Articles from January 2006

VARIETY lists a new release date for THE LIBERTINE: March 10th

Howls of protest from disappointed Depp fans–not to mention pleas posted in VARIETY itself–perhaps have persuaded the Weinstein Company to release THE LIBERTINE to theaters in the United States after all. In their “Release Dates and Changes” column, VARIETY now reports a new release date for THE LIBERTINE of March 10, 2006. We earnestly hope this date holds up, and isn’t just another false promise from a company that has dealt in that currency more than once. The official website of the Weinstein Company does confirm the new date, however: their web page for THE LIBERTINE now reads “In theaters March 10th.” You can read the evidence for yourself HERE, and it’s well worth a visit to the site to see the large picture of Johnny Depp as the Earl of Rochester. You can also view the trailer there. Thanks very much to emma for posting the news–and thanks to everyone who wrote letters or emails or used other means of persuasion to support THE LIBERTINE’s release. Particularly noteworthy is Susanne’s petition in support of THE LIBERTINE which has now garnered more than one thousand signatures urging THE LIBERTINE’s release. Well done, Susanne! You can show your support for THE LIBERTINE by signing the petition HERE.

Johnny Depp ranks #2 in new Harris poll of favorite movie stars!

Although he often tells interviewers that he “never wanted to be a movie star,” Johnny Depp is rapidly cementing his status as a beloved star as well as the finest actor of his generation. The newest Harris poll–an annual event which asks American adults to “choose their favorite movie stars”–shows Johnny’s public esteem ascending ever higher. He finished second, just behind Tom Hanks and ahead of perennial favorite John Wayne (who tied for third with Harrison Ford) and Julia Roberts, who ranked #5. Rounding out the top ten favorite stars of 2005 (polling was conducted in mid-December): Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, George Clooney, Sean Connery, and Sandra Bullock.

Johnny made his first appearance in the Harris poll two years ago, when his bravura turn as Captain Jack Sparrow catapulted him into the public imagination. He placed 10th in 2003, 4th in 2004, and 2nd in 2005. Congratulations, Johnny! The Zone thanks DeepinDepp for posting the news; you can read the full results of the 2005 Harris poll HERE.

Today's VARIETY: Frustrated Depp fan urges Weinstein Co. to release THE LIBERTINE

One Johnny Depp fan took her frustration with the Weinstein Company’s shelving of THE LIBERTINE to the pages of VARIETY, the movie industry’s bible. She took the extraordinary step of placing an ad in today’s DAILY VARIETY, urging the distributor to release the film. The ad reads: “Dear Mr. Weinstein, Give us THE LIBERTINE. I respectfully request that your company release this highly anticipated movie nationwide now. I am only one voice, but I think I speak for many who have long revered the extraordinary and dedicated performances of Mr. Johnny Depp.”

The ad continues, “Those who do not live in NY or LA deserve the privilege of viewing the highly acclaimed work of Mr. Depp and the rest of the distinguished cast of this film. Please give us THE LIBERTINE.”

The Zone congratulates Kittycat88 for her initiative on behalf of American Deppheads; she speaks for many who have been eagerly awaiting this film since it began shooting in March of 2004. We hope her plea is answered. You can read the saga of THE LIBERTINE VARIETY ad, from its inception to final placement, on the JDZ Pit–and it’s very lively reading! To see a scan of Kittycat88’s ad, click HERE.

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow graces ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY 2006 Preview cover!

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY is apparently as excited as we are that Captain Jack Sparrow is back–Johnny Depp’s photo, in red bandanna and dangles, gets the prime position on the January 27th cover, which reads “2006 Preview! Our Guide to the Year’s Big Events.” PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2 shares the cover with SUPERMAN RETURNS, and three small inset pictures of Tom Hanks (for THE DA VINCI CODE), Julia Roberts, and James Gandolfini (for THE SOPRANOS). A brief blurb about DEAD MAN’S CHEST and a photo from the film appear on page 29–you can read the details on the News & Views forum. Thanks to emma for posting the EW story.

Johnny Depp is also featured in the Golden Globes coverage for several magazines this week. Donna B. tells us that you can find pictures of Johnny and Vanessa in this week’s PEOPLE on page 59; in the Star on page 42; and in US WEEKLY on page 46. All three magazines have a cover date of January 30, 2006. Thanks, Donna B.! You can catch up on all the coverage on the News & Views forum.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis attend 2006 Golden Globes!

Nominated as Best Actor in a Motion Picture–Musical or Comedy for his role as Willy Wonka in CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, Johnny Depp attended the 2006 Golden Globe Awards on Monday. Looking dapper in a black suit, red shirt open at the neck, Gonzo necklace, red belt, and red-and-black wing-tip shoes, Johnny walked the red carpet hand-in-hand with a radiant Vanessa Paradis, who wore a dove-gray satin Chanel gown and multiple necklaces. The Zone’s News & Views forum features a thread on the red carpet arrival and interviews–don’t miss Johnny’s surprisingly frisky interview with E!–and another thread on the awards show itself. There are also discussions on the Pit, and members can view interviews on our Video Clips forum and see photos from the event on Recent Pics.

Although Johnny didn’t go home with a Golden Globe for playing Willy Wonka (Joaquin Phoenix won for WALK THE LINE), he appeared relaxed and happy throughout the evening, and was an obvious favorite of the crowd both inside and outside the ceremony. To see a larger version of the thumbnail, click HERE, and to see a photo of Johnny and Vanessa together on the red carpet, click HERE. The Zone thanks AnaMaria for posting both photos.

It's definitely Friday the 13th–Weinstein Company fails to release THE LIBERTINE

The many North American Johnny Depp fans who were eagerly awaiting the scheduled “wide release” of THE LIBERTINE today had their hopes dashed when the film mysteriously failed to appear at even a single movie theater anywhere in the hemisphere. The cash-strapped Weinstein Company apparently has decided to throw their resources behind THE MATADOR and MRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS instead. This leaves Johnny’s fans with no way to view his portrayal of the Earl of Rochester on the big screen–a devastating loss since many critics have described Johnny’s performance as one of the finest of his brilliant career. Regrettably, The Weinstein Company has not set any new date for THE LIBERTINE’s release. Fans who need to vent their fury or anguish over this shabby treatment of THE LIBERTINE will find several threads on the Zone’s Pit and on the News & Views forum where they can speak their minds.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST to finish shooting in a few days, says producer Jerry Bruckheimer

In an interview with Edward Douglas of, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN producer Jerry Bruckheimer confirmed that filming of the POTC sequels has resumed in the Bahamas. Bruckheimer says that shooting on DEAD MAN’S CHEST should wrap in five or six days: “We started filming yesterday in the Carribean, we’re in the Bahamas,” Bruckheimer told Douglas. “We’re finishing 2 and then doing 3. I think we have about five or six more days left on PIRATES 2, and then we’re done with it.”

Finishing the third POTC film, however, will be a much longer proposition, according to the producer: “We’ll break in March and edit [POTC]2,” Jerry said, “and then go back at the end of the summer and finish [POTC]3.” The Zone thanks emma for posting the interview on the News & Views forum. You can read the whole story HERE.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp wins 2006 People's Choice Award as Favorite Male Movie Star

For the second year in a row, Johnny Depp won the People’s Choice Award as Favorite Male Movie Star–and for the second year in a row, Johnny was not in the auditorium to accept his award, a fact he noted in his brief and witty acceptance speech. “I want to say thank you very, very much; my apologies for not being there once again,” Johnny said via satellite transmission. “I’m on a distant tropical location shooting 23, 23 1/2 hours a day, surrounded by wild animals and studio executives.” He added that he was “very touched and honored […] to receive this award from the people.”

As the audience at the Shrine Auditorium cheered, Johnny thanked the public: “We’re all very, very lucky to have such great bosses, which is you, the people. So […] I’ll just say thanks again to the people and to my family, who are in fact, people, too. […] I may weep, I may break into song; I don’t know what’s gonna happen. But you’ve made me very, very proud, so thank you, thank you very, very, much! Take care!” You can read Johnny’s full acceptance speech on the Zone’s News & Views forum; thanks very much to Cesar’sSusie for the transcription, and to Rainey, KYWoman and DeepinDepp for reporting on the broadcast while it was in progress. To see a larger photo of Johnny’s TV appearance, click HERE.

Congratulations to Johnny on this well-deserved award, and congratulations to Johnny, Tim Burton, Freddie Highmore, and all the cast and crew of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, which won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Family Movie.

BREAKING NEWS–Freddie Highmore wins Critic's Choice award as Best Young Actor

Congratulations to Freddie Highmore, whose heartfelt portrayal of innocent Charlie Bucket provided the perfect balance to Johnny Depp’s sly Willie Wonka in the summer blockbuster CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY; Freddie’s work has been rewarded with the 2006 Critic’s Choice award as Best Young Actor. CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY was nominated as Best Live Action Family Film, but was edged out by THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE. You can read the full list of 2006 Critic’s Choice Awards winners HERE.

Rumored new project for Johnny Depp and Tim Burton: the movie musical SWEENEY TODD

The latest rumored project for Johnny Depp involves a sixth (and very surprising) collaboration with director and good friend Tim Burton. Andrew Hartman of reports that the gifted pair may reunite for the upcoming movie musical adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s award-winning SWEENEY TODD. “Depp will portray title character Sweeney Todd–the demon barber of Fleet Street–who slits the throats of his innocent (and not-so-innocent) customers,” writes Hartman–a role created on Broadway by Len Cariou in a classic 1979 production which co-starred Angela Lansbury. There is as yet no official announcement, and Hartman’s exclusive source is anonymous, so at this point SWEENEY TODD is only a very intriguing rumor. Thanks to sleepy for posting the news; you can read the whole story HERE, and join the spirited discussion on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Announcing the Johnny Depp Zone's 2006 Birthday Project in support of Children's Hospice!

The Johnny Depp Zone is proud to announce that we will be sponsoring a charitable campaign in honor of Johnny Depp’s birthday this year. Our chosen charity is the Children’s Hospice founded by Lori Butterworth and Devon Dabbs.

Johnny Depp has been wearing a silver-and-leather bracelet in support of the hospice, which aids seriously ill children and their families, for several months: you can see it in his press conference picture HERE ,and in photos from the hand-and-footprint ceremony at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. The inscription on the bracelet reads, “Today is a gift . . . have fun!” You can find much more information about the hospice on the “Johnny’s bracelet” thread on our 2006 Birthday Project forum.

Many Zone members are already wearing the beautiful “Today is a gift” bracelets just like Johnny’s. It would be especially meaningful to buy and wear such a bracelet in honor of Johnny Depp’s birthday, since his art and his presence in our lives has been such a gift to all of us. We also have a Paypal link for Deppheads who prefer to make donations to the Children’s Hospice.

Watch also for an upcoming FanArt design challenge–we will be looking for an appropriate graphic to use on JDZ Birthday Project fundraising T-shirts and other merchandise. And thanks very much to Shadow for designing our 2006 Birthday Project collage!

The founders of Children’s Hospice have agreed to participate in the Johnny Depp Zone’s Birthday Project and are delighted that we have chosen to work with them. They wrote: “We are amazed at how thoughtful you all have been! […] We are so honored. Sending only love, Devon and Lori.”

We know that Johnny Depp’s legion of fans will have plenty of love to return to the children who need it most.

Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet to narrate IMAX DEEP SEA 3D, opening March 3rd

FINDING NEVERLAND co-stars Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet will be reunited on the big–the very big–screen in March, as they narrate the new IMAX feature DEEP SEA 3D. The documentary is “an underwater adventure” which “transports audiences deep below the ocean surface to swim alongside some of the most exotic creatures on the planet, from the bizarre rainbow nudibranch to the giant pacific octopus.” DEEP SEA 3D will also feature an original score by Danny Elfman. You can see the trailer HERE; the Zone thanks gilly for posting the trailer. DEEP SEA 3D will begin showing in IMAX theaters on March 3, 2006.

Kellogg's introduces PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN cereal

You can expect to do a double-take in the cereal aisle of your local supermarket some day soon, as Kellogg’s new PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN cereal hits the shelves. Yes, that really is Captain Jack Sparrow at the wheel of the Black Pearl, overlooking not the sparkling turquoise Caribbean but a bowl of “chocolate pearl-shaped cereal with Pirate-shaped marshmallows.” Zone member lawyer, who has seen the POTC cereal in her local store already, reports that the marshmallows look like golden Aztec coins and white pirate ships and hats. “Alas,” she says, “no Johnny in the box!” There is, however, a good likeness of Captain Jack Sparrow ON the box, as you can see HERE. Thanks for the news, lawyer! It has provoked a spirited discussion on the Zone’s News & Views forum . . . .

Producer's Guild nomination for TIM BURTON'S CORPSE BRIDE

Congratulations to CORPSE BRIDE producers Tim Burton and Allison Abbate; they have been nominated as Producers of the Year in the Animated Film category by the Producer’s Guild. The Producer’s Guild gives only two awards per year, one to honor a theatrical motion picture and one to honor an animated film. Other nominees for Producer of the Year–Animated Film include the producers of CHICKEN LITTLE, MADAGASCAR, ROBOTS, and WALLACE AND GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT. The winner will be announced on January 22, 2006.

The Zone thanks Gilbert’s Girl for posting the story on the News & Views forum. You can read the full list of nominees HERE.

Johnny Depp's production company seeking rights to Scottish novel, THE PEOPLE'S ACT OF LOVE

Johnny Depp’s production company, Infinitum Nihil, is rumored to be in negotiations to buy the film rights to Scottish author James Meeks’s critically acclaimed novel THE PEOPLE’S ACT OF LOVE. The book’s publisher, Jamie Byng, has confirmed Depp’s company’s interest in the book, but refused to discuss further details until a contract had been signed. “We are in discussions,” Byng told reporter William Lyons. “It is pretty much agreed.” The reporter adds that no actors have been approached about the project yet, but “it has been likened to a Siberian APOCALYPSE NOW with a possible pairing of Depp and Russell Crowe.”

THE PEOPLE’S ACT OF LOVE, published just five months ago, has already been translated into 20 different languages. The story is set in a remote Siberian village in 1919, and has been compared by reviewers to Joseph Conrad’s HEART OF DARKNESS and to the work of Franz Kafka. Marc Lambert, chief executive of the Scottish Book Trust, sees the novel’s fascinating characters and complex plot attracting Johnny’s interest: “I am not surprised that Johnny Depp, who is quite a cultured person, has his ear to the ground, does read and is interested in good writing, would be interested in this book. It is a complex tale to bring to the big screen but [. . .]I think Johnny Depp is a good one to try.” The Zone thanks emma for posting the story on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

"Trying to keep that energy and humour"–Jerry Bruckheimer discusses the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels

The February 2006 issue of EMPIRE Magazine (UK) includes PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST among their “Future Films” updates. Regarding the POTC sequels, producer Jerry Bruckheimer told EMPIRE: “It is a continuing story over both films, but you’ll definitely have an end at the end of part two. The story will pick up again in part three. We hope that we can do it as well as LORD OF THE RINGS. That’s what we’re aiming for. We’ve got everyone back, even some surprise guests whom I can’t mention. I’m very excited – we’ve moved things on, with a bigger budget, more special effects, but trying to keep that energy and humour that made the original so special.” Sounds good, Jerry, and so does EMPIRE’s appraisal of the DEAD MAN’S CHEST trailer: “The teaser trailer suggests that Depp has bottled lightning again.”

The Zone thanks emma for posting the EMPIRE article on the Zone’s News & Views forum. You can read the full story there, but beware–there are some plot spoilers.