THE LIBERTINE to be shown at the Toronto Film Festival on September 16th!

Today’s Variety reports that Laurence Dunmore’s THE LIBERTINE, starring Johnny Depp as the Earl of Rochester, will be shown at the Toronto Film Festival next month. The screening is scheduled for Thursday, September 16, at 6:30 pm. A second showing will take place Saturday, September 18th, at noon. THE LIBERTINE will be one of the festival’s Special Presentations. A huge Zone thank-you to Sandstorm and Neophyte for bringing us this exciting news. Further information comes from DeepinDepp, who found a Canadian wire service story stating that THE LIBERTINE is not yet finished and is being shown as a “work-in-progress” at the festival.

Information on the Toronto Film Festival is available here . Single tickets for screenings can be ordered online, beginning Wednesday, September 8, 2004, at 7:00 a.m. EDT. For information on ordering screening tickets, click here .

Emma reports that Johnny is NOT on the official list of celebrities who will be attending the festival–here is the list of attendees. At this point, no one from THE LIBERTINE is confirmed as attending–not Johnny, not John Malkovich or Samantha Morton, not director Laurence Dunmore–which is rather unusual, but may be due to the film’s status as a work-in-progress. Perhaps the cast will be doing publicity via satellite to promote the film, or perhaps travel plans are not yet final. We certainly hope to see some of THE LIBERTINE’s talented team in Toronto, since the film still lacks a North American distributor, and the festival would provide an opportune moment to obtain a North American distribution deal. Fans would certainly like a chance to view the finished film someday!

Johnny's production company, Infinitum Nihil, picks a project–Jerry Stahl's I, FATTY

Johnny Depp’s production company, Infinitum Nihil, optioned Jerry Stahl’s book I, FATTY, a fictionalized memoir of 20’s silent-film comedian Fatty Arbuckle. The first movie star ever to be trashed by the tabloids and have his career destroyed by false stories, Arbuckle has long been a figure of fascination for Johnny. Fatty Arbuckle was the first Hollywood star to have a million-dollar contract, but at the height of his fame, he was arrested for the murder of a starlet. Three murder trials later–two hung juries and an acquittal–Arbuckle’s career was in ruins. In the discussion on the News and Views forum, Neophyte points out that many of Johnny’s silent film routines in BENNY & JOON, including Sam’s famous cooking scenes, were actually inspired by Arbuckle’s routines.

Although the doomed Arbuckle–comic genius, heroin addict, tragic victim of media hysteria–would seem a character “right in Johnny’s wheelhouse,” as Entertainment Weekly would say, Johnny does NOT intend to play Arbuckle. “It would take a hell of a fat suit,” Johnny told the New York Times. But he does intend to be actively involved as the film’s producer. “It’s a period that’s the foundation of what we do,” Johnny told the Times, “and I want to make sure the film stays in the same arena as Jerry’s book.” Thanks to Gronki for breaking this story, and FANtasticJD for helping out with the Times article.

Master of Quirk: the American Film Institute honors Johnny Depp with his own film festival!

Fans in the Washington, DC area will have a chance to view what the American Film Institute deems Johnny’s best work: a Johnny Depp retrospective began last weekend at the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring and will continue through Labor Day, September 6th. The AFI honors Johnny as “a serious, idiosyncratic actor undaunted by the challenge of bringing odd characters to life. Assuming roles that often obscure his boyish good looks, Depp has established a reputation as one of his generation’s premiere actors by taking chances in a wide array of projects helmed by visionary directors.”

The nine films AFI chose to represent the range and depth of Johnny’s work are CHOCOLAT, CRY BABY, DEAD MAN, DON JUAN DE MARCO, SLEEPY HOLLOW, FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE?, and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. POTC will be featured on Labor Day weekend. Adult tickets are $8.50, with a $1 off for senior or student discounts. Matinees are $5. For information, phone 301-495-6700. Thanks to Hana and Really for this great news.