVERLAND's director, says the film will open on Thanksgiving Day!

ANOTHER delay in the release date for FINDING NEVERLAND? Say it isn’t so! But that’s exactly what FINDING NEVERLAND director Marc Forster told the audience at a Seattle screening on Sunday night (August 15). Johnny’s Angel and Raven both confirm that during a question-and-answer session after the movie, Forster said that FINDING NEVERLAND would open in Seattle on Thanksgiving Day. This is two weeks later than the November 12 date given in this week’s Entertainment Weekly. Apparently FINDING NEVERLAND’s wide release is being delayed until the holiday weekend.

The Zoners who attended the Seattle screening happily report that the film is excellent and very moving, and that Johnny’s performance is “awesome” and mesmerizing. “Bring tissues,” Raven advises . . . . Accounts of the Seattle screening are on the News Forum and the Pit. The Zone thanks Johnny’s Angel and Raven for sharing their experiences and their reviews!

Lots of Johnny Depp references in current magazines . . . .

In addition to this week’s Entertainment Weekly cover story, you can find mentions of Johnny in several current magazines. The August 23 US Weekly digs back eleven years to feature Johnny and Winona Ryder among the couples in their “Engagements Gone Wrong” feature (page 83). . . . The August 23 In Touch Weekly, in an article on the Fox series TRADING SPOUSES called “Trading Spouses We’d Like to See!”, proposes that Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis swap partners with fellow celebrity supercouple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones (page 73). Thanks to Zoner Takingbackthrsdy for the information.

The current issue of the movie magazine Fade In has an article by FINDING NEVERLAND director Marc Forster, including several pages of photos (page 40-45) from the film. Thanks, Jenny, for scanning and posting this article for the Zone!

Kendy reports that the August issue of American In Style contains a black-and-white photo of Johnny, circa 1989: he is standing in the doorway of Danny Fried’s office (page 188). The article is about Fried’s China Club, site of many movie industry parties.

European magazines continue to feature Johnny. Conny notes that the French magazines One and Total Stars H. S. have articles on Johnny and small pictures of him on their current covers, while Angie reports that the latest Italian edition of Vanity Fair contains a feature on Vanessa Paradis, including several photographs and an interview in which she discusses Johnny and their children. Thanks to all the correspondents who have helped keep Zone members informed!

FINDING NEVERLAND screening in Seattle on SUNDAY, August 15th!

Yes, you read that right . . . if you are in the Seattle area or can travel there pronto, you can see Johnny Depp’s portrayal of J. M. Barrie this Sunday evening at 7 pm! Emma reports that the screening itself is free, but there is a cost involved. Since the event is exclusively for subscribers to The Warren Report, you have to be a paid-up member of The Warren Report to attend. Membership costs $15 a year and new members can register online using PayPal.

The screening will be held at The Seven Gables, 911 NE 50th Street, Seattle, on Sunday, August 15th, at 7:00 p.m. Following the film, there will be a question-and-answer session with FINDING NEVERLAND’s director, Marc Forster, and The Warren Report’s Warren Etheredge. If any Zoners are lucky enough to attend the screening, please take a few notes during the Q&A and tell us what you learn!

Many thanks to Laura B and to Emma for this news. Seattle Deppheads, Sunday is your lucky day!

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY likes Johnny's Oscar chances

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY devotes two pages–pages 56 and 57–of their fall movie preview issue to FINDING NEVERLAND. EW likes FINDING NEVERLAND’s chances in this year’s Oscar horse race, calling the cast and creative team “a stud farm of Oscar pedigree.” The principal stud is, of course, Johnny Depp, “hot on the heels of his Best Actor nod as Captain Jack, playing prominent Scottish playwright J. M. Barrie, a misunderstood, boyishly mischievous eccentric. In other words, a character right in Depp’s wheelhouse.”

The article perhaps inadvertently captures the surprising juxtapositions that characterize Johnny as an actor. For example, it follows a serious discussion of Johnny’s approach to creating J. M. Barrie’s character with an equally detailed explanation of how and why he “secretly rigged a handheld whoopee-cushion” to help the child actors laugh convincingly on cue. For the full article, check the News and Views forum

Latest picture of Johnny Depp! Here's the ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY cover shot!

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY hits the stands today with their Fall Movie Preview issue–a double issue dated August 20-27, 2004. The magazine promises to deliver “All the buzz on 135 new films,” but the cover is dominated by one film and one actor: a huge shot of Johnny’s face in character as Scottish playwright J. M. Barrie from FINDING NEVERLAND.

Johnny Depp on the cover of Entertainment Weekly's Fall Movie Preview issue!

Entertainment Weekly honors Johnny and his performance as J. M. Barrie in FINDING NEVERLAND by placing Johnny on the cover of the magazine’s Fall Movie Preview issue. After many years of ignoring Johnny’s films, Entertainment Weekly seems finally to have discovered that Mr. Depp can act–better late than never, EW.

The Zone thanks Sam, who kept a sharp eye during the Entertainment Tonight segment on EW’s Fall Preview, and noticed a very familiar face on the cover of the magazine shown on the set: “The whole cover is one BIG J. M. Barrie close-up,” reports Sam. The issue should be on sale across North America by Friday, August 13. Cover date is a week later: August 20.

Oscar buzz for Johnny Depp and FINDING NEVERLAND

Although it seems absurdly early to talk about awards season, that’s just what film critics are starting to do. And FINDING NEVERLAND is finding favor with the critics. Dave Karger, writing in the August 13 issue of Entertainment Weekly, picks FINDING NEVERLAND as one of the ten “best bets” to score an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture! And since Johnny carries the movie with his performance as J. M. Barrie, his chances for a second Best Actor nod look very good.

Fox critic Roger Friedman writes: “Depp’s performance as Barrie is simply mesmerizing. [. . . ] He carries FINDING NEVERLAND from beginning to end, creating an indelible portrait of a very talented, conflicted man. This is the movie and the performance to watch when awards season kicks off late next month. ” Although Friedman is always a very good friend to Miramax films, his emphatic support for Johnny as Best Actor may signal that Miramax is no longer interested in pushing its other rumored Best Actor contender, Leonardo di Caprio in THE AVIATOR. Given the budget troubles at Miramax, the studio may have decided to concentrate its efforts on a single film, the one with the best chance of winning a major award . . . and it picked FINDING NEVERLAND.

Thanks to Sandstorm, Charlene, and Emma for sharing the Oscar news.