Articles from February 2005

FINDING NEVERLAND's composer, Jan A. P. Kaczmarek, wins Oscar for Best Original Score!

The photo at the left shows FINDING NEVERLAND’s composer, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, hugging Johnny Depp on his way up to the podium to accept the Oscar for Best Original Score. The nomination was the first for the 51-year-old Polish composer. A delighted Kaczmarek told the Associated Press that he was a “relaxed and happy man” after his victory, and he was quick to attribute his success to the strength of the movie itself. “I had a very good movie to back me up [. . .] and that was very important,” Kaczmarek said. In an interview available on, Kaczmarek describes how Johnny’s “subtle performance” inspired him, and how he scored the movie around that. Thanks to johnnycake and DeepinDepp for the news and pictures.

Kaczmarek’s Oscar was FINDING NEVERLAND’s sole win in its seven nominations. The Zone congratulates Mr. Kaczmarek, whose score for FINDING NEVERLAND is extremely popular with of Zone members. We hope to hear much more of your music! To see a picture of the composer celebrating with his Oscar, click HERE.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis arrive at the 2005 Academy Awards!

Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis arrived on the red carpet at the Academy Awards tonight, looking as stylish and distinctive as always. Johnny chose a midnight blue tuxedo with a black velvet shawl collar and a white tuxedo shirt with sapphire studs. In the center of his black velvet bow tie was a gold Gonzo pin to honor his friend, the late Hunter S. Thompson. Vanessa wore a full-skirted black chiffon gown by Chanel, with a deep V-neck and a long scarf around her throat. Johnny was interviewed on the red carpet by E!’s Star Jones Reynolds, who asked how he would feel if Lily-Rose wanted to become an actress. Johnny looked appropriately panic-stricken and said he would bolt in the opposite direction, adding modestly that his daughter “had the smarts” to accomplish much more than he had. As he answered Star’s questions, flashes of Captain Jack Sparrow’s gold teeth were visible. For those who wonder why he would consent to an interview with the E! network diva, who is enthusiastic but often under-prepared, we have Betty Sue to thank: “My mom told me I had to come find you,” Johnny told Star. To see a larger shot of Johnny and Vanessa on the red carpet, click HERE. Thanks to the many Zoners who are contributing to the lively red carpet and Oscar coverage!

Grateful Scots create a Peter Pan Oscar for Johnny Depp!

Angus and Dundee Tourist Board created a golden Oscar-style statuette in the likeness of Peter Pan and air-mailed it to Johnny Depp with a message of good luck and gratitude. Playwright J. M. Barrie was born in the Angus town of Kirriemuir, and Johnny’s engaging performance as Barrie in FINDING NEVERLAND has brought tourists flocking to Scotland to visit Barrie’s house and museum. Colin Smith, Chief Executive of Angus and Dundee Tourist Board, said, “Who would have thought Johnny Depp would play a part in generating tourism in the Kirriemuir area? The town [. . .] has a lot to thank Mr Depp for.” So do we all, Mr. Smith!

Thanks to Mrs Pink and abigail for posting stories on the News & Views forum, and to Gilbert’s Girl who provided a picture of the Peter Pan statuette.

Vox populi–Johnny Depp wins Best Actor awards from moviefone, JoBlo, and zap2it!

Millions of moviegoers cast votes in the 10th Annual Moviefone Moviegoer Awards poll on the website. Johnny Depp won Best Actor for his role as J. M. Barrie in FINDING NEVERLAND. This was the second Moviefone win in a row for Johnny–he took Best Actor last year for his performance as Captain Jack Sparrow in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. He’s certainly the people’s choice! Other Moviefone winners were THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST as Best Picture, and Julia Roberts as Best Actress for CLOSER. Thanks to emma for reporting the happy news.

More good news comes from Shadow, who reports that Johnny won JoBlo’s Golden Schmoe for Favorite Celebrity of the Year for the second year in a row. Thanks, Shadow! Fans of JoBlo will remember that his site published Shadow’s delightful spoof, “Watching Paint Dry”–a Zone classic!

Not only did Johnny win Best Actor in the online polls conducted by, but FINDING NEVERLAND was chosen as Best Picture over runnerup MILLION DOLLAR BABY. Kate Winslet took the Best Actress award for ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND. Congratulations to Johnny and Kate and the cast and crew of FINDING NEVERLAND, who know their work delighted the moviegoing audience, and thanks to DeepinDepp for posting the Zap2it story.

Prolific composer Hans Zimmer to score PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2 and 3~~

Walt Disney Pictures confirmed today that Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer will write the score for both upcoming PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels. Part 2, DEAD MAN’S CHEST, and the still-unsubtitled POTC 3, begin shooting next month. Zimmer produced his protege Klaus Badelt’s score for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, so he knows the waters well. Zimmer and Badelt have collaborated on several films, including GLADIATOR, for which Badelt contributed additional music to Zimmer’s score. Their efforts earned an Oscar nomination. Zimmer has scored more than 100 films in his distinguished career. He has received seven Oscar nominations, and won the Oscar for his score for the Disney classic, THE LION KING. The Zone thanks DeepinDepp for sharing the news.

Miramax scheduled to release THE LIBERTINE in the U.S. in Fall 2005

U.S. Deppheads may get to see Johnny Depp’s performance as the Earl of Rochester in THE LIBERTINE on the big screen after all! Joni reports that internet movie site BoxOfficeMojo has added a listing for THE LIBERTINE which names a release date of Fall 2005 for the U.S. (vague, but better than nothing), and lists the distributor as Miramax. Thanks, joni! There has been very little news about THE LIBERTINE since it was shown as a work-in-progress at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2004. To have tentative release dates of May 2005 in the UK and Fall 2005 in the U.S. gives us cause for celebration. No word yet on a Canadian release date, since there is a different distribution deal in place for our neighbor to the north.

Very sad news–Hunter S. Thompson, author of FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, dies in Colorado

The literary world lost one of its liveliest writers, and Johnny Depp lost a dear friend, when Dr. Hunter S. Thompson died Sunday night, February 20th, at his compound in Woody Creek, Colorado, just outside of Aspen. The cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Hunter created “gonzo journalism,” in which the author included himself in the story he was covering, and wrote many books, including the classic FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS. Terry Gilliam’s film of FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS was released in 1998, with Johnny Depp playing Hunter under the alias “Raoul Duke.” Johnny spent months living with Hunter preparing for the role, and their friendship continued after the film ended. The photo at the left shows Johnny reading letters he exchanged with Hunter. To see a picture of Johnny and Hunter together in happier days, click HERE.

The Zone extends its sympathies to the family of Hunter Thompson, to Johnny and everyone involved with the filming of FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, and to Hunter’s many friends and fans around the world. He was a particular favorite of the Zone’s book club, and the members of ONBC grieve his loss. Depp fans everywhere salute Hunter’s memory, celebrate his life and tremendous body of work, and wish he had stayed with us longer. Hunter often ended his columns with the phrase, “So long and Mahalo,” which is the Hawaiian word for “thank you.” So long and Mahalo, Hunter. Mahalo nui loa. We miss you already, very much.

A May release for THE LIBERTINE in the UK?

Good news for British Depp fans–emma reports that screen advertising is being sold for THE LIBERTINE in UK markets with a tentative release date of May 2005. For those concerned with how raunchy this film about the debauched Earl of Rochester might be, and whether its rating might prohibit Johnny’s teenage fans from seeing THE LIBERTINE, the screen advertising sales report indicates a UK certification of 15 (no one under age 15 admitted), rather than the more restrictive 18. This suggests that a U.S. rating would be R (no one under age 17 admitted without parent or guardian), but not the box-office kiss-of-death NC-17 rating. Now if only we get a North American release date, tentative or otherwise. . . . Thanks, emma, for this very welcome news about a film we are eager to see!

Johnny Depp featured in March 2005 GQ as one of "The 10 Greatest Actors of Our Generation!"

The cover story of the March 2005 issue of GQ discusses “The Ten Greatest Actors of Our Generation: Russell Crowe, Johnny Depp, and Leo lead the pack.” The cover picture and profile belong to Crowe, who has a new movie arriving soon, but the magazine is definitely worth adding to a Depphead’s collection. Why? The new photograph of Johnny, taken at the UK premiere of FINDING NEVERLAND, shows Johnny posing gamely with a horde of paparazzi! To see the evidence, click here. Sandstorm suggests we caption the photograph “Daniel and the Lions.”

The Zone thanks sandstorm for breaking the story, and DeepinDepp and Vivi Sparrow for adding links and pictures to the News & Views forum. Be sure to visit the GQ website and see the slideshow: Johnny’s picture is the second one. Also vote for Johnny in their “Most Stylish Actor” poll here!

New photos of Johnny Depp in Los Angeles on February 15th!

As the photo to the left shows, Johnny Depp was photographed leaving an antique store on Melrose in Los Angeles yesterday, February 15th. He was accompanied by his sister Christi. To see a larger picture of Johnny and Christi, click HERE. The Zone thanks emma for breaking the story, and Anna, AnaMaria, and bonnie for posting additional photographs. You can see the whole series of shots on the Zone’s Recent Pics forum.

Some PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequel news–no Keith Richards (yet)

With cameras due to roll on PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST in a couple of weeks, no deal has been signed with legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards to play Captain Jack Sparrow’s daddy. Rumors first began to circulate last summer claiming that Richards would play Captain Jack’s dad for a few days of shooting, and it seemed an inspired choice, given Johnny Depp’s frequent acknowledgements that he used Richards as a model for Captain Jack. But Richards’ participation has never been confirmed, and now it appears a salary dispute may keep him from shipping aboard the Black Pearl. Jim Hill reports that Richards wants a seven-figure salary for four days’ work, which Disney considers too high. However, Hill’s source reports that negotiations are still continuing. “[We] hope that– sometime between now and the end of October–we can come to some sort of financial arrangement that both sides can live with. We still very much want Keith Richards to be a part of these pictures. To have Sparrow father and son on screen together. But–as of this moment–the numbers just aren’t lining up. Maybe further on down the line, they will.”

The Zone thanks emma for posting the story on the News & Views forum. She also brings word that Jason Surrell, author of several books on Disney-related projects, has two books on the POTC sequels in the works. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: FROM THE MAGIC KINGDOM TO THE MOVIES is due for a fall 2005 release. Surrell’s second POTC book (no title yet) will cover the production of all three POTC films, and should appear in bookstores in the spring of 2007.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp and Freddie Highmore nominated for 31st annual Saturn Awards!

The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films announced their nominees for the 31st annual Saturn Awards today. The Academy has chosen to designate FINDING NEVERLAND as a fantasy film, due to the sequences which take place inside J. M. Barrie’s imagination, and has nominated Johnny Depp as Best Actor for his performance as the playwright Barrie. Other nominees for Best Actor include Christian Bale for THE MACHINIST, Jim Carrey for ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, Tom Cruise for COLLATERAL, Matt Damon for THE BOURNE SUPREMACY, and Tobey Maguire for SPIDER-MAN 2.

Johnny’s co-stars also received recognition from their outstanding work. Freddie Highmore received a nomination for Best Performance by a Younger Actor for playing Peter Llewelyn-Davies in FINDING NEVERLAND, while Kate Winslet received a Best Actress nod for her role as Clementine in ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND.

The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films was founded in 1972, and presents its Saturn Awards annually to “honor and recognize the genres of the fantastic,” genres which are frequently overlooked by the mainstream movie and television awards. This year’s 31st Annual Saturn Awards will take place on Tuesday, May 3rd, at the Universal City Hilton Hotel. Thanks to DeepinDepp for posting the story on the News & Views forum; you can read the full list of nominations HERE.

SHANTARAM news: author Gregory Roberts to be Johnny Depp's houseguest in the Bahamas!

An Australian newspaper reports that SHANTARAM author Gregory Roberts will travel to the Bahamas in June, and remain there for six weeks as a house guest of Johnny Depp. Johnny will be in the Bahamas reprising his role of Captain Jack Sparrow in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2 and 3. When the POTC sequels are concluded, Johnny’s next film role (apparently) will be to play the lead role of Lin in the movie version of Roberts’ mostly-autobiographical novel, SHANTARAM. Roberts will use his time as the Depp family’s guest to “put the finishing touches on the first draft of the screenplay” for SHANTARAM.

Roberts told reporters that cutting the book’s 900+ pages down to a two-hour screenplay has been a challenge, and that he has been more ruthless about editing his story than Johnny is willing to be. “When you’re writing a book it’s a question of what you put in,” Roberts says. “When you’re writing a screenplay it’s a question of what you leave out. I was more savage with that than Johnny was. He was saying, ‘No, no, no, you can’t leave that out, I love that part’, so we had quite spirited discussions about it.”

Roberts’ travel plans help confirm what the Observer reported in their story on Initial Entertainment’s Graham King last Sunday: that King is very close to greenlighting SHANTARAM. Roberts told reporters that interiors for SHANTARAM will be shot in Los Angeles, while the scenes in Afghanistan probably will be shot in Morocco. He and Johnny are both lobbying to have the Indian scenes shot on location in India. Roberts also confirms that Johnny intends to use an appropriate Australian accent to play Lin, although Roberts claims he doesn’t care about that level of fidelity to his character: “I’ve told him that’s not important to me. It doesn’t matter if the character is Australian or Chinese. I wrote what I believe to be a universal character.” The Zone thanks emma for tracking down Mr. Roberts’ travel plans; you can read the whole story on the News & Views forum. We will try not to be too envious of Roberts’ perfect sabbatical–“six weeks at Chateau Depp!”

Great article on CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY in the Los Angeles Times!

Los Angeles Times staff writer John Horn published an excellent, in-depth article on the filming of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, including some new pictures from the set. To see Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka standing next to his director Tim Burton, click HERE. Horn describes his visit to the CATCF set during shooting, traces the film’s difficult road to the screen, analyzes the role played by Roald Dahl’s widow Liccy (who initially opposed the casting of Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka), and investigates the movie’s unique set design. Horn also talks to Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, and screenwriter John August about the challenges of adapting Roald Dahl’s classic to the screen–and taking it in a different direction from the earlier, very popular version starring Gene Wilder. Calling Wilder’s performance “brilliant but subtle,” Johnny concedes feeling his usual concern about whether he has done justice to the role he was hired to play. He told reporter Horn, “I don’t want to do any damage to this great character Roald Dahl has created and have his widow say, ‘Johnny Depp has ruined it!’ “

The Zone thanks emma for posting the article on the News & Views forum, and Kazren for sharing the picture on Recent Pics.

Johnny Depp presents Screen Actors Guild Award for female lead performance!

Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis graced the red carpet at the 11th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles today, February 5th. Johnny was a double-nominee, as outstanding male lead actor for his role as J. M. Barrie, and as a member of the cast of FINDING NEVERLAND, which was nominated for best ensemble. Johnny’s co-star Freddie Highmore was nominated in the supporting category and introduced the clip of FINDING NEVERLAND during the broadcast. Although the Actors went to Jamie Foxx, Morgan Freeman, and the cast of SIDEWAYS, the FINDING NEVERLAND cast acquitted itself very well.

Johnny presented the award for outstanding female lead actor to Hilary Swank of MILLION DOLLAR BABY. Obviously battling stage fright, Johnny overcame his nerves to say “Hi” to the audience twice, to introduce the category, and to open the envelope and read Hilary Swank’s name. After embracing Ms. Swank and handing her the award, he vacated the stage as quickly as possible. Although he has introduced performers at awards ceremonies in the past, tonight marked Johnny’s first-ever appearance as a presenter.

To see a larger version of the thumbnail, click HERE; to see one of Susanne’s screencaps of Johnny at the podium, click HERE; and to see Johnny and Vanessa on the red carpet, click HERE. The Zone thanks Susanne very much for all the pictures she has posted on Recent Pics. We also thank DeepinDepp, a-pirates-life-for-me, abigail, bonnie, shayemimi, deppalicious9782, Vivi Sparrow, InvisibleSun, and Deppth for their contributions of news stories and pictures from the SAG Awards.

Talk about Serendipity–Johnny Depp appears on THE INSIDER on February 3, 2005!

Johnny Depp made a very brief, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance on the syndicated entertainment news program, THE INSIDER, yesterday. Asked what his favorite drink was, Johnny replied that he was “a winehead,” but that if he had to choose a cocktail, his favorite was probably the Serendipity. For the curious, the Serendipity is a potent combination of Amaretto, Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, vodka, grenadine, and orange juice . . . .

The Insider footage was shot a day or two earlier in the lobby of the Ritz Hotel in Paris, where Johnny is staying with his partner Vanessa Paradis and their children, Lily-Rose and Jack. Vanessa and the children were photographed by paparazzi in Paris on February 1st, shopping for shoes at Bon Marche and riding the carousel in the Jardins des Tuileries, as well as entering the Ritz. Vanessa was at Johnny’s side when the Insider reporter interrupted them, and can be seen standing next to him, on his left, HERE. To see a larger version of the thumbnail of Johnny, click HERE. The Zone thanks Intodadepps for posting her Insider screencaps, and Chocolat for tracking down the Serendipity recipe. The Depp family was still at the Ritz yesterday; on February 3rd, emma reports, Johnny was caught by paparazzi sneaking out the back door. Here’s the PICTURE; you can find additional pictures on the Recent Pics forum. The Zone thanks emma, Bonnie, DeepinDepp, MelodyNelson, moo, actressfordepp, and Glendaleigh for sharing their pictures.

Another film role for Johnny Depp? Warner Bros. buys rights to Julian Rubenstein's BALLAD OF THE WHISKEY ROBBER

Apparently knowing a good thing when they see it, Warner Bros. has purchased the rights to Julian Rubinstein’s book, BALLAD OF THE WHISKEY ROBBER, as a property for Johnny Depp. The exact amount of the deal for the rights to Borders’ 2004 Nonfiction Book of the Year was not disclosed but was rumored to be “in the high six figures.” Johnny will be playing another true-life role as Attila Ambrus, the hockey goalkeeper and prolific bank robber who became a folk hero in Hungary. To see a photo of “the Hungarian Robin Hood,” click HERE.

Publishers Weekly describes the book as “Elmore Leonard meets Franz Kafka in the wild, improbably true story of the legendary outlaw of Budapest.” They give Rubenstein’s work a good review: “This story of a bank robber who captured a nation’s sympathy in post-Communist Hungary is a rollicking tale told with glee and flair. Attila Ambrus sneaked over the border from Romania into Hungary in the waning days of Communist rule. After talking his way onto a Hungarian hockey team, he turned to robbery to make some cash in the Wild West atmosphere of the early 1990s in Eastern Europe. [. . .] He managed to stay at large for several years while continuing in his role as a back-up goalie on the ice. Rubinstein has a knack for telling a good story, and he captures well both Ambrus’s appeal and the atmosphere of the first few years of capitalism in Hungary. Along the way, he introduces readers to memorable characters in addition to the appealing, alcoholic protagonist: the women Ambrus attracts and a Budapest detective driven out of office by the crime spree. “

Attila Ambrus sounds like a fascinating role for Johnny. Zoners will also remember that Warner Bros. paid more than a million dollars for the rights to Gregory Roberts’ mostly-autobiographical novel SHANTARAM last October–also as a property to star Johnny Depp. Although the 1940s are long gone, Warner Bros. executives apparently remember wistfully the days when they had Humphrey Bogart (one of Johnny’s acting heroes) and James Cagney under contract, and are doing their best to lock up the services of Johnny Depp for the next decade. Thanks to Sleepy for breaking the story, and to SailingMistress for posting the Publishers Weekly article on the News & Views forum. The moderators at ONBC, Liz and DeppInTheHeartOfTexas, thank Johnny for thoughtfully keeping the book club well-supplied with new titles.

Johnny Depp to present Best Actress award at 11th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday!

Live Johnny alert! The executive producer of Saturday night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, Jeff Margolis, announced today that Johnny Depp will honor the longstanding tradition of awards shows and, as last year’s winner for best performance by a male actor in a leading role, will present the Best Actress award at this year’s ceremony. Johnny won the SAG Award last year for his performance as Captain Jack Sparrow in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL. Johnny is also nominated for two Actor awards of his own on Saturday night for his performance as J. M. Barrie in FINDING NEVERLAND, one for best performance by a male actor in a leading role, and one for best performance by a cast in a motion picture. His co-star Freddie Highmore is also a double-nominee, for outstanding male supporting performance and as a member of the cast.

Depp fans will remember that Johnny was not present at last year’s SAG Awards, when he won; Renee Zellweger, the previous year’s Best Actress winner for CHICAGO, announced the award and accepted on his behalf. This will be the first time Johnny has ever appeared as a presenter at the SAG Awards. The ceremony will be broadcast live on Turner Network Television (TNT) in the U.S. (except to the Pacific time zone) on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2005 at 8:00pm, ET/PT, 7 pm Central and 6 pm Mountain. The E! network will broadcast “Live from the Red Carpet” at the SAG Awards beginning at 5 pm Eastern on Saturday, February 5th. The Zone thanks emma and Tigress for posting the story on the News & Views forum.