Announcing the Zone's 2009 Birthday Project!

One of the Zone’s favorite traditions is our annual birthday gift for Johnny Depp, called “The Birthday Project.” Each year we choose a charity which is connected to Johnny’s philanthropic interests–usually his interest in helping children in need–and his most recent work. We pool our modest contributions and make a Zone donation in honor of Johnny, as a way of celebrating and thanking Johnny for all the joy he has given us over the year.

Since Johnny is currently working on The Rum Diary in Puerto Rico–Infinitum Nihil’s first film project and the culmination of a long-time dream to bring Hunter S. Thompson’s novel to the screen–and the people of the island have shown him such a warm welcome, we thought it would be fitting to choose a charity devoted to the children of Puerto Rico. So the 2009 Johnny Depp Zone Birthday Project will benefit the San Jorge Children’s Foundation!

The San Jorge Children’s Foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1995 and is located in San Juan. The Foundation assists families by covering surgical expenses and the costs of hospital care and medicine for seriously ill children. Their goal is to provide access to the most advanced medical treatment to families who otherwise could not afford it. You can read more about the San Jorge Children’s Foundation on our 2009 Birthday Project forum.

The Zone has a dedicated Paypal account for contributions to the 2009 Birthday Project; if you would like to join in our gift, you can make a donation by visiting our Birthday Project Forum HERE and scrolling down to the Paypal button. If you would like to donate by check, the Foundation’s address is directly below the Paypal button in the announcement post.

Let’s reach out to help children and say “Happy Birthday” and “Thank You” to Johnny Depp! –Part-Time Poet

Latest rumor–Johnny Depp to appear in Emir Kusturica's new film about Pancho Villa?

Here’s an unexpected but delightful casting rumor: award-winning Serbian director Emir Kusturica reportedly wants Johnny Depp to join the cast of his upcoming film about Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. The screenplay, written by Kusturica’s regular collaborator Goradan Mihic, is based on James Carlos Blake’s novel, The Friends of Pancho Villa, described as “a fictional account of Pancho Villa’s life from the point of view of his lieutenant.” Oscar-winner Javier Bardem is in talks to play the legendary Villa, with Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek also in the cast.

Kusturica will go to Puerto Rico soon to discuss the project with Johnny, according to Blic Online; they last worked together eighteen years ago on the award-winning Arizona Dream. The director hopes to begin filming late this year or in early 2010 in Spain, Mexico and Serbia. “Pancho Villa is a man with an idea of justice, equality, and anti-imperialism,” Kusturica told Blic Online, and he feels passionate about bringing Villa’s story to the screen.

The Zone thanks Emma for breaking the news; you can read more on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet