Articles from April 2006

NEWSWEEK names PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST the #1 most-wanted movie of the summer!

Blockbuster ahoy! In an article called “Summer Movie Preview: Hollywood’s Top 15 Most Wanted,” this week’s NEWSWEEK (May 8 issue) picks PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST, with Johnny Depp reprising his Oscar-nominated role as Captain Jack Sparrow, as “the summer film we’re most excited about.” Great choice, NEWSWEEK–we’re pretty excited, too!

NEWSWEEK writes, “Three years ago, almost everyone predicted that PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL would be a cheesy also-ran in the big summer box-office race. Pirate movies had tanked for years. Johnny Depp had never had a real hit. Worst of all, it was based on a Disney theme-park ride. It just had to sink, right? Yeah. Like TITANIC. It not only raked in a massive $654 million worldwide but was a rollicking pleasure cruise that had the whole country yo-ho-ho-ing. We’d rather walk the plank than miss this sequel. (Or the third one, which will be released next summer. . . .” You can read the full article on the Zone’s News & Views forum; thanks very much to FANtasticJD for posting the NEWSWEEK story. Pirates, be ye warned: there are some minor plot spoilers.

Our thumbnail above shows a Peter Mountain photograph from the DEAD MAN’S CHEST set; to see a larger version of the NEWSWEEK photo, click HERE.

In a related article, sandstorm reports that Peter Travers’s summer movie preview for ROLLING STONE picks POTC: DEAD MAN’S CHEST as #2 for the summer season. Travers writes, “Put me down for a yo-ho as long as Depp’s along for the ride.” Thanks, sandstorm!

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT fails to deliver its promised story on Johnny Depp

Despite an announcement on the Thursday night show and a story on its website, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT failed to deliver a news segment on Johnny Depp and the upcoming release of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST during their April 28th broadcast. For reasons known only to the staff of ET, a dismal rehash of a 15-year-old sex scandal and a feature on the breast implant surgery of a past reality show contestant were deemed more newsworthy than a story on one of the most-anticipated movies of the summer. Unfortunately this bait-and-switch tactic is used by ET so often that we can no longer deem them a credible source about the contents of their own program. Come on, ET . . . can’t you get it right for once?

London premiere of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST set for July 3, 2006

Exciting news for all our friends across the pond . . . the UK premiere for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST will take place in London on Monday, July 3rd at the Odeon Theatre in Leicester Square. Longtime Deppheads know this location very well, and have stood behind barricades waiting for a glimpse of Johnny Depp at many previous premieres. There is no word yet as to whether Johnny will attend the London premiere, but it seems likely. Thanks to poppet for posting the news on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

The US premiere of DEAD MAN’S CHEST will take place at Disneyland–along with the unveiling of the updated Pirates of the Carribean ride, now featuring an animatronic Captain Jack Sparrow–on Saturday, June 24th, in conjunction with the press weekend for POTC:DMC.


Set your TIVOs and your VCRs for tonight’s ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT edition–Friday, April 28–because ET is promising us a feature on PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST! At the conclusion of last night’s show, ET announced that Johnny Depp/Captain Jack Sparrow would share some secrets from behind the scenes of DEAD MAN’S CHEST on Friday’s edition, and the ET website has a brief promotional feature for the film on their website today; you can read the story on our News & Views forum or HERE. We know that ET sometimes promises us stories on Johnny Depp and then does not deliver them when scheduled, but they are definitely advertising a POTC:DMC story tonight. Thanks very much to Joni for breaking the news and emma for the ET online story!

A great read–Johnny Depp interviews Lili Taylor in the May issue of INTERVIEW

Put the May 2006 issue of INTERVIEW on your must-buy list, Depp fans: Johnny Depp interviews his ARIZONA DREAM co-star (and independent film icon) Lili Taylor, and the result is a charming and revealing portrait of two great actors and long-time supportive friends. Here’s a taste of what you can find in the interview:

JD: Do you remember a few years back when we were at my house here in Los Angeles and we were painting?

LT: Honey, I was just looking at your painting two minutes ago. I’ve got it up on the wall.

JD: I remember that we were painting and you grabbed the tiniest canvas and it was all pink and you painted this beautiful little girl in this sort of bluish protective sphere in the center of it. We were using these really heavy oil sticks and just laying it on really thick. Anyhow, there were two things I wanted to say to you about it. The first is that after, like, five years, your painting is finally dry. [Taylor laughs] And the second is that I have it up here in my house, and you should come see it sometime. It’s a beautiful little painting. Over the years we’ve talked a lot about painting and art brut and naive art and things like that. But it’s just one of my favorite paintings ever.

LT: Sweetie. I’ve got the one that you made for me with a three on it and a man’s face. I’m holding it in my hands right now. It’s so great that we’ve got each other’s little projects. Are you still in that house in Los Angeles?

JD: Yeah, still there, same joint. What used to look like Dracula’s castle now looks like Dracula’s castle crossed with Toys R Us.

LT: [laughs] The light from the kids has really brightened up the place, huh?

JD: Toys are everywhere. It’s madness.

You can read the full interview on the Zone’s News & Views forum; a huge thank you to Susanne and DeepinDepp for the news and the transcription of the interview. Here’s hoping that INTERVIEW decides to turn the tables and invites Lili Taylor to interview Johnny for a future issue!

Finally–Johnny Depp's early film PRIVATE RESORT to be released on DVD

Collectors and Johnny Depp fans who want his complete filmography available on DVD will get one step closer to nirvana on June 27th, when the 1985 comedy PRIVATE RESORT will finally be released on DVD in region 1. PRIVATE RESORT,a spring break sex comedy directed by George Bowers, features Johnny and Rob Morrow (in his film debut), and is more famous for a few seconds of footage of Johnny’s bare backside than for any of its plot developments. is offering PRIVATE RESORT at a presale price of $13.39. The Zone thanks DeepinDepp for posting the news.

BREAKING NEWS–PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 3 to film at Site 9 in Palmdale, California

We know where the cast and crew of the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels will be making berth when filming resumes; on Monday, April 17, the Los Angeles World Airports Board of Airport Commissioners approved a use permit for Second Mate Productions Inc. to film portions of two sequels to 2003’s PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL in Hangar 703 at 30th Street East and Avenue P in Palmdale, California. “The production company plans to start a seven-month residence on May 1 at the Site 9 facility on Palmdale Regional Airport property,” a local newspaper reports. The POTC crew will commandeer the 264,000-square-foot Hangar 703 “for various production and filming functions, including the construction of a film set,” according to the agenda. The company will also use “40,000 square feet of the west half of the high bay area” in Site 9’s Hangar 704.

The facilities at Site 9 have been used by filmmakers before: in 2003, Steven Spielberg built a massive airport set in hangar 703 to film THE TERMINAL, with Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Tom Cruise’s MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III shot “green screen” special effects footage at Site 9. No word yet on when filming will take place; although the production company will be in residence from May 1st through the end of November, some of that time will be spent preparing the site, and some time at the end will be spent dismantling and removing the set. We wish smooth sailing and a successful shoot to everyone involved.

The Zone thanks theresa for breaking the story; you can read the full article on the News & Views forum.

Release date for THE LIBERTINE DVD pushed back to July 4th

LIBERTINE fans, an announcement . . . the region 1 release of THE LIBERTINE on DVD has been postponed one week, from June 27th to July 4th. While it will be difficult to wait the extra week, having the opportunity to watch Johnny Depp’s performance as the second Earl of Rochester will certainly add fireworks to any Fourth of July celebration.’s pre-order price for this “one of a kind spellbinder” is $18.79. THE LIBERTINE’s DVD release date in the UK is May 8, 2006. The Zone thanks tocnavforjd for the news.

Photos of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis in the April 24th editions of U.S. entertainment magazines

The photo at left of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis at the Montblanc 100th Anniversary celebration in Geneva on April 5th is featured in two different U.S. entertainment publications this week. The Star has the photo on page 3 of the April 24th issue, in the Star Shots section, while US Magazine shows it in their Table of Contents section, on page 19. It’s unfortunate that both magazines chose to use the same photo, when there were so many great shots available from the event–we’d like a little variety in our collections . . . . Thanks very much to Donna B. for posting her find on the Zone’s News & Views forum. To see a larger version of the ubiquitous photo, click HERE.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST press junket scheduled for premiere weekend

Deppheads eagerly awaiting new interviews or television footage featuring Johnny Depp should be pleased to hear that the press junket for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST has been tentatively scheduled for June 23rd to 25th in Los Angeles. These dates conveniently wrap around the premiere of DEAD MAN’S CHEST at Disneyland on Saturday night, June 24th. Thanks very much to emma for sharing the news!

Keith Richards says he's doing PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequel

A recent article on Keith Richards has the legendary guitarist confirming that he will appear in the third PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN film. Presently Richards is still touring with the Rolling Stones, where he sings his classic “Happy” at every concert. “People don’t usually associate happiness when they think of Keith Richards,” Richards admits, “but I’m a very happy guy. [. . .] I wouldn’t sing ‘Happy’ every night if I wasn’t.”

After the tour, Richards will bring his unique joie de vivre to a new art: acting. “He’s playing the father of Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow–which Depp famously modelled on Richards–in the new PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN film,” the story reports. Adds Richards, “Johnny Depp came over the other day with 3000 pirate costumes, which we tried on all day. I wanted to keep some tall boots. I think we’re shooting in September.” Filming of the third installment of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN is scheduled to resume sometime in August. Thanks, sleepy, for the story–you can read the article on the News & Views forum.

"Why do you love pens that much?" Johnny Depp talks about pens and love letters in a new interview

In their April 8th edition, the German newspaper Die Welt featured a charming article entitled “Priceless Guest” about Johnny Depp’s appearance with Vanessa Paradis at the Montblanc 100th anniversary gala on Wednesday. Their reporter actually got a brief interview with Johnny, and asked why Johnny had come to the event. “Because pens fascinate me,” Johnny replied. Is that because of his famous telemarketing job, when he sold pens over the phone before he became an actor? “Oh no. My passion comes from writing. And/or from reading. I admire writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Jules Verne and many others. In order to document that, I started to collect special inkpens. The first one I bought, was the [MontBlanc] ‘Fitzgerald.'”

Johnny denied being “a real collector,” however, because he actually uses his pens. “They need to be used,” he explained. “A pen finds you and not the other way around. While writing you notice whether you understand each other.” According to Die Welt, Johnny grinned as he added, “At first Vanessa was irritated a little: ‘Why do you love pens that much?’ But a love letter is simply more beautiful, when it was written with a special pen.” Asked if he writes love letters, Johnny replied, “Yes, often.”

You can read the full Die Welt article on the Zone’s News & Views forum, in the thread called “Johnny and Vanessa in German newspaper.” Thanks very much to Charly for posting the news, and a huge Zone bouquet of lilies and roses to AnaMaria, who translated the Die Welt article into English for those of us not fortunate enough to read German. A big Zone thank you also to bonnie for the beautiful picture of Johnny and Vanessa which accompanied the article; members can find those photos on the Recent Pics board. To see a larger version of our thumbnail pic, click HERE.


If you are counting down the days until Captain Jack Sparrow returns to your local multiplex, you can soothe your Sparrow craving by picking up a DVD of THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, which was released this week by Disney. The trailer for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST is included on the NARNIA DVD; Zoners in region 1 and region 2 report that the trailer appears on both the one and two-disc DVD versions, and that it is the same trailer we have been seeing in theaters (and on the Internet) for some time now. Deppfans in the UK (or with access to a bookstore which carries international magazines) can also obtain a copy of the trailer via purchase of the May issue of TOTAL FILM, which contains a DVD featuring trailers for many summer movies, including POTC: DEAD MAN’S CHEST. Thanks to sandstorm and Gilbert’s Girl for sharing the news!

ONBC member suec interviews J. P. Donleavy, author of THE GINGER MAN!

Word that Johnny Depp had signed to play Sebastian Dangerfield in a film version of J. P. Donleavy’s ribald classic THE GINGER MAN fueled an explosion of interest in that novel on the Zone. ONBC has chosen THE GINGER MAN as its latest novel–their discussion began on April 3rd and continues to the end of the month. Zone member suec had the chance to hear author Donleavy speak at a fiction festival at King’s Lynn in the UK, and she has published a lively account of Donleavy’s talk and her own brief tete-a-tete with the celebrated writer. Yes, suec was brave enough to approach Mr. Donleavy and ask a few questions; well done, suec! Here’s a brief excerpt from suec’s post:

“[A]fter the queue had gone, I approached him. He told me that he had allowed the film [of THE GINGER MAN] to be made because ‘Mr Depp came along. He is a brilliant man’ and that he wouldn’t allow it to be made before because of the need to retain control over it. He said he didn’t have much to do with American writers and was only aware that Hunter S. Thompson had liked his book because he had read about it in a review. He added, ‘You know Mr Depp was staying with him? He read my book while he was staying there.’ [. . .] Then he started asking me questions. Where was I from? What did I do for a living? What had brought me there? When I replied, ‘You,’ he looked very disconcerted and said, ‘Oh dear. That is a terrible responsibility.’

You can read suec’s entire delightful tale–and see her pictures–on the ONBC forum, in the thread “suec Reports! An Evening with Donleavy!” To see a larger view of the thumbnail of Mr. Donleavy, click HERE. Thanks very much to suec for sharing her adventure.

A special collector's edition of WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE arrives on June 20th!

One of Johnny Depp’s finest performances comes to DVD in a special collector’s edition when Paramount releases 1993’s WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE on June 20th (one week before the scheduled release of THE LIBERTINE on DVD). The collector’s edition will feature commentary by director Lasse Hallstrom and writer Peter Hedges. So far the release is region 1 only, with a list price of $19.99. The Zone thanks Bunny for the good news! To see a larger version of the DVD’s beautiful cover art, click HERE.

The new version of PLATOON screens at the Cannes Film Festival on May 21st

All good things come to him (or her) who waits . . . according to the Hollywood Reporter, the new 20th anniversary edition of PLATOON, with more than ten minutes of excised footage “restored” to the film, will screen at the Cannes Film Festival on May 21, 2006. The honor is a bit belated, since Oliver Stone’s Vietnam epic was denied a slot at Cannes when it was new–and then went on to win several Oscars for the class of 1986, including Best Picture and Best Director. (Oops.) The Hollywood Reporter notes that Oliver Stone will be attending the Cannes screening along with “most of the major cast members of PLATOON.” We have no idea if that list will include Johnny Depp, but by all accounts his role as Private Lerner will be more substantial in the “restored” version of the film, as scenes which were cut in 1986 are now included. Thanks to sleepy and FANtasticJD for the news.

May 21st will be “PLATOON Day” on the Zone; we will celebrate the resurrection of Johnny’s performance as Private Lerner, as the long-lost footage is restored. Depp fans who have long wondered about those excised scenes will finally have the chance to see the full creation when the 20th Anniversary edition of PLATOON is released on May 30, 2006.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis in Geneva for Mont Blanc anniversary celebration!

That stunning thumbnail at the left shows Johnny Depp as he appeared in Switzerland today, April 5th, at the gala celebration of Montblanc’s 100th anniversary. (To see a larger version of the picture, click HERE.) Johnny appeared in a memorable recent ad campaign for Montblanc, and Montblanc was a sponsor of the AFI Tribute to Johnny last November. Johnny arrived in Geneva wearing a white shirt, a double-breasted blue-gray suit, his customary two-toned shoes, and his usual array of trinkets. He was accompanied by Vanessa Paradis, who looked radiant in lavender. To see a photo of Johnny and Vanessa together, click HERE. Members can see many more photos from the event on the Zone’s Recent Pics board, and join in the lively discussion on the Pit. The Zone thanks Gilbert’s Girl, theresa, AnaMaria, dharma_bum, and DeepinDepp for their contributions to the Geneva coverage!

ONBC begins its discussion of J. P. Donleavy's THE GINGER MAN today!

Everyone who loves a good (and racy) book is invited to join Oprah Noodlemantra’s Book Club for their discussion of J. P. Donleavy’s classic THE GINGER MAN. Liz and DeppintheHeartofTexas will be leading a lively dialogue at ONBC throughout the month of April. THE GINGER MAN is on ONBC’s schedule because Johnny Depp is scheduled to play the leading role of Sebastian Dangerfield in a film version to be directed by Laurence Dunmore, who previously directed Johnny in THE LIBERTINE. Although THE GINGER MAN was first published 50 years ago, author Donleavy refused all offers to make it into a film . . . until the prospect of Johnny Depp as Sebastian Dangerfield persuaded him the time was right. Mr. Donleavy told reporters that Johnny was “one of the greatest actors of all time, like Gielgud or Olivier. In that class or better.” Stop by ONBC during April for a discussion certain to be, like THE GINGER MAN, provocative and hilarious.

"That's the most important choice you can make–casting:" A new interview with Gore Verbinski

In a new question-and-answer interview, Gore Verbinski, the director of the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN trilogy, shares some details about his approach to making a film. Especially interesting are his comments about casting a project: “I don’t try and fit the material around the actor. That’s a really big mistake,” Verbinski says. “I think that’s the most important choice you can make–casting. I really like to get to a place where I can see the whole film and then make a decision from that point–to find the best chalice for that part. The pieces have to fit.” Verbinski is not a fan of the current Hollywood practice of signing actors for roles based on their box-office clout rather than having them read for the part in question; that serves neither director nor actor well, Verbinski contends. “I think it’s in the best interest of the director and the actor to come in, in a quiet room and read the scene, play it a little bit and see if we’re speaking the same language and making the same movie.” You can read the full interview on the News & Views forum; the Zone thanks emma for posting it.

A collector's feast! Johnny Depp on the cover of four Japanese magazines in May

The remarkable affection for Johnny Depp in Japan continues to be demonstrated in their media, as Johnny graces the covers of four major magazines in May. ROADSHOW features a picture of Captain Jack from the forthcoming PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST; you can see the cover HERE. The other covers use photos of SECRET WINDOW vintage or earlier. Click HERE for the cover of FLIX, HERE for the cover of MOVIE STAR, and HERE for a larger version of our thumbnail, the cover of EYESCREAM. The Zone thanks GAO, Hiro3, and Charlotte Depp for sharing the scans.