Articles from November 2005


“Johnny Depp and the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN crew are back for more swashbuckling fun, and ET has a sneak preview!” ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT kept its promise to Deppheads, and aired parts of the trailer for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST on their November 30th show. The thumbnail at left, from a screencap by Veronica, catches Captain Jack Sparrow in a new predicament; to see a larger version, click HERE. Zone members who missed the ET telecast can find the segment on our Video Clips forum, and can watch the official DEAD MAN’S CHEST trailer there, too. The Zone thanks captjackstreasure, DeepinDepp,and JPduQuebec for the ET news; Veronica for the stunning screencap; Susanne for the ET video clip; and sleepy and Theresa for the DEAD MAN’S CHEST trailer. DEAD MAN’S CHEST arrives in theaters on July 7th.

"Johnny Depp plays Wilmot as a kind of fallen archangel"–The New York Times's Charles McGrath discusses THE LIBERTINE

The legions of Johnny Depp fans forced to wait another six weeks to see his performance as the Earl of Rochester in THE LIBERTINE can derive some contentment from reading Charles McGrath’s insightful article about the film in today’s New York Times. Praising the accuracy of Laurence Dunmore’s vision of Restoration London, McGrath offers a lively recap of the facts of John Wilmot’s life. “Johnny Depp plays Wilmot as a kind of fallen archangel, a prince of arrogance and self-loathing, and we watch him rot before our eyes,” McGrath writes. “Some of his biographers have suggested that there was something principled about Wilmot’s libertinism – that in an age of hypocrisy and false piety, he was heroic in his unbelief and his scorn for convention. In the movie’s portrayal, which includes elements of Jim Morrison and Iggy Pop (for whom Mr. Depp used to open), he’s more nearly a rock star ahead of his time, whose dark glamour comes from burning himself out.”

The Zone thanks sleepy and FANtastic JD for posting the McGrath article on our News & Views forum. You can read it HERE. To see a larger version of our thumbnail, click HERE.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY wins the BAFTA Kids' Vote as best feature film of the year!

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY defeated action-packed blockbusters like STAR WARS: EPISODE III and BATMAN BEGINS, and special effects-filled cartoons like THE INCREDIBLES, to be named by children as this year’s best feature film at the 10th British Academy Children’s Film and Television Awards.

A poll of more than 32,000 children voted Tim Burton’s vision of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book, starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, as best film for young people. The award, known as the Bafta Kids’ Vote, is the only category to be decided by a survey of children rather than being voted for by the British Academy. Freddie Highmore, who plays Charlie Bucket, accepted the award; Johnny Depp did not attend the ceremony, but must surely be pleased to hear that CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY holds first place in the hearts of the youngest moviegoers.

The Zone thanks emma for posting the news; you can read accounts from the London Times and the Independent on our News & Views forum.

THE LIBERTINE, starring Johnny Depp, premieres in New York City and Los Angeles

Laurence Dunmore’s THE LIBERTINE, starring Johnny Depp as the notorious Restoration poet John Wilmot, opened today for a one-week Oscar-qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles. Los Angeles Deppheads can catch THE LIBERTINE at the Royal Theater on Santa Monica Boulevard; New York fans can find THE LIBERTINE at the Angelika Film Center, 18 West Houston at Mercer Street. Hurry and get your tickets, since the film will only be showing this week. Thanks to gypsylee for the information.

BREAKING NEWS–Yo ho! Catch the trailer for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST in theaters soon!

Captain Jack is back! Aye, that’s what the trailer for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST promises us, and the first glimpse of the minute-and-a-half trailer will not disappoint Captain Jack’s legion of fans. Rumor has it that the trailer will be shown in theaters with THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, and Deppheads will be able to view Johnny Depp’s highjinks as Captain Jack Sparrow on the big screen on December 9th. Trailers–we love trailers! Drinks all around!

"That never happened"–Johnny Depp debunks Kate Moss rumors

In a wide-ranging interview with Chrissy Illey of the EVENING STANDARD, Johnny Depp expressed support for Kate Moss in her current media ordeal, but explicitly denied a couple of stories which have had wide exposure in the media. He never had lunch with Kate and her current boyfriend Pete Doherty to tell Pete to, in Illey’s words, “lay off the drugs. Be nice to Kate.” Johnny’s response? “That never happened. I’ve never met him.”

Another complete fabrication is the widely reported tale that Johnny sent Kate a mirror as a gift when she left rehab for cocaine addiction. “They said I sent a mirror to the place where she was getting straight because it is supposed to be an old Indian custom: look in the mirror and find your own strength to abstain. But I would never have thought a mirror would be the right thing to send her.” Reporter Illey confirms that Johnny “has not spoken to her directly,” although, as a Southern gentleman, he has made supportive comments in interviews when asked about Kate’s situation. “She’s very strong and very smart,” he told Illey. “She’ll be fine.”

The interview also contains fascinating reflections about Johnny’s connection to his current role, the Earl of Rochester: “If I’d done this part 10 years ago when John Malkovich first approached me [. . .], I would have made a dangerous mistake of trying to live it. Not necessarily going out and shagging everything that had a pulse, but drinking, and I would never have got through it. Ten years later, I have a solid foundation to stand on.” Johnny also speaks at length of his love for Vanessa Paradis and their children. Asked if he wants more children, Johnny replies: “Oh yes. I’m pretty good at it. [. . .] They make me happy. Simple fun things. Me and my son zooming around in little cars or my absurd stories about Barbie dolls getting obsessed with peanut butter. And, of course, work keeps me happy.” As for work, Johnny confirms that his next project after the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels will be SHANTARAM.

The Zone thanks Edda for posting the Illey interview on our News & Views forum. You can read the entire article in the thread called “Ditching Libertine Life for Love,” or you can click HERE.

"A stunning performance:" THE LIBERTINE, starring Johnny Depp, opens in the United Kingdom

Laurence Dunmore’s THE LIBERTINE, nominated for 8 British Independent Film Awards, opened today in the United Kingdom. Johnny Depp earned glowing reviews for his performance as the Restoration poet and roue John Wilmot, 2nd earl of Rochester. Here is a small sampling–you can read the full reviews on the Zone’s News and Views forum:

From Clare Pollard, Channel 4 Film: “In Laurence Dunmore’s THE LIBERTINE, Johnny Depp gives a stunning performance as a man who does not feel alive unless he exceeds every limit. [. . .] He is, if not likeable, then utterly mesmerising. [. . .]It is a measure of the film’s achievement that even as the Earl turns outcast and monster, hiding his disfigured face from society, it is impossible to take your eyes off him.”

From Tim Evans at sky.movies: “[A] marvellous script from playwright Stephen Jeffreys [. . . is]relished with a swagger and a sneer by Depp in a philandering performance that’s pretty much faultless. [. . .I]t’s Depp as the firebrand who burns out all too soon that makes this one of the unsung pleasures of the year.”

From Wendy Ide, The Times: “The story deals with the life of the notoriously depraved Earl who scandalised Restoration-era critics and goaded King Charles II (played here by an appropriately urbane John Malkovich) with pornographic satires of life at court, obscene verse and much roistering, carousing and wenching. Depp is terrific in the role, with a rock star’s lip- curled arrogance and a sexually predatory swagger.”

From Hannah McGill, The Herald: “[THE LIBERTINE] is clever, dirty and sad all at the same time, which is a combination all too rare in the pretty world of conventional English costume drama; and its characters burn with conviction. Johnny Depp has the time of his life as the throbbingly priapic Earl [. . .], but his supporting cast more than match him. The ladies themselves are terrific, especially the exquisite Rosamund Pike as the Earl’s long-suffering wife, and the increasingly impressive young Kelly Reilly as the streetwise prostitute who adores him in spite of herself. Like its hero, this is a gorgeous, dirty, intriguing mess of a thing, distinctly disreputable but well worth rolling around with.”

The Zone thanks emma for the reviews, and In-too-Depp for the lovely screencap from a UK interview. You can see a larger version of the screencap HERE. Zone members can find a selection of In-too-Depp’s screencaps on our Recent Pics forum, and a new extended trailer and several new interviews from the UK promotion for THE LIBERTINE on our Video Clips forum, as well as a clip from the AFI tribute. Thanks to emma, bonnie, Theresa, Intodadepps, and SavvyDeppWench for the new clips!

"Staggering allure, sorrow and intelligence:" THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER reviews Johnny Depp in THE LIBERTINE

“Depp delivers riveting turn as antihero of LIBERTINE,” begins the review by Sheri Linden in THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. “Having created an indelible rogue’s gallery of lovable freaks and nonconformists, Johnny Depp ventures deep into the realm of the monstrous in the demanding film THE LIBERTINE. He delivers a haunting portrait of the 17th-century poet, provocateur and debauchee John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester, who achieved literary acclaim only after his lingering death at 33, ravaged by syphilis and alcohol.” About Wilmot’s physical decline as the film progresses, Linden notes,”One of the achievements of director Laurence Dunmore’s insistently gritty first feature is that his protagonist, a repellent creature of rapacious sensual appetites, grows more recognizable the more physically grotesque he becomes.” Linden sees Johnny’s Wilmot as “a dark cousin” to Raoul Duke, Captain Jack Sparrow and even Willy Wonka. “Depp’s dissolute earl possesses a staggering allure, sorrow and intelligence,” she writes.

Unlike some reviews which complain about THE LIBERTINE’s stylistic choices, Linden sees “stark power” in Alexander Melman’s “grainy, candlelit cinematography” and the film’s resistance to conventional, glossy period romps. “Audiences used to being spoon-fed dazzling period regalia might feel mired in the sludge,” Linden concedes. “For those who can stick with it, the rewards are considerable.”

The Zone thanks Donna B. for posting the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER review on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

"When I Die"–Hunter S. Thompson tribute video a hit at Denver Film Festival

WHEN I DIE, Wayne Ewing’s hour-long documentary about the effort to honor Hunter S. Thompson’s request to have his ashes blasted from an immense Gonzo fist, premiered to a standing-room-only crowd in Denver Saturday. WHEN I DIE was shown during a tribute to Thompson at the Denver Press Club as part of the Starz Denver International Film Festival. Denver Post writer Annette Espinoza reports, “It was standing room only as fans of the late, legendary gonzo writer Hunter S. Thompson watched the debut of a new film that showed the work that went into creating a 2 1/2-ton cannon that blasted his ashes into the sky during his elaborate memorial service in August in Woody Creek.”

Ewing’s film was well-received by those who knew Hunter best: “Thompson’s family, friends and fans laughed and cheered during the film,” writes Espinoza, “and gave a standing ovation after it ended.” Hunter’s widow Anita attended the screening and participated in a panel discussion afterward. “The monument was larger than life, just like Hunter,” she told the crowd.

John Colson of the Aspen Times notes that the film “was so popular that the Starz Denver International Film Festival added two late-night screenings that were not originally scheduled at the Nov. 12 event.” Filmmaker Ewing, who also shot the memorable documentary BREAKFAST WITH HUNTER, called his new work “an independent filmmaker’s dream. It was a testament to Hunter’s work and iconic status in American culture.”

Johnny Depp, who funded the $2million-plus memorial project, does not appear in Ewing’s film; the documentary focuses on the construction of the monument. Fans of the Good Doctor who would like to see “When I Die” can order a copy from the Breakfast with Hunter website for $19.95 plus shipping and handling. You can order a copy HERE.

The Zone thanks Brandy, emma, and JD101 for contributing stories and information about WHEN I DIE to the Zone’s News & Views forum.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp nominated for People's Choice Award!

Another sign that awards season is almost upon us–the People’s Choice Award nominations were announced on Friday, and for the second year in a row, Johnny Depp received a nomination for Favorite Male Movie Star. Deppheads will recall that Johnny won this award in 2005; he did not attend the ceremony, but sent a memorable taped acceptance speech. Johnny’s competition this year includes Samuel L. Jackson and–ironically enough–the man who originally persuaded Johnny to try acting as a profession, Nicolas Cage.

The People’s Choice Awards will be given out on January 10, 2006, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The awards ceremony will be broadcast live. You can cast a vote for Johnny Depp once a day HERE. The Zone thanks DeepinDepp for breaking the story on our News & Views forum. You can read the article from USA Today, including the full list of all People’s Choice Award nominees in all categories, HERE.

Congratulations to Johnny Depp on his People’s Choice Award nomination! Perhaps it is a good omen that the nominations were announced on the day AFI Fest held its “Tribute to Johnny Depp.”

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp honored with an AFI Tribute and the world premiere of THE LIBERTINE tonight!

Johnny Depp sat down with TIME film critic Richard Schickel for a candid discussion of his movie career at the American Film Institute’s “Tribute to Johnny Depp” in Los Angeles tonight. Watch the Zone’s News & Views forum and the Porch for accounts from the Zoners in attendance–they have promised to report all they can remember of the magical evening. The Tribute was followed by the world premiere of Laurence Dunmore’s THE LIBERTINE, which is garnering awards buzz for Johnny’s portrayal of Restoration poet and rake John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester. Director Dunmore attended tonight’s events, along with Johnny’s co-stars John Malkovich and Samantha Morton.

The Zone thanks DeepinDepp, bonnie, AnaMaria, Icarus_Malfoy Sparrow, and Gilbert’s Girl for posting pictures from the AFI Tribute on our Recent Pics forum. To see Johnny being interviewed on the stage of the ArcLight theater, click HERE, and to see a photo of Johnny with Richard Schickel, click HERE. To see Johnny standing next to a poster for THE LIBERTINE, click HERE. The Zone congratulates Johnny Depp for twenty-one years of brilliant performances–we have loved every minute of it!

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp presents BAFTA/LA award to director Mike Newell

An opportunity to honor his DONNIE BRASCO director coaxed Johnny Depp into a tux and onto the podium at the BAFTA/LA awards ceremony on Thursday, November 10th in Hollywood. Joined by Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett, Johnny presented Mike Newell with the John Schlesinger Brittania Award for Excellence in Directing. Deppheads recall Newell’s beautifully nuanced direction of 1997’s DONNIE BRASCO, which drew haunting, powerful performances from Johnny and Al Pacino. Newell’s latest film is HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE, opening on November 18th.

The Zone thanks MikaDepp, AnaMaria and bonnie for breaking the news and posting lovely pictures on the Zone’s Recent Pics forum. To see a larger version of our thumbnail, click HERE, and to see a shot of Johnny with Mike Newell and Cate Blanchett, click HERE.

Johnny Depp attends Rolling Stones concert at the Hollywood Bowl!

Johnny Depp attended the Rolling Stones concert at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday, November 8th, and was photographed backstage schmoozing with Keith Richards and other members of the band. Perhaps, in addition to hearing the Stones rock the Bowl with legendary hits like Start Me Up and Honky Tonk Woman, Johnny took the opportunity to remind Keith what great fun he would have if he agreed to play Captain Jack Sparrow’s dad in the upcoming PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels. Say yes, Keith! To see a larger version of our thumbnail, click HERE, and for another view of Johnny and Keith in conversation, click HERE. The Zone thanks bonnie and AnaMaria for sharing the pictures–members can view more on our Recent Pics forum. Thanks also to emma for posting Steve Hochman’s LA Times article on the concert, and DeepinDepp for posting Dean Goodman’s concert review. Both articles mention Johnny and can be found on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY comes up a winner at the Irish Film and Television Awards!

Tim Burton’s stylish and magical version of Roald Dahl’s CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY won the Jameson People’s Choice Award for Best International Film at the Irish Film and Television Awards. The awards ceremony was held in Dublin on Saturday night, November 5th. Johnny Depp was nominated for Best International Actor, an award he won two years ago for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. This year the award went to Johnny’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO co-star, Mickey Rourke, for SIN CITY.

Irish actor David Kelly, who plays the sprightly Grandpa Joe in CATCF, received a lifetime achievement award for an acting career that began in 1959, four years before Johnny Depp was born. “I still marvel at the fact that I have achieved my only real goal in life–to be an actor,” David Kelly said modestly. “That a group of kind people wish to reward me for this is moving and I am grateful beyond words.” Congratulations to the entire cast and crew of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY!

The Zone thanks Gilbert’s Girl for posting the story on the News & Views forum.

TV ALERT–PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN airs on ABC prime time tonight!

Showing great faith in the ability of Johnny Depp to draw an audience, the Disney-owned ABC network kicks off the all-important November sweeps period tonight by airing PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. The 2003 crowd-pleaser garnered Johnny his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor and won the Critic’s Choice award as Best Live-Action Family Film. POTC begins at 8 pm Eastern and Pacific and will occupy the full evening prime-time slot, until 11 pm. We know Deppheads will want to see Captain Jack and company again, even if their sentiments are “down to the depths with commercial interruptions!”

Season 4 of 21 JUMP STREET is released on DVD in Region 1

Deppheads of long standing can relive their first infatuation with Johnny Depp, and new recruits can discover why Officer Tom Hanson was Johnny’s breakthrough role, as Season 4 of 21 JUMP STREET hits the shelves in Region 1. Guest stars in Season 4 include Vince Vaughn, Shannen Doherty, and Thomas Haden Church. The 6 DVD set is available from for $31.49 with free shipping. Best has Season 4 on sale for $27.99 through November 5th; online buyers can get $10 off any other season of 21 JUMP STREET if purchased with Season 4. A fine time to add to your Depp collection, or do some early holiday shopping!

Oprah Noodlemantra's Book Club celebrates its second birthday on the Zone!

Can it really be two years ago that the Johnny Depp Zone’s outstanding book club began its first discussion? Yes–Oprah Noodlemantra’s Book Club started at two minutes past midnight on November 1, 2003, with a discussion of Stephen King’s novella TWO PAST MIDNIGHT: SECRET WINDOW, SECRET GARDEN; that book was chosen because Johnny Depp was filming SECRET WINDOW at the time. Since then, thanks to the inspired and insightful leadership of its devoted moderators, Liz and DeppintheHeartofTexas, ONBC has grown into one of the liveliest forums on the Zone. Today they begin ONBC’s third year with a discussion of Nick Hornby’s novel A LONG WAY DOWN, which was recently purchased by Johnny’s movie production company, Infinitum Nihil; in December, by popular demand, they will revisit Stephen Jeffrey’s play THE LIBERTINE, in conjunction with the film’s impending release. The Noodlemantras welcome anyone who loves Johnny Depp and/or a good book to stop by for some friendly discussion and a great read.

Congratulations to Liz, DeppintheHeartofTexas, and all the Noodlemantras!

AFI Fest's Christian Gaines salutes THE LIBERTINE and Johnny Depp: "An astonishing film [. . .] an astonishing performance"

In an article entitled “Depp Thoughts: AFI Fest salutes the prolific actor for his body of work and his newest challenging role,” Gina McIntyre of the Hollywood Reporter discusses the upcoming retrospective of Johnny Depp’s work and the reasons AFI Fest decided to honor Johnny this year. According to McIntyre, THE LIBERTINE wowed the AFI selection committee: “It was Depp’s compelling turn in [Laurence]Dunmore’s film that convinced AFI director of festivals Christian Gaines to choose the actor as the AFI Fest 2005’s sole honoree. The tribute is set to take place on Nov. 11 at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood and will feature clips from Depp’s films, the world premiere of THE LIBERTINE and a Q&A between the actor and critic/commentator/ author Richard Schickel.”

AFI’s Gaines told McIntyre, “It is really an astonishing film. It defies classification. [Johnny Depp] just puts in an astonishing performance working off a great script. We were invigorated and excited by that film and that performance,” Gaines explained. “And then we started to think about Johnny Depp and how he can straddle the line between being someone who has a filmography of risky, edgy roles, yet who is always interesting in his more mainstream roles. We liked the fact that he straddles those two worlds seemingly effortlessly.” That’s how an AFI honoree is born.

The Zone thanks emma for posting the Hollywood Reporter article on our News & Views forum: you can also read the article HERE. Thanks to DeepinDepp for the thumbnail of THE LIBERTINE poster, and to KSmith, DeepinDepp, and sleepy who have shared the poster on various Zone forums including Recent Pics and News & Views. To see a larger version of THE LIBERTINE poster, click HERE.