Articles from September 2005

"Jack is back:" Director Gore Verbinski discusses PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2 and 3

Director Gore Verbinski talked about the hectic pace and pressure of shooting the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels in an interview with Robert Sanchez and Scott Huver. The reporters asked, “How hard was it to get two more sequel scripts that were just as good as the first one?” Gore laughed and replied, “We don’t have those scripts yet. We’re just making the movie.”

Verbinski went on to describe the creative chaos of shooting two movies at once: “We actually have a pretty good second script and the third script is still on the operating table. And we’re in triage constantly, everyday. I don’t recommend making two movies at once,” he added. “I think that we’re going to get there, but it’s just madness. [. . .]I think that the second movie is strong and clever and has a lot going on.” Verbinski said the third movie script is still being invented even as it is being shot.

Regarding Johnny Depp’s unique character of Captain Jack Sparrow, Verbinski promised that “he’s still the character that gets to weave his way through the story and affect everyone else with his own agenda,” and he rejected the suggestion that Captain Jack is a supporting character. “Supporting?” Verbinski echoed. “No. I think that he’s carrying the movie.”

Asked if he had wrapped DEAD MAN’S CHEST and moved on to PIRATES 3, the director said, “No. I’m a quarter of the way through the third one and three quarters of the way through the second one. It’s madness.” And has Verbinski asked Oscar-winning LORD OF THE RINGS director Peter Jackson for advice about shooting two movies at once? “I did talk to Peter Jackson about it,” Gore replied. “He said, ‘Re-shoots.'”

What should audiences look forward to in PIRATES 2 and 3? Verbinski replied, “Jack is back.” Aye–that’s what we’re waiting for! The Zone thanks DeepinDepp for posting the Verbinski interview; you can read more on the News & Views forum.

London premiere of TIM BURTON'S CORPSE BRIDE set for October 17th!

The official UK premiere of TIM BURTON’S CORPSE BRIDE will be held in London at the Vue Cinema, Leicester Square, on Monday, October 17th. For a film to premiere on a Monday evening is somewhat unusual, but the date has a lucky history for London Deppheads; on that date last year, FINDING NEVERLAND made its UK debut, and Johnny delighted fans by appearing on the red carpet and signing autographs. There is no word yet regarding whether Johnny will attend the UK CORPSE BRIDE premiere, however. He is presently shooting the sequels to PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN in the Bahamas, and will be committed to that project for several more months. The Zone thanks emma for breaking the news of the CORPSE BRIDE UK premiere on the News & Views forum.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY reaches $200 million in overseas box office!

Demonstrating the appeal of a classic story as well as brilliant design and an impeccable cast, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY continues to perform strongly at movie theaters around the world. This week it crossed the $200-million mark in overseas box office receipts, nearly equaling its North American total of $204 million. Notes the Hollywood Reporter, “Amidst the barrage of new and ongoing titles making their way around the world, the late-summer holdover CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, with 4,300 prints in 52 markets, soared over $200 million in total international gross as it collected $13.8 million over the weekend. The Johnny Depp family attraction has dominated the overseas market for five weeks in a row and remained on top in Japan for three straight sessions.” CATCF’s total box office, worldwide, is more than $405 million. Thanks to emma, Yellow Rose, FANtastic JD, and sleepy for the box office update. Congratulations to Johnny, Tim, and the cast and crew of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY!

"He lived fast and died young:" Johnny Depp hosts a BBC2 radio program on James Dean

One iconic actor reminisces about the haunting influence of another: tonight Johnny Depp hosts a one-hour interview program on BBC Radio 2, marking the 50th anniversary of the death of Hollywood legend James Dean, who died in a car crash on September 30, 1955. Johnny’s guests on the program include his ED WOOD co-star Martin Landau, who was a close friend of James Dean; Dennis Hopper, who appeared with Dean in the classic REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE; Paul McCartney; Bill Wyman; David Bailey; Morrissey; Carl Barat from The Libertines; and Craig & Charlie Read from The Proclaimers. Archive interviews with Dean co-stars like Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo are also featured. JOHNNY DEPP ON JAMES DEAN airs on BBC Radio 2 at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27th.

Deppheads or Dean fans can listen to the documentary in the BBC Radio Player for one week following the broadcast. You can access the program HERE. Click on “THE JAMES DEAN LEGACY presented by Johnny Depp.” The Zone thanks emma for posting news of the broadcast, and Charly for the BBC Radio Player link. Don’t miss the chance to hear Johnny–you’ll be mesmerized by that velvet voice from the moment he says, “I’m Johnny Depp and this is the story of James Dean.”

TIM BURTON'S CORPSE BRIDE digs up $20 million at the box office this weekend!

TIM BURTON’S CORPSE BRIDE, featuring the voices of Johnny Depp as bridegroom Victor Van Dort and Helena Bonham Carter as the Corpse Bride, finished a strong second at the box office this weekend, earning an estimated $20.1 million on 3,204 screens. Although CORPSE BRIDE’s romantic fantasy could not quite overtake Jodie Foster’s airborne thriller FLIGHTPLAN for the top spot, Box Office Mojo’s Brandon Gray reports that CORPSE BRIDE had “the highest opening on record for a family-targeted movie in September and for a stop-motion animated feature.”

Warner Bros. head of distribution, Dan Fellman, notes that CORPSE BRIDE was extremely popular with young moviegoers: “The audience was primarily parents and kids, with almost 70 percent under 25,” Fellman said. “Considering [. . .] our strong exits and reviews, we’re going to be around for a long time.” Thanks to ACK for posting the story on our News & Views forum, and congratulations to everyone involved in the production of CORPSE BRIDE!

Johnny Depp appears in PEOPLE and IN TOUCH magazine this week!

If you want a photo of Johnny Depp putting his hands in cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, pick up a copy of the newest PEOPLE magazine (October 3 issue), which features a lovely shot of a grinning Johnny holding up his cement-stained hands. Unfortunately, PEOPLE is the only one of the weekly entertainment magazines to include a picture from the event. IN TOUCH, however, devotes some space to debunking that silly rumor that claims Johnny uses a hand double in the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN films because his own hands, with their “long, slender fingers,” are insufficiently pirate-like. That’s nonsense: according to the October 3rd IN TOUCH, “A rep for the movie denies that Johnny’s perfect hands posed a problem at all. The buccaneer will be seen sailing the seven seas with his very own hands when the sequel to the hit Disney film opens next July.” A wise choice–Depp fans recognize Johnny’s hands and would find a substitution repulsive.

Crossword puzzle fans may also enjoy IN TOUCH’s Johnny-themed puzzle in the current issue. The Zone thanks Donna B. for the magazine update. She also mentions that LIFE & STYLE and US magazines include favorable CORPSE BRIDE reviews in their current issues.

Johnny Depp appears as Captain Jack Sparrow for Walt Disney Studios promotion in Hollywood

Johnny Depp helped to promote the upcoming slate of Disney films by appearing in costume as Captain Jack Sparrow at the Walt Disney Studios Showcase in Hollywood on Thursday, September 22nd. According to the Hollywood Reporter, “Walt Disney Studios chairman Richard Cook took on the role of stand-up comedian Thursday as he hosted the Walt Disney Studios Showcase, which offered previews of the studio’s slate through 2008 and featured cameo appearances by Johnny Depp, Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster and Elton John. The daylong event, held at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland, treated exhibitors, retailers, merchandisers and other business partners to footage from upcoming movies.” The photo at left shows Johnny onstage at the Kodak Theatre; click HERE to see Johnny standing next to Disney chairman Richard Cook. Disney’s two PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels are the keystones of its movie slate for the next two years, with DEAD MAN’S CHEST due in theaters next summer, and POTC 3 in July 2007. Shooting on the sequels has now resumed in the Bahamas.

The Zone thanks emma for breaking the story and bonnie and AnaMaria for larger versions of the pictures of Captain Jack. We hope Johnny enjoyed appearing on the Kodak Theatre stage; the Kodak is the Oscar venue, and we hope to see him stride across that stage in the near future to pick up a long-overdue statuette.

CRY-BABY will be released on DVD in the UK on November 7th!

Dry your tears, UK Deppheads . . . soon you will be able to own the director’s cut DVD of John Waters’s classic satire CRY-BABY. The 1990 musical-comedy parody showcases Johnny Depp as almost-Elvis Wade “Cry-Baby” Walker. The UK DVD will be released on November 7, 2005. Extra features on the DVD include a commentary track by the director, deleted scenes, and the featurette “It Came from Baltimore.” The only downside is the list price of nearly 20 pounds (19.99 to be exact), which might make you feel like shedding a tear or two yourself! We hope there will be good discounts available. Thanks to DeepinDepp for posting the update on the News & Views forum.

"He's a bit of a bumbler:" Johnny Depp discusses the character of Victor in TIM BURTON'S CORPSE BRIDE

Film Stew’s Lisa Johnson describes TIM BURTON’S CORPSE BRIDE as “a perfect marriage of Johnny Depp, Tim Burton, and stop-motion animation.” She conducted a brief interview with Johnny in which she asked him to describe the character of Victor Van Dort, the anxious bridegroom he plays in CORPSE BRIDE. “He’s a bit of a bumbler,” Johnny replied. “A sweet guy, very earnest, super-clumsy, super-nervous . . . but he has a heart of gold and the best intentions.” Victor sounds like a sweetheart, doesn’t he?

You can see and hear the Lisa Johnson interview on our new Video Clips forum, on the thread called “CORPSE BRIDE Cast Interviews.” There is also a clip from which includes interviews with Johnny, Tim Burton, and Helena Bonham Carter. The Zone thanks emma for posting both clips. Thanks also to capnjacksgurl85, who posted a video clip of artist Carlos Grangel discussing his designs for the film’s characters. TIM BURTON’S CORPSE BRIDE opens in wide release in North America on Friday.

"I'm honored and so thankful:" a transcript of Johnny Depp's remarks at Grauman's Chinese Theatre

For the many Deppheads who have been curious about exactly what Johnny said when he pressed his hands and feet into the cement forecourt at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Friday, September 19, 2005, emma has generously provided a transcript of Johnny’s remarks. Thanks, emma! Johnny told the crowd:

“Hi! How are you doing? Yeah! Well, this is weird.” [He laughs.] “I mean, to say that this is overwhelming is probably the understatement of the millennium. This is devastating.” [He laughs.] “I’m really very honored and shocked and all those adjectives that … I mean, it’s insane. Look who’s here? Look at all these people!” [The crowd cheers.] “But I’m honored, I’m really honored to be here, and more than anything I’m honored and so thankful, so grateful that all you guys [crowd cheers] … yeah, you should applaud for yourselves, you know.” [He applauds the crowd.] “That’s for you, for sticking around with me on this really long, strange road, and yeah, I really appreciate it. So anyway, yeah, I’d better get out of here.” [He laughs.] “Thanks so much for everything. Yeah, I’m really truly honored and very proud. Thanks a lot.”

The Zone thanks bonnie for contributing the photo of Johnny standing at the microphone during Friday’s ceremony at Grauman’s. To see a larger version of that picture, click HERE.

It's National Talk Like a Pirate Day! Drinks all around!

Aaargh, matey! Celebrate National Talk Like a Pirate Day by filling a tankard and drinking a toast to the cast and crew of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 3, which is due to resume filming on Grand Bahama tomorrow, September 20th. We wish them a safe and merry shoot in the Caribbean . . . . The Black Pearl put on a bit of a show by test-firing her guns on Friday; you can see pictures and video footage in emma’s “POTC 2/3 Update” thread on the News & Views forum. Thanks, emma!

Finally, those of you with a literary bent can celebrate National Talk Like a Pirate Day by entering the Zone’s Captain Jack Sparrow drabble challenge! A drabble is a piece of fiction containing exactly 100 words. Rules for the challenge are posted on the Zone’s FanFic Stories-in-Progress forum. Drabbles must be posted by 10 p.m. Eastern time tonight! Winner’s swag? A $15 Amazon gift certificate.

A stunning debut weekend at the box office for Tim Burton's THE CORPSE BRIDE!

Despite the fact that the film opened in only five theaters in North America, Tim Burton’s CORPSE BRIDE pulled in $411,000 on its opening weekend–that’s a staggering average of $82,200 per screen! For comparison, the film in first place at the box office last weekend, Reese Witherspoon’s romance JUST LIKE HEAVEN, earned $4,703 per screen, and the second-place film, THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE, earned a slightly better $5,129 per screen. CORPSE BRIDE’S closest competition in the limited-release market, Miramax’s PROOF, opened in 8 theaters and earned $25,125 per screen; that’s a very good number, but less than a third of the business that CORPSE BRIDE delivered. Warner Bros. must be delighted with CORPSE BRIDE’s prospects; the film opens wide on Friday, and Zoners would be wise to get their tickets early. Thanks to MommaDeppLover for reporting the box office numbers!

"Weird" and "overwhelming:" Johnny Depp reacts to the ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre saluted Johnny Depp on September 16th by inviting him to place his handprints, footprints, and autograph in cement to be displayed in the forecourt of the theater, one of Hollywood’s most popular tourist attractions. Johnny’s reaction to this honor? “This is weird,” he told the crowd. “I mean, to say that this is overwhelming is probably the understatement of the millenium.” Joking, he later told an interviewer, “I’m going to come check on it weekly, just to make sure that [. . .] you guys don’t take it away, just like store it in a warehouse or something.”

Hundreds of fans gathered on Hollywood Boulevard to watch the ceremony, some queueing up the night before to snare a prime place behind the barricades. Johnny did not disappoint them; after the brief ceremony, he walked across the street to sign autographs.

The Zone thanks DeepinDepp for posting an ABC news story about the event on the News & Views forum, and bonnie and AnaMaria for the picture of Johnny and Vanessa Paradis. To see a larger version of the picture, click HERE; to see Johnny’s handprints and footprints in cement, click HERE.

TIM BURTON'S CORPSE BRIDE opens in (extremely) limited release!

Buttressed by an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to screenings at the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival, TIM BURTON’S CORPSE BRIDE opened in limited release today; unfortunately the stop-motion animated feature will be showing in only five theaters this week–two in New York City, two in Los Angeles, and one in Toronto. Most Depp and Burton fans will need to wait until next week to catch this romantic fantasy; CORPSE BRIDE expands to 2,900 theaters in North America on September 23rd.

Johnny Depp voices the character of Victor Van Dort, the shy and timid bridegroom who nonetheless manages to find himself wed to the Corpse Bride (Helena Bonham Carter) while engaged to the living Victoria (Emily Watson). In a recent interview with Steven Chupnick of MovieWeb, Johnny said the character of Victor had qualities that resonated with him personally: “Yeah, the feeling of failure, I suppose, the feeling of being inept, unable to be understood. That’s a pretty consistent theme in a lot of people’s lives. It’s like Victor kind of represented [. . .] not feeling comfortable [. . .] in life, that universal feeling we all drag around with us for the rest of our days.”

Regarding his five collaborations with director Tim Burton, Johnny said: “I see myself as just a very, very lucky boy who has been drafted to come along for the ride. I would say the fact he chose me these five times to interpret these characters is either great luck or a huge mistake on his part. No, I think we are good friends, we understand each other, we have a similar sense of humor, similar backgrounds, fascinations so, I just feel real lucky [. . .].” Movie fans everywhere feel lucky, too! Thanks to emma for posting the Chupnick interview on the News & Views forum.

It's set in cement: Johnny Depp's hand and footprints join the Hollywood legends at Grauman's Chinese Theatre!

Johnny Depp joined Hollywood immortals today by placing his handprints and footprints in cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Johnny wore a cream-colored suit, short-sleeved white shirt, dark brown fedora, and purple sunglasses for the occasion. He was accompanied by Vanessa Paradis, who looked stunning in a black leather jacket, black skirt, and celery green top. The ceremony took only a few minutes; Johnny spoke with his customary brevity and then placed his handprints and footprints in a slab of cement, and signed his name. Afterwards he spent time signing autographs for the large crowd of well-wishers who had gathered for the occasion.

The Zone thanks bonnie for the photo of Johnny with his hands in cement; to see a larger version, click HERE, and to see a delighted Johnny holding out his cement-stained hands, click HERE. To see Johnny and Vanessa holding hands and kneeling beside his handprints, click HERE. Thanks very much to AnaMaria for the last two pictures; as usual, there are many, many more on the Recent Pics forum on the Zone. If you missed the ceremony, you can relive the experience by reading the “Link to Grauman’s Webcam” thread on the News & Views forum–there are many screencaptures from the webcam on the thread. Thanks very much to DeppintheHeartofTexas for posting the link and getting the party started!

The Zone congratulates Johnny Depp on this well-deserved honor; we all hope to visit Grauman’s Chinese Theatre someday to see his prints alongside the other legends of the silver screen.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY features THE CORPSE BRIDE and Johnny Depp in its September 23rd issue

The new issue of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY features a four-page article on Tim Burton’s CORPSE BRIDE. Don’t look here for extensive comments from Johnny Depp, who voices the animated film’s nervous leading man, Victor Van Dort; the focus of Steve Daly’s article, “Death Becomes Her,” is on the stop-motion animation process and director Tim Burton. It’s a good read . . . . Oddly enough, EW has a two-page article on the Toronto Film Festival which does not mention the rip-roaring reception CORPSE BRIDE received there; perhaps the Saturday night screening was too late for their deadline. They do feature Johnny Depp on their Style Sheet, in an article called “Just Dandy: Male fashion gets pretty,” calling him “the go-to fop artist” and citing his sartorially splendid performances in THE LIBERTINE, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, and CORPSE BRIDE (apparently Johnny gets credit when the puppet Victor wears his clothes with panache).

Owen Gleiberman reviews CORPSE BRIDE in the issue and gives it an overall grade of B: “As an achievement in macabre visual wizardy, TIM BURTON’S CORPSE BRIDE has to be reckoned some sort of marvel,” he writes; “as an antidote to the wholesomeness of most animation, CORPSE BRIDE is a welcome dose of toxic fairy-tale derangement.” His complaint is with the story–he finds the love-triangle plot a bit thin and remote, but says the movie “has much to recommend it.” You can all the EW stories in full on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Something to be thankful for–a U.S. release date for THE LIBERTINE! reports that Weinstein Co. will release Johnny Depp’s long-delayed tour de force THE LIBERTINE on Wednesday, November 23rd–that’s the day before Thanksgiving in the United States, thus giving American Deppheads one more reason to be grateful when they sit down to their festive turkey dinners. Unfortunately, THE LIBERTINE’s release will be limited to New York City and Los Angeles. We hope for a wider rollout in December. Note that the film currently carries an MPAA rating of NC-17, although there is always a chance that could be negotiated to an R in order to achieve wider distribution . . . . The release date for the U.K. is two days later, on Friday, November 25th. The Zone thanks Shadow for breaking the news and Charly for updating us on the UK schedule.

DVD News–CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY to be released in Region 1 on November 8th!

Summer blockbuster CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, will be released on DVD in Region 1 on Tuesday, November 8th–just in time to secure a prime place on holiday gift lists. Warner Bros. will offer two versions of the DVD. The standard edition will contain one disc and will retail for $28.98. Extras on the single-disc set include an Oompa Loompa dance machine; a documentary on Oompa Loompas, and the theatrical trailer. If you preorder this version at Amazon, the cost is $15.98 plus shipping.

The two-disc version is slightly pricier–a recommended retail of $30.97, available for preorder at Amazon for only $21.68., or 30% off. Extras on the deluxe edition will include a featurette on Roald Dahl’s life story and extraordinary body of work, four interactive challenges (Oompa-Loompa Dance Machine, The Inventing Machine, The Bad Nut and Search For the Golden Ticket), a documentary on how live squirrels were taught to perform, five making-of featurettes, and another feature on how one actor, Deep Roy, became a whole tribe of Oompa Loompas. The Zone thanks Messiah for breaking the story and Ariel for supplying the information from Amazon.

For Zoners in Region 2, Gilbert’s Girl reports a UK release date of November 18th for the CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY DVD. The two-disc set is available for preorder from for £15.99. Thanks, GG!

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 3 resumes shooting in Los Angeles

After a hiatus during which all three of its principal actors–Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Keira Knightley–headed to Toronto to premiere new works at the film festival, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 3 resumes shooting today in Los Angeles. Filmforce reports that POTC 3 is shooting at Universal Studios on a set dressed to represent Shanghai, and that Johnny has been “shooting scenes with a new PIRATES cast member,” Chow Yun Fat. Thanks to Gilbert’s Girl and gilly for the updates.

Meanwhile, preparations are underway on Grand Bahama for the cast and crew’s return. The Bahamas Vacation Guide reports that a third tall ship has arrived in port–the Flying Dutchman joins the Black Pearl and the Edinburgh, rechristened the Endeavor. Filming in the Bahamas is set to resume next week, on September 20th. The Zone thanks emma for the report from the Caribbean; if you don’t mind spoilers, there are some pictures of the ships on the thread on the News & Views forum. It’s good to know Captain Jack Sparrow is back in action!

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp interviewed on ACCESS HOLLYWOOD on Monday and Tuesday, September 12th and 13th!

Interviews with Johnny Depp conducted over the weekend at the Toronto Film Festival are beginning to hit the U.S. entertainment news shows. ACCESS HOLLYWOOD featured brief comments from Johnny on Hurricane Katrina during its program on Monday, September 12th; Johnny urged everyone to support the relief effort for the victims of the disaster. Tuesday’s ACCESS HOLLYWOOD will feature a longer one-on-one interview with Johnny; EXTRA! has a one-on-one interview scheduled on Tuesday as well. Both shows are syndicated, so fans will need to check their local listings for times. The Zone thanks cait and recentjdocdvictim for the news.