Celebrate the release of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY–Thursday, July 7th is Chocolate Day!

As part of the promotion for its upcoming release CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, Warner Brothers will celebrate Chocolate Day, July 7th, by regaling Hollywood with a dancing Oompa Loompa and gifts of Wonka candy. “Master chocolatier Willy Wonka is sending an Oompa Loompa Ambassador to Los Angeles,” declares the press release. Actor Deep Roy, who plays all the Oompa Loompas in the film, “will dance high above Hollywood on the film’s billboard to two of the Oompa Loompa songs Danny Elfman created for the film.” Fans and chocolate-lovers who would like to join the celebration are invited to come to 6817 Franklin Avenue (at Highland) early on Thursday morning. The crew will begin assembling at 7:00 a.m. and Deep Roy will dance at 7:30 a.m. Prizes for the crowd will include Wonka candy, CATCF soundtracks, and–for one lucky fan–a $250 gift certificate to Hot Topic. Thanks, DeepinDepp, for the posting the news; you can read all the details HERE.

In an interview called “Hanging with Johnny in the Bahamas,” posted by emma on the News & Views forum, the interviewer asks Johnny Depp to name his favorite candy. “He had to think about this for a minute,” the reporter writes. “Then he said, ‘Remember those little chocolate footballs?'” Dumbfounded, the reporter asks, “You mean the kind where it was impossible to peel the aluminum foil off?”

“‘Yes!!’ he said with a laugh.” If you can’t celebrate Chocolate Day with a trip to Hollywood, enjoy some chocolate footballs or the new Hostess Wonka Cakes–chocolate with a purple creme filling. Then settle back and pop CHOCOLAT into the DVD player while you’re waiting for the release of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY.

Big news Down Under–Johnny Depp says part of SHANTARAM to be filmed in Melbourne

Australian Deppheads are celebrating an interview in the Sunday Herald Sun in which Johnny Depp confirms that part of the epic movie SHANTARAM will be filmed Down Under. “We’ll definitely have to film in Melbourne,” Johnny said during an interview on Paradise Island last weekend. Melbourne is the hometown of SHANTARAM author–and former “Gentleman Bandit”–Gregory David Roberts, and the site of Pentridge Prison, where Roberts was incarcerated and from which he escaped. Filming of SHANTARAM is expected to begin sometime next year, when Johnny has completed the sequels to PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN.

Johnny hasn’t been to Australia since 1988, when he visited Melbourne to promote his television series 21 JUMP STREET. “I was on ‘Hey Hey It’s Saturday’ with that puppet,” Johnny told the Herald Sun. “What was his name? Yeah, Ossie Ostrich.” SHANTARAM promises to be a very different experience–a sprawling saga of an escaped prisoner’s life on the run. Johnny is full of praise for Roberts’s book: “He’s written this absolutely beautiful, poetic, allegorical, super thick, 1000 page novel that tore the top of my head off when I read it,” Johnny said.

Roberts is writing the screenplay for the film of SHANTARAM, in which Johnny will play the leading role. “[W]e just got our first draft of the screenplay and it’s very, very exciting,” Johnny said. “It’s going to be great.”

In other SHANTARAM news, author Roberts is currently living in south Mumbai, writing another novel and hoping to obtain Indian citizenship. The author is presently outfitting a mobile clinic to aid the “downtrodden and poor who no one else wants to help,” including street children, prostitutes, and the homeless who live along the railway tracks. Roberts wants to give something back to the city that “nourished and loved him.” Current plans have SHANTARAM filming in Mumbai as well, and Roberts hopes to see many of his favorite Bollywood actors in the cast.

The Zone thanks emma for posting the interview with Johnny and DeepinDepp for the article on Gregory Roberts; you can read both on the News & Views forum.