Articles from January 2005

More pirates! Naomie Harris, Alex Norton, and Stellan Skarsgard join the cast of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2!

Lots of casting news about the POTC sequels this week! The Hollywood Reporter notes that stunning British actress Naomie Harris, who appeared in 28 DAYS LATER and AFTER THE SUNSET, has been cast as a gypsy queen in both POTC sequels. Also signed for both sequels is Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard, who appeared in Jerry Bruckheimer’s KING ARTHUR last summer. Skarsgard will play Bootstrap Bill Turner, the father of Orlando Bloom’s character–but there is no word on how old Bill will be revived from his watery grave. He will, however, figure in both sequels. The Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reports that Skarsgard starts working on the films in February and won’t be finished until December. “We are going to shoot around the Los Angeles area as well as in the Bahamas and the West Indies,” says Skarsgard. “I’m playing the old pirate ‘Bootstraps’ Turner… it should be fun, I enjoyed the first one.”

Another addition to the cast is 55-year-old British television star Alex Norton, who will play Edinburgh sea captain Sam Bellamy. The role is described as “a high-profile part,” and Norton told the UK press that it was the biggest role of his career: “It’s safe to say this is about as big as it gets. I’ve only just heard that I got the part of Captain Bellamy. I’m really excited.” Norton added that his three sons, Jock, Rory, and Jamie, are huge fans of the original Pirates blockbuster and are thrilled that their pop will be working with Captain Jack Sparrow. “I start filming in Los Angeles next month,” Norton said. “We then head out to the Caribbean island of St. Vincent in June and July. “

Actor Kevin McNally will be returning to the POTC franchise in the role of Joshamee Gibbs. But although producer Jerry Bruckheimer recently said he was also negotiating with Geoffrey Rush to return as Barbossa in a third PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movie, apparently that deal has not yet been struck. This morning’s Hollywood Reporter mentions that the POTC sequels “reunite the main players in the 2003 blockbuster: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley star, Gore Verbinski directs, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio write and Jerry Bruckheimer produces.” But there is no mention of Geoffrey Rush–yet.

The Zone thanks emma and DeepinDepp for their many POTC updates this week. We appreciate all you do to keep the Zone up-to-date with the latest news!

TV ALERT–Brief Johnny Depp appearance on Monday's OPRAH WINFREY SHOW!

Set your TIVOs and VCRs to tape the OPRAH WINFREY SHOW next Monday! Ms. Winfrey is featuring this year’s Oscar nominees on Monday’s program. The centerpiece of the hour will be a satellite interview with RAY’s Jamie Foxx, but she will show clips from Johnny’s appearance last November. This could be new footage from the after-the-show segment, like the snippet Oprah aired last week, where she asked Johnny which three people he would like to ask over for dinner, and Johnny named Jack Kerouac, John Lennon, and Vincent Van Gogh. Or she might be re-airing Johnny’s comments on FINDING NEVERLAND from the November 2, 2004 show. It’s certainly worth tuning in to find out! The Zone thanks Chicago Jazz, Tigress, and L2 for their posts on the News & Views forum.

Johnny Depp shares the cover of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY's new Oscar issue!

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY celebrates this week’s Oscar nominations by featuring six nominated stars on their cover, including Johnny; the picture is a smaller version of his most recent EW cover. Inside, EW writers recap the nominees in all the major categories. Reviewing the Best Actor nominees, Chris Nashawaty calls Johnny’s performance as J. M. Barrie “a pleasure to watch. He’s a lost boy blessed with a boundless imagination and the gift of getting us to join whatever whimsical adventure he sets out on [. . .].”

In the Best Picture category, Nashawaty offers a persuasive assessment of FINDING NEVERLAND’s hidden power: “FINDING NEVERLAND isn’t so much about the creation of Peter Pan as it is about the touching relationship between Depp’s and Winslet’s characters,” Nashawaty observes. “Depp’s loony grace and Winslet’s sadness and humanity are what stick with you when the theater’s lights go up. After all, Peter Pan may have taught us how to fly, but FINDING NEVERLAND shows us actors who know how to soar.”

The Zone thanks addicted2depp, who broke the news about the EW cover on the News & Views board, and emma for posting the articles.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp on the cover of the new ROLLING STONE!

That’s Johnny Depp, looking more and more like Captain Jack Sparrow, gracing the cover of the newest issue of ROLLING STONE, dated February 10, 2005. The issue features new photographs by Albert Watson and a five-page interview by Erik Hedegaard. Here’s a sample: “Critics love him, magazine writers fawn over him, and he’s developed a fan base like no other [. . .], largely because his performances are most often off-kilter, angled and light, full of soul, tenderness, toughness, sincerity and grace, expressed through the liquid cadences of his voice and his diction, his beautiful man-boy face, the unerring and particular use of limbs to amplify and enhance, the whole shebang centrifically whipped together, and so forth. One could go on. [. . .]” Oh, do go on, Mr. Hedegaard. You have our full attention!

The Zone thanks addicted2depp, bonnie, Veronica, DeepinDepp, and FANtasticJD for their posts on the News & Views forum. You can view a portion of the Hedegaard interview HERE at the Rolling Stone website. To see the ROLLING STONE cover, click HERE, or look for Veronica’s enlargements on News & Views. A special Zone bouquet of lilies and roses to Dramaced, who transcribed the full Erik Hedegaard interview and posted it on the News & Views forum. This is an outstanding profile, full of fresh comments by Johnny on a wide range of topics, from the most significant–love, parenthood, the death of Marlon Brando–to the charming but trivial news that Mr. Depp now sometimes wears pajamas to bed, for the first time since he was three. Run to your nearest newsstand to buy a copy: this is an issue every Depphead will want to own.

Ship ahoy! A new Black Pearl is under construction for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2!

An article in the Mobile, Alabama Sunday Register announced that construction of Captain Jack Sparrow’s new Black Pearl was underway at Steiner Shipyard in the Alabama seaport of Bayou La Batre. As staff reporter Russ Henderson writes, “A 130-foot, floating piece of Walt Disney fantasy is being built in the heart of this working-class seafood town, a new Black Pearl pirate ship for the Pirates of the Caribbean sequel, set to be filmed this year and released in 2006.”

Zoners who watched the extras on the POTC DVD will recall that the original Black Pearl was not a complete ship; apparently, Captain Jack is getting a upgrade in his transportation for the sequel. The new Black Pearl will consist of a 130-foot wooden hull built over a working 96-foot steel utility boat. The steel boat comes equipped with a motor capable of doing 11 knots. “They’re saving time and money by building the wooden ship over a steel one,” observed boatbuilder Joey Rodriguez. “That way it doesn’t have to be watertight. The wooden hull can just be a prop.” Fans in the Alabama area may find it frustrating trying to get firsthand information, however. The Pearl is being built in a covered shed at the shipyard, and Henderson reports that “Disney representatives, for now, remain as secretive as guardians of unmarked treasure about the ship [. . .] .The project is visible to all who pass by on the street, but Russell Steiner, owner of the shipyard, and Disney officials said they can’t utter a word about it.”

Someone did, however, smuggle out word that the plans on the wall inside the shipyard list the name of the sequel as PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2: DEAD MAN’S CHEST . . . . Thanks to neophyte for posting the article from the Mobile Sunday Register on the News & Views forum. You can read the whole article, called “Pirates of the Bayou,” HERE. We also thank Lightning Bolt for sharing her photographs of the Black Pearl’s temporary home at Steiner Shipyard.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp and FINDING NEVERLAND receive Oscar nominations!

Depp fans everywhere rejoiced this morning when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominations for the 77th annual Academy Awards. FINDING NEVERLAND received a total of seven nominations, including the coveted nod for Best Picture! Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Scottish playwright J. M. Barrie was honored with a Best Actor nomination, marking the second year in a row Johnny has been nominated in this category; last year, he was nominated for his Captain Jack Sparrow in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. Bravo, Johnny! Other nominees for Best Actor include Don Cheadle for HOTEL RWANDA, Leonardo DiCaprio for THE AVIATOR, Clint Eastwood for MILLION DOLLAR BABY, and Jamie Foxx for RAY. Although Johnny’s FINDING NEVERLAND co-stars, Kate Winslet and Freddie Highmore, were edged out in the supporting categories, Kate did receive a Best Actress nomination for her performance in ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND. Congratulations, Kate!

Other nominations for FINDING NEVERLAND include David Magee for Best Adapted Screenplay; Jan A. P. Kaczmarek for Best Musical Score; Gemma Jackson for Best Art Direction; Alexandra Byrne and Mary Kelly for Best Costume Design; and Matt Chesse for Best Film Editing. Congratulations to all the nominees for their outstanding work in creating this beautiful film, and congratulations as well to director Marc Forster, whose vision and commitment brought FINDING NEVERLAND to the screen and made it a work of art. Although he was denied a Best Director nomination, the excellence of his work speaks for itself.

The Zone thanks Vivi Sparrow, Conny, MommaDeppLover, Tasuki, Susanne, alias4, DeepinDepp, and emma for Oscar news, and sjc for her beautiful Oscar nomination wallpaper. You can see sjc’s wallpaper HERE. For the full list of Oscar nominees in all categories, go HERE. To share in the Zone’s ongoing Oscar celebration, visit any of the Zone’s forums!

Emma reports that this year’s Governor’s Ball will have a nightclub theme; Chef Wolfgang Puck will be serving an entree of braised Colby beef and lobster in puff pastry with black truffles, accompanied by winter vegetables. Chef Puck will also be decorating 6,000 chocolate Oscars with 24-karat gold paint! While it’s very sweet for the chef to want each of his guests to go home with an Oscar, we can’t help wondering how one eats chocolate coated with gold . . . or whether Johnny will be too nervous to eat anything at all. Answers to these and all other burning questions will be ours on Oscar night, Sunday, February 27th!

"Rising to the occasion"–the trailer for TIM BURTON'S CORPSE BRIDE debuts online!

Deppheads had their first chance today to view the witty, rollicking trailer to TIM BURTON’S CORPSE BRIDE online. Johnny Depp’s character, the nervous bridegroom Victor, reminded many Zoners of previous Burton protagonists Ichabod Crane and Edward Scissorhands–wide-eyed, sensitive, full of trepidation, yet endowed with charm and mordant wit. You can view the trailer for yourself HERE. Thanks very much to nichola for posting the trailer on the Zone’s News and Views forum. TIM BURTON’S CORPSE BRIDE will be “rising to the occasion” at a multiplex near you next fall: it will be released September 23rd in the U.S., October 12th in France, October 20th in Russia, and October 21st in the U.K.

More updates for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2~~

More news about the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels: producer Bruce Hendricks told the crowd at the El Capitan Theater last week that Keith Richards was not signed for POTC 2, but he left open the possibility that Keith would play Jack Sparrow’s dad in POTC 3 . . . . Intriguing casting calls for extras posted by emma on the News & Views forum indicate that there will be female pirates this time around, as well as “extremely emaciated” male pirates . . . . Finally, Geoffrey Rush told Dark Horizons that he is not yet confirmed for POTC 2 and 3 but is “keeping himself available” in case the call comes–and it seems likely it will. “It is not an official announcement,” Rush told Dark Horizons, “but at the moment I am on hold until there is a date somewhere late January where I think they are going to roll out the schedule and the scripts. They have got a big job ahead of them, as they are going to shoot two and three together for logistical reasons and they are certainly determined not to make it a sausage machine project. It seems they are very keen on expanding the possibility of what Barbossa and Jack Sparrow and all the characters get involved in, and I think they are going to take into some quite fantastical and surprisingly new directions,” promises Rush. Thanks to Gilbert’s Girl for posting this story.

"We wrote a character that he would want to play:" Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio talk about Johnny Depp, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, and its sequels

Lots of POTC news this week! Don’t miss the fantastic article by Maura Reilly, called “Report from The Pirates Panel: Dead Man’s Chest,” which DeepinDepp posted on the News & Views forum. It contains the full transcript of a panel discussion at the El Capitan theater in Hollywood on January 11, 2005, where speakers included some of the POTC production staff, scriptwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, and pirate extraordinaire Lee Arenberg, who played Pintel. The discussion ranges from adapting the theme park ride to how Lee Arenberg got cast (“I always say I was really lucky they couldn’t find short, bald and crazy eyed in London,” Arenberg confides) to how much money the Black Pearl’s Porta Potties might fetch on Ebay. Ted and Terry talk about how excited they were to learn that Johnny Depp was “circling the project” and how Johnny’s involvement freed their imaginations. Ted says, “It gave us license to write the character, keeping in mind the kinds of things Johnny Depp likes to do and is willing to do. So there was a greater freedom really. Knowing that we had to get him, we wrote a character that he would want to play.” Ted and Terry also confirm that the second movie will be called DEAD MAN’S CHEST–and not TREASURE OF THE LOST ABYSS, as was widely reported.

"Vincent VanGogh, John Lennon, and Jack Kerouac"–Johnny Depp talks to Oprah about his ideal dinner guests~~

Zoners who are regular watchers of THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW got a special treat today, January 18, 2005, as Oprah aired a clip show featuring bits of footage from her “after the show” segments with celebrity guests. One of the final segments featured Johnny Depp; this footage was not part of the broadcast which aired on November 2, 2004. Oprah wanted to know whom Johnny would most like to sit down and have a conversation with: “If you could have anyone living or dead to dinner?” Johnny replied, “I think they’re all going to be dead: Vincent Van Gogh, John Lennon, and Jack Kerouac.” Oprah seemed temporarily taken aback at the idea of the great Impressionist painter sitting down to dinner with the Beatles legend, the author of On the Road, and the greatest actor of our generation: “At the same Dinner?” Johnny replied, “Sure! Why not?” Gesturing toward the $4,000 bottle of Chateau Petrus that Oprah uncorked for his visit, Johnny added, “Yeah. I think there’d be a couple of those . . . .” Many thanks to L2 for posting a heads-up about the OPRAH show on the News & Views forum, and to JD101 for the transcript of the broadcast!

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp and FINDING NEVERLAND receive BAFTA nominations!

The British Academy of Film and TV announced their award nominations today, and FINDING NEVERLAND received a total of eleven nominations! In addition to a nomination for Best Film, Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet were honored with nominations as Best Actor and Best Actress; Julie Christie as Best Supporting Actress; Marc Forster as Best Director; David Magee for Best Adapted Screenplay; Jan A.P. Kaczmarek for Best Score; Roberto Schaefer for Best Cinematography; Gemma Jackson for Best Production Design; Alexandra Byrne for Best Costume Design; and Christine Blundell for Best Makeup and Hair Design. Congratulations to all the nominees! The BAFTA Awards will be presented on February 12, 2005. Thanks to Gilbert’s Girl and Erithin for posting the nominations on the News & Views forum, and thanks to sjc for her BAFTA artwork. You can see a larger version of sjc’s celebration collage HERE .

Johnny Depp adds a touch of grace to 62nd annual Golden Globe awards~~

Depp fans everywhere were disappointed that Johnny didn’t take home the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama for his performance in FINDING NEVERLAND–the Hollywood Foreign Press Association bestowed the award instead on Leonardo di Caprio for THE AVIATOR. But even though FINDING NEVERLAND was shut out of the awards, its five nominations were a fine showing, and the evening had many rewards for devoted Depp watchers. There was a hasty, rather inept last-minute interview on NBC conducted by a nervous Lisa Ling, who asked Johnny what role he would like to play, and was absolutely flummoxed by Johnny’s tongue-in-cheek reply: “What comes into mind at the moment is, like, Mae West, although I probably wouldn’t do it, you know.” He paused to assess Ling’s reaction–apparently she recognized neither the famous sex siren of 1930s films nor Johnny’s own forays as a blond bombshell in ED WOOD or BEFORE NIGHT FALLS. He then added helpfully, “I’m a little too old for that role now. Maybe Carol Channing.” We have noted a certain resemblance between Ms. Channing’s wide, inflexible grin and that of Johnny’s Willy Wonka.

Other pleasures of the evening included seeing Johnny seated at a table with Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman. He attended the Miramax afterparty, where he hung out with his ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO director Robert Rodriguez and Miramax head Harvey Weinstein. Photographers also snapped him seated at a table, chatting with POTC co-star Orlando Bloom. Thanks to the dozens of Zoners who posted information about the Golden Globes on the forums, and to all who have contributed photos and screencaps, especially Susanne, johnnylubber, Savvy, Intodadepps, AnaMaria, lostinconfusion, Chicago Jazz, DeepinDepp, emma, and Miranda.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp attends the 62nd annual Golden Globe Awards!

Sporting blue sunglasses and a dapper blue suit, nominee Johnny Depp was a last-minute arrival on the red carpet at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for the 62nd annual Golden Globe awards. Johnny is nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for his role as Scottish playwright J. M. Barrie in FINDING NEVERLAND.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp works the phones at "Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope"

The photo at the left shows Johnny Depp on Saturday night, January 15, 2005, answering phones during the fundraiser for tsunami relief which aired on NBC Universal-owned stations. The Associated Press reports, “With Norah Jones singing ‘we’re all in this thing together,’ movie and music stars contributed their talents for a hastily arranged benefit for tsunami victims televised live on Saturday.” All donations raised during the broadcast will be given to the American Red Cross International Response Fund.

As Clint Eastwood said during the broadcast, “We have a choice. We can either look away or we can help.” Johnny was one of those there to help on Saturday night, and we applaud his generosity. We know many Zoners followed his example and made donations to the Red Cross. Thanks very much to 2mins and johnnylubber for posting screencaps of Johnny working the phone bank–you can see them on the News & Views forum and the Recent Pics forum.

More award nominations for FINDING NEVERLAND!

The Motion Picture Editors Guild has honored FINDING NEVERLAND’s editor, Matt Chesse, with a nomination for best editing on a feature-length motion picture. Congratulations! Matt Chesse also edited director Marc Forster’s previous film, MONSTER’S BALL. The other pictures nominated include THE AVIATOR, COLLATERAL, KILL BILL VOL. 2, KINSEY, and MILLION DOLLAR BABY . . . . The Art Directors Guild also honors its own, and has nominated FINDING NEVERLAND’s art director, Gemma Jackson, for Excellence in Production Design, Period or Fantasy Film. Other nominees include Dante Ferretti for THE AVIATOR, Lou Romano for THE INCREDIBLES, Rich Heinrichs for LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS, and Anthony Pratt for THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Not only is Ms. Jackson the only woman nominated, but she also worked her design magic with a budget far smaller than any of her competitors. Congratulations to Mr. Chesse and Ms. Jackson for their outstanding contributions to FINDING NEVERLAND!

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp works the phones for Tsunami Aid, A Concert of Hope, on NBC Saturday night, January 15th!

Deppheads everywhere, prepare to open your checkbooks and wallets as well as your hearts to the dashing pirate on the left! Johnny Depp will be answering phones and taking donations during NBC’s fundraiser for tsunami relief on Saturday night, so plan to call early and often; your generosity may bring you a sweet reward . . . the chance to hear Johnny’s voice in your ear. The program, called “Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope,” begins at 8 pm Eastern and will be broadcast live in the eastern time zone, but tape-delayed to the west coast. Although the phone banks will remain open after the show concludes at 10 pm eastern, Depp fans in the Pacific time zone may want to call in their donations while the show is on live in the east, to maximize their chances of speaking to their favorite solicitor. The phone number will be 1-800-HELPNOW.

The Zone thanks DeepinDepp for posting the news. We applaud all those who are giving their time and effort, whether behind the scenes and in front of the camera, to this worthy cause. We are proud of Johnny for modestly offering his time and energy to help the tsunami victims. You can read the full AP wire story by Lynn Elber HERE and visit the NBC website HERE.

The two-hour show will air live and without commercial interruption, and will feature musical performances by Maroon 5, Sheryl Crow, Nelly, John Mayer, Norah Jones, Eric Clapton, Madonna, Mary J. Blige, Lenny Kravitz, Sarah McLachlan, Kenny Chesney, Gloria Estefan, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder. These channels will carry the program: NBC, USA, Bravo, Trio, SCI FI, PAX, Telemundo, MSNBC and CNBC. The celebrity phone bank at NBC Universal was organized by George Clooney and includes, in addition to Johnny, Brad Pitt, Renee Zellweger, Robert DeNiro, Andy Garcia and Goldie Hawn. Be sure to put a tape into your VCR, because with live television, you never know what might happen!

Johnny’s presence at the fundraising concert also confirms his presence in Los Angeles this weekend, and makes it likely that he will attend the Golden Globes award ceremony on Sunday. One can only hope!

BREAKING NEWS–FINDING NEVERLAND nominated for 3 Screen Actors Guild Awards, including Best Actor for Johnny Depp!

Nominations for the 11th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were announced this morning, and FINDING NEVERLAND received three nominations: Best Actor for Johnny Depp, Best Supporting Actor for Freddie Highmore, and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (the ensemble award, the SAG equivalent of Best Picture). Congratulations to the entire cast of FINDING NEVERLAND for their seamless and magical recreation of J. M. Barrie’s world. Congratulations as well to Kate Winslet, who received a Best Actress nomination for her role in ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND. You can read the full list of nominees HERE.

The Screen Actors Guild Awards will be presented on Saturday, February 5th, at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center. The awards ceremony is televised in the U.S. on Turner Network Television (TNT); the awards air at 8 p.m. ET/PT, 7 p.m. CT, and 6 p.m. MT. The Zone thanks Nicole Jacks and neophyte for posting the news on the News and Views forum, and thanks sjc for the beautiful artwork that appears with this news item. To see a larger version of sjc’s celebratory collage, click HERE.

BREAKING NEWS–FINDING NEVERLAND wins two Critic's Choice Awards, including Best Live-Action Family Film!

Congratulations to the cast and crew of FINDING NEVERLAND, which tonight won two Critic’s Choice Awards from the Broadcast Critics Association! Freddie Highmore, who plays Peter Llewelyn Davies, won as Best Young Actor, and the film won in the hotly contested category of Best Live Action Family Film. Although Johnny was nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of J. M. Barrie, the award went to Jamie Foxx for RAY. SIDEWAYS won Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress; Best Actress was Hilary Swank for MILLION DOLLAR BABY; and Martin Scorsese was chosen Best Director for THE AVIATOR.

Johnny Depp did not attend the awards ceremony, nor did Freddie Highmore. Director Marc Forster accepted the Best Live Action Family Film trophy, stopping on his way to the podium to pull Kate Winslet up on stage with him. Forster’s acceptance speech was gracious and modest, as he acknowledged all who worked on FINDING NEVERLAND, including his wonderful cast.

This is the second year in a row that a film starring Johnny Depp has won the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Live Action Family Film. Last year, the honor went to PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. Lovers of excellent family entertainment owe a debt of gratitude to Lily-Rose and Jack Depp, for inspiring their daddy to make some films “the kiddies” could cherish.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp wins the People's Choice Award as Favorite Male Movie Star!

Congratulations to Johnny Depp, who won his first People’s Choice Award tonight as Favorite Male Movie Star! Johnny was not present in the Pasadena Civic Auditorium to accept the award; instead, he sent one of his tongue-in-cheek taped acceptance speeches, similar to his acceptance of the MTV Award in June. Sheryl Crow, who introduced the category and announced Johnny as the winner, said that Johnny was “standing by live somewhere in Eastern Europe,” but he was obviously on a set meant to simulate a gypsy wagon, shaking as if it were being drawn by horses. He wore the same green shirt and gray jacket he wore for his appearance on THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW in November, but sported Captain Jack Sparrow facial hair, tortoise-shell glasses, and a black newsboy cap. “I want to thank you all very very much,” Johnny told the audience. “I’m terribly sorry I couldn’t be there. It’s a great honor.” Then he began to spin a tall tale. “I’m actually on a mad trek thru the Carpathian Mountains searching for Vlad the Impaler,” he explained, adding a quip about hoping to hook up with Christopher Lee (his co-star in the upcoming CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY and CORPSE BRIDE), who was “doing a duet with Rammstein.”

Turning serious, Johnny added that the award was “a great honor” and he wanted to “say thank you very very much to the people. It really feels good to say that because you in fact are our employer, you are our boss, so thank you very, very much for this great honor.” He concluded with a typical generous impulse: “I hope some day to make you all a cup of coffee.” Okay, Johnny, we accept! Just tell us when and where.

Happy Anniversary to the Johnny Depp Zone!

It’s hard to believe the new Zone has reached a milestone already, but it was exactly six months ago today–on July 9, 2004, the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN anniversary–that the new Johnny Depp Zone opened its cyber-doors. We began with a few hundred members, two picture galleries, and our enthusiasm: six months later, we have 1,300 members; many active message boards; and fifteen stunning photo galleries, with more on the way. We thank all the Depp fans all over the world who have come to the Zone and shared their insights, art work, fan fiction, and, above all, their good will. We look forward to meeting many more of Johnny’s fans over the coming months, as we share the excitement of awards season; the filming of the sequel to PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN; and the release of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, THE LIBERTINE, and CORPSE BRIDE.

Tonight, Johnny Depp won his first-ever People’s Choice Award as Favorite Male Movie Star. It’s an award richly deserved. But Johnny Depp has always been the Zone’s choice–not just as a “star,” but as an actor, artist, musician, filmmaker, literary critic, generous spirit, and all-around inspiration. The Zone thanks Johnny Depp for giving us a thousand different reasons to be proud of him. Just when we think we know them all, he astonishes us again.