Articles from October 2011

Johnny Depp appears on THE LATE SHOW with David Letterman

Johnny Depp shared reminiscences of meetings with Justin Bieber and with Hunter S. Thompson in a relaxed, charming interview with David Letterman on CBS’s The Late Show on Thursday night. You can see a photo of Johnny talking to Dave HERE. Johnny showed a clip from The Rum Diary, and Dave gave the movie a hearty endorsement: “Do yourself a favor. Go see this film!”

Much of the discussion centered on Johnny’s friendship with the late Hunter S. Thompson, whose early novel The Rum Diary forms the basis for the film. Asked where he would “place” Thompson “in the contemporary literary firmament,” Johnny replied, “For me, Hunter is without question one of the most important writers of the 20th century. He reinvented a style of writing by putting himself into the situation, by living it.” And “what kind of a guy” was he? “He was brilliant,” Johnny said. “Incredibly quick-witted — very fast and very, very funny.”

The Zone thanks Evochka for the photo and The Late Show for the video clip. You can read more about Johnny’s appearance on The Late Show on the Zone’s News & Views forum; encounter stories from Zoners who attended the taping or got Johnny’s autograph after the show are on the Porch General Discussion forum.

THE RUM DIARY, starring Johnny Depp, opens in North America

Some thirteen years after Johnny Depp first read The Rum Diary in Hunter S. Thompson’s “war room,” Johnny’s dream of bringing the Good Doctor’s first novel to the screen has been fulfilled. Today The Rum Diary, adapted and filmed by Bruce Robinson in Puerto Rico in the spring of 2009, opens on 2,273 screens in the U.S. and Canada. Here’s an excerpt from a thoughtful review in Screen Daily:

“Inspired by Thompson’s own adventures as a journalist in Puerto Rico in the early ‘60s, The Rum Diary stars Depp as the Thompson-like Kemp, a hard-drinking writer looking for a fresh start working at a newspaper in San Juan. But soon he is approached by Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart), a morally shady businessman who wants to pay him to write flattering articles about a hotel development he’s planning. But Kemp seems far more interested in Chenault (Amber Heard), Sanderson’s free-spirited, flirtatious fiancée.

“[. . . T]he film is a wonder of sweaty, pungent atmosphere, and with the help of cinematographer Dariusz Wolski and actual Puerto Rican locations, the viewer is immersed in San Juan’s tension between aspiring to be an island paradise and acknowledging the reality that it’s a city rife with poverty. The Rum Diary’s central characters have to live within that dichotomy, Americans who abandoned the mainland for different reasons and are looking to Puerto Rico for a new life.

“What is most successful is the unlikely romantic triangle between Kemp, Sanderson and Chenault. As Kemp and Chenault’s slow-burn attraction starts to ignite, The Rum Diary almost takes on the tone of a noir, with Heard quite capably proving herself a fetching femme fatale. [. . .] Depp and Heard have a seductive chemistry, with Eckhart effortlessly serving as the rich, slick, smug obstacle to their love affair.

“Unfortunately, that romantic triangle is but one story thread in this overstuffed film, which simply takes on too many themes and incidents to be as coherent as one might hope. What ultimately holds The Rum Diary together is also what limits its achievement: This is a movie about lost souls who too easily are stumbling through life. Try as it might, even the movie can’t always bring these people into focus.”

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the review; you can read more on the Zone’s Porch General Discussion forum.

Johnny Depp tapes appearance with David Letterman, signs autographs–new photos!

Johnny Depp arrived at the Ed Sullivan Theater on West 52nd Street in New York City on Wednesday, October 26th to tape his appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. The interview will air on Thursday night, October 27th. Johnny wore a blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up, a brown striped vest, brown pants, and his familiar taupe fedora. For a larger version of the portrait of Johnny at left, CLICK HERE, and for pictures of Johnny on 52nd Street before the taping, CLICK HERE and HERE. Yes, that is security chief Jerry Judge accompanying Johnny into the theater.

After the taping, Johnny returned to sign autographs for well-wishers who were waiting on the street. Since it was after dark, his blue sunglasses were gone, and he had donned a blue jacket with brown leather trim. You can see Johnny signing autographs HERE. Fortunately there was no repeat of the pushing and shoving that marred The Rum Diary premiere at the Museum of Modern Art the night before, when Jerry had to hustle Johnny away from the crowd for his own safety.

Several Zoners were at the Ed Sullivan Theater on Wednesday night; you can read their accounts of their adventures on the Porch General Discussion forum.

The Zone thanks Aida, Evochka, and Theresa for sharing pictures; you can read more about the Letterman appearance on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Johnny Depp performs with Keith Richards at THE RUM DIARY afterparty!

There’s a photo for the ages — Johnny Depp on stage playing guitar alongside his rock idol, Keith Richards! The two icons performed with the JD Band at the afterparty for the New York premiere of The Rum Diary at HIRO Ballroom in the Maritime Hotel in Chelsea on Tuesday night. You can see a larger version of the closeup of Johnny and Keith HERE, and a panoramic shot of the entire band performing HERE. Keef confirmed his latest gig via Twitter last night: @officialKeef “Just finished playing Key to the Highway with @Johnny Depp at #RumDiary afterparty!” Many thanks to FANtasticJD for breaking the news and God bless Rum Diary producer @FilmDistrict for tweeting the photo.

A couple of lucky afterparty attendees were gracious enough to tweet their personal pics: we are very grateful to @angelobianchi for this PHOTO and to @noahtepperberg for this PHOTO. Great work!

Johnny Depp attends New York premiere of THE RUM DIARY–new photos!

Sporting a black wool newsboy cap, a gray three-piece suit, and a blue shirt, Johnny Depp greeted the New York City press corps at the Big Apple premiere of The Rum Diary at the Museum of Modern Art on Tuesday night (October 25). To see a larger version of the portrait of Johnny, CLICK HERE, and to see a full-length view of Johnny posing for photographers, CLICK HERE. Asked by the Associated Press if he felt the need to keep Hunter S. Thompson’s spirit alive on the film set, since The Rum Diary is based on the late author’s first novel, Johnny replied that Thompson is “kind of always there” for him personally. “Every time I put my head on the pillow to go to sleep, I have his words in my head. Every day I wake up, every sort of waking moment in between he’s always there. Because he’s so saturated in my very being, you know?”

But for the others working on The Rum Diary who hadn’t known Thompson personally, Johnny found a way to make The Good Doctor a tangible presence, by keeping a director’s chair with Thompson’s name on the set at all times. “[K]eeping his spirit alive on set for people who didn’t know him, was that — let’s have his chair with his name on it, let’s have his script, he’s producing the film, let’s keep it at that. He had his scotch, he had his chalice of whiskey, he had his smokes.”

Co-star Amber Heard, who plays Chenault, assured reporters that Johnny deserves his standing in the film industry. “It’s an honor when you get to work with someone that’s truly talented and they deserve the respect and the reputation that they’ve acquired. Johnny’s an icon, yes, but more than that he’s a good person. He’s smart, he’s fiercely, fiercely intelligent and very creative and he offers so much more. And working with him I really do see why he’s the icon that he is.” You can see photos of Johnny and Amber at the premiere HERE and HERE, and a photo of Johnny and Amber sharing a laugh with director Bruce Robinson HERE.

As is his custom, Johnny went out to sign autographs — you can see him signing for the crowd HERE — but some of the autograph-seekers were too aggressive. According to one media report, “Depp, who always attracts large groups of fans, had to be escorted away by his personal security when fans tried to grab hold of the star.” You can see Jerry Judge hustling Johnny away to safety HERE.

Many thanks to Emma for the interviews and Aida, Evochka, and Theresa for the pictures. You can read much more about the New York premiere of The Rum Diary on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Johnny Depp accepts Extraordinary Contribution to Film – Acting Award at Austin Film Festival!

That’s Johnny Depp as he accepted the first-ever Extraordinary Contribution to Film – Acting Award at the Austin Film Festival on Saturday; to see a larger version of the photo, CLICK HERE. Unfortunately no video was permitted at the awards ceremony, so we have no record of the presentation or his remarks; many thanks to @VictorOchoDiaz for his tweets: “Standing ovation for Depp accepting @austinfilmfest award for extraordinary contribution to film by an actor,” and “A humble Depp says ‘I’ve built a career on 20 years of failures and then stepped into PIRATES OTC…thank you for this award.'” Mr. Diaz also reports that Johnny “met fans in the alley afterwards.” Of course!

Mr. Diaz posted a photo of Johnny with his fellow award winners, Hart Hanson (Outstanding Television Writer), Caroline Thompson (Distinguished Screenwriting Award), and John Lasseter of Disney/Pixar Animation Studios (Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking); you can see it HERE, and a photo of Johnny with Lasseter HERE.

After the presentation, Johnny and Bruce Robinson visited the University of Texas for a screening of The Rum Diary and a Q & A with students, and on Saturday night, Johnny played guitar with longtime friend Bill Carter and Blame at the Continental Club in Austin. Busy day — and night!

Many thanks to @VictorOchoDiaz, and also to Theresa and Emma for pictures and news stories. You can read more about Johnny’s trip to Austin on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Johnny Depp shows THE RUM DIARY at Austin Film Festival–new photos!

The photo at left shows Johnny Depp, microphone in hand, responding to a question after the screening of his new film The Rum Diary at the Austin Film Festival last night; to see a larger version of the photo, CLICK HERE. The Rum Diary was the hottest ticket in town, and for good reason: “Hundreds of eager fans gathered” around the Paramount Theater “to catch a glimpse of lead actor Johnny Depp, who showed up for the screening at around 6:45p.m.,” reports Lauren Huet of KXAN. “As soon as he appeared, the crowd went wild and at one point broke through barriers to get as close as possible to Depp.” Sounds a little scary!

Always a trouper, Johnny emerged unscathed, and after the screening, he and director Bruce Robinson answered questions from the audience. To see a photo of the Q & A session, CLICK HERE; for a close-up of Johnny, CLICK HERE; and to see a photo of Johnny with Bruce, CLICK HERE. Of course Johnny took time to sign autographs, as you can see HERE and HERE.

Today the Austin Film Festival will honor Johnny by presenting him with their first-ever “Extraordinary Contribution to Film – Acting Award.” The award recognizes Johnny’s collective body of work, his contribution to the culture of film, and his recognition and support of cinema writers.

The Zone thanks Emma, Theresa, Evochka, Aida, and HonestGirl for sharing photos, videos, and news articles about Johnny’s visit to Austin. You can read much more about the Austin Film Festival on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

TV ALERT–Johnny Depp’s one-hour interview with Larry King airs in the US and UK on Saturday, October 22!

In case you missed it, want to DVR it, or simply want to enjoy it again, Larry King’s one hour exclusive interview with Johnny Depp will re-air three times this weekend on CNN. Watch for the “CNN Presents” broadcast at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday, October 22nd, and the 2 a.m. broadcast on Sunday, October 23rd. (Check local listings in other time zones.) Good news for Zoners in the U.K. who get CNN: the Larry King interview will air three times this weekend! Watch for “A Larry King Special — Johnny Depp” on Saturday, October 22nd beginning at 14:00, with a second broadcast at 21:00 and a third on Sunday, October 23rd at 10:00. Many thanks to Emma and Gilbert’s Girl for sharing the news.

TV ALERT–Johnny Depp to appear on THE LATE SHOW with David Letterman on October 27!

Good news for Johnny Depp fans everywhere — the current feast of live television interviews with The Man Himself will continue when Johnny visits The Late Show with David Letterman on Thursday, October 27th! This is the evening before the nationwide release of The Rum Diary, so expect lively banter, a film clip, and loving reminiscences of Hunter S. Thompson. Clear some space on the DVR for this one! Many thanks to jdfan and imadarling for breaking the news; you can read more about Johnny’s upcoming appearance with Letterman on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Johnny Depp to receive “Extraordinary Contribution to Film–Acting” Award at Austin Film Festival Saturday!

Great news from the Austin Film Festival! AFF has chosen Johnny Depp to be the first recipient of the Extraordinary Contribution to Film – Acting Award. The award honors Johnny’s “collective body of work, his contribution to the culture of film and, above all, [. . .] his recognition and support of the importance of writing and the value of the writer.” Johnny will receive his tribute at the official Awards Luncheon, which will take place at 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, October 22, at the Austin Club. During the luncheon, Johnny will also be presenting Caroline Thompson with the Distinguished Screenwriting Award. Among Ms. Thompson’s many screenplays are two films which star Johnny Depp: the classic Edward Scissorhands and his first foray into animation, the delightful Corpse Bride.

In other Austin Film Festival events, Johnny will introduce his new film The Rum Diary at the Paramount Theatre on Friday, Oct. 21 at 7p.m. He will also do a Q&A following the film. Sounds like a great weekend to be in Austin!

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the news; you can read more about Johnny’s appearance at the Austin Film Festival on the Zone’s News & Views forum. The Zone also thanks Evochka for sharing the photo of Johnny taken during The Rum Diary press junket; to see a larger version, CLICK HERE.

Johnny Depp visits Berkeley to promote THE RUM DIARY–new photos!

Johnny Depp and director Bruce Robinson charmed a crowd at the University of California at Berkeley on Monday night, where they hosted a question-and-answer session and a private screening of their new film The Rum Diary in Wheeler Auditorium. The Q&A was moderated by Ben Fong-Torres, an Oakland native who has written for Rolling Stone and the San Francisco Chronicle; the event was open to students only. The Rum Diary is adapted from an early novel by Hunter S. Thompson, and Johnny made a point of mentioning the author’s affection for Berkeley: “Hunter loved this place. He would be very, very happy to show the film to you guys here tonight.”

Johnny also explained how the manuscript of The Rum Diary happened to make it into print and eventually onto film. He found the draft of Hunter’s novel in 1997 while he was preparing to play Raoul Duke in the film of Thompson’s classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. “We were in what Hunter called ‘the war room,’ which was in the basement of his house,” Johnny told the crowd, “and it was strewn with cardboard boxes and files and stuff, just everywhere [. . .]. And we were going through the manuscript of Fear and Loathing, and then I just happened upon this box and opened it up, and there was The Rum Diary inside. And I opened it up and started to read it, and then we sat there cross-legged on his floor and read it together. And I said, ‘This is insane! You should publish this.'”

Smiling, Johnny continued, “And he said, ‘Yes, good idea, man. However . . . we should produce this. We should make a film!’ So it was Hunter’s idea, actually,” Johnny confided. “We started this thing out together in ’97.”

To see a larger version of the photo above, which shows Johnny Depp onstage at Wheeler Auditorium, CLICK HERE. You can find other photos of Johnny onstage with Bruce Robinson HERE and HERE, and a nice backstage portrait of Johnny with Ben Fong-Torres HERE. Of course Johnny signed autographs, too — you can see him signing HERE.

The Zone thanks Emma, Evochka, and HonestGirl for sharing news accounts, videos, and photos of Johnny’s trip to Berkeley. You can read more about the event on the Zone’s News & Views forum. There are also several audience-shot videos available on YouTube.

New LONE RANGER will have “a boatload of humor,” Johnny Depp tells Larry King

One of the highlights of Johnny Depp’s interview with Larry King, which aired on CNN on Sunday night, was the opportunity to hear Johnny speak about the next film role he will create, Tonto in Gore Verbinski’s Lone Ranger. Johnny assured King that the budgetary problems with Disney have been solved and the film will shoot early next year, with Armie Hammer playing the Ranger to Johnny’s Tonto. “There’s a very funny, good script” with “a boatload of humor,” Johnny said. But which character is the hero and which is the sidekick?

Don’t expect the conventional answer to that question: Johnny strongly implied that Tonto, “this character who’s thought of as the sidekick, you know,” really isn’t. “[T]he thing that bugged me always about The Lone Ranger is, why is the Indian the sidekick? Why does he have to go get you [the Ranger] that thing?” Johnny is planning to turn the tables with a Tonto who is not, in King’s words, the Ranger’s “slave.”

“My approach to Tonto is that [. . .] there’s sort of a ‘crazy like a fox’ stoicism to Tonto, you know, that — that Tonto probably believes that the Lone Ranger is [. . .] his sidekick.” When the Ranger gives him an order, Tonto will say, “No, no, no. You go get it. [. . . ] You’re the one dressed in the funny outfit. You do it.”

But Tonto still doesn’t get the girl; asked by King if there’s “a love interest” in the film, Johnny replied, “Not for Tonto.” Too bad. Nonetheless, Johnny’s enthusiasm for the character is unmistakable. He compares Tonto to Captain Jack Sparrow: “[W]hen I came up with Captain Jack, I thought, okay, I’ve really arrived at something, you know, different here [. . .]. And Tonto feels right on a par with Captain Jack. It feels like another Captain Jack to me.”

The Zone thanks Emma for the transcript of the Larry King interview; you can read more on the Zone’s News & Views forum. For a larger version of Evochka’s screencap of Johnny, CLICK HERE. Thanks, Evochka!

Johnny Depp wanted a “classic monster” look for Barnabas in DARK SHADOWS

Discussing his most recent role — the vampire Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows — Johnny Depp told Kara Warner of MTV News that Barnabas’s “highly stylized look” was an homage to the great horror movie monsters of the past. Twenty-first century vampires have, by and large, abandoned that iconic imagery, but neither Johnny nor director Tim Burton wanted to take that route. While Johnny’s “main inspiration” for Barnabas Collins was “the memory that I have of watching the show as a kid, Jonathan Frid and what he did with that character,” Johnny also confessed a desire to honor the tradition of the movie vampire as established in the groundbreaking films of the 1920s and ’30s. “Over the years, these vampire movies have come out and vampire TV shows and stuff like that, and you go, ‘Well, nobody looks like a vampire, man. What happened?'”

Johnny told Warner, “I adored Dracula, still do. I adored [everyone] from Bela Lugosi to Christopher Lee. I adore Nosferatu, [played by] Max Schreck. I adore all those wonderful [. . .] horror films.” Johnny saw his Dark Shadows role as “an opportunity [. . .] to go into what really doesn’t exist [onscreen] so much anymore, which is classic monster makeup and a classic monster character. So that was really the inspiration Tim and I talked about.”

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the MTV interview. You can read much more about Dark Shadows on the Zone’s News & Views forum, and you can watch the MTV interview with Johnny HERE.

Infinitum Nihil developing television series for Lifetime cable network

Johnny Depp’s production company, Infinitum Nihil, is branching out into television! Infinitum Nihil and GK-TV, the television division of GK Films, are developing a drama series for Lifetime, according to Television Business International’s Vision website. “The period drama follows the story of William Wilkerson, the founder of the Hollywood Reporter. Wilkerson, who founded the trade paper in 1930 after losing a lot of money in the Wall Street crash, also owned The Flamingo Hotel and nightclub Ciro’s and eventually became indebted to the mafia as a result of his compulsive gambling,” the website reports. Wilkerson “eventually became the conduit between the mob and Hollywood,” says GK-TV’s Craig Cegielski.

The new series is is being written and produced by Stargate executive producer Rob Cooper. Johnny Depp is not attached to star, but he may make a cameo appearance, TBIVision reports.

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the news; you can read more about the Lifetime series on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Johnny Depp arrives at the world premiere of THE RUM DIARY in Los Angeles–new photos!

A decade’s worth of dreams and hard work came to fruition on Thursday night in Los Angeles, as Johnny Depp, producer and star of The Rum Diary, attended the film’s world premiere at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Johnny wore a navy three-piece suit and his familiar blue-tinted glasses. To see a larger version of the photo at left, CLICK HERE, and to see a photo of Johnny waving to the press, CLICK HERE. He was accompanied by his sister and co-producer, Infinitum Nihil president Christi Dembrowski; director Bruce Robinson; castmates Amber Heard, Aaron Eckhart, Giovanni Ribisi and Michael Rispoli; and security chief Jerry Judge. You can see a photo of Johnny with Jerry HERE.

The Rum Diary chronicles the adventures of American journalist Paul Kemp in Puerto Rico in the late 1950s, and is based on Hunter S. Thompson’s first novel. “It’s another sliver, it’s another slice of the mad times of Hunter S. Thompson, you know, circa 1959, 1960,” Johnny told Reuters at the premiere. “I think there’s a lot of gravity to the film and I think there’s a levity to the film, you know, just like Hunter.”

Co-star Amber Heard, who brings Grace Kelly glamor to her role as the sultry Chenault, called The Rum Diary “a wonderful story. [. . . T]here’s so much heart in this story, it’s Hunter pre-Gonzo, it’s about truth and beauty and courage in the light of the opposite of those things.” To see a photo of Johnny with Amber Heard at the premiere, CLICK HERE, and to see a cast photo, CLICK HERE. That’s director Bruce Robinson standing next to Johnny.

Of course Johnny took time to sign autographs for fans who attended the premiere; you can see him signing HERE.

The Zone thanks Emma for news stories and Evochka, Aida, and HonestGirl for sharing photos. You can read much more about the premiere of The Rum Diary on the Zone’s News & Views forum and Pit General Discussion forum.

Saddle up! Disney confirms a February 6th start date for THE LONE RANGER, starring Johnny Depp

Good news — it’s official! Disney has now confirmed that the cost-cutting studio has reached a meeting of the minds with producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski over their reboot of The Lone Ranger, and has given the green light to resume production. Filming is now scheduled to begin on February 6, 2012, with Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the Ranger. To accommodate the three-month delay (Lone Ranger was originally scheduled to start filming at Halloween), Disney has moved the release date to May 31, 2013.

Variety reports that “some pricey f/x sequences involving supernatural elements” were trimmed from Justin Haythe’s script to reduce the budget, and that “Verbinski, Bruckheimer and stars Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer also reduced their fees by 20%, with certain payments deferred until the box office results start coming in.” Variety also claims that Disney has handed the budgetary hot potato — potential cost overruns — to Bruckheimer Films: “If the budget goes beyond the new agreed upon number, Bruckheimer — not Disney — would have to pay for overages.” If Variety’s story is accurate, the creative forces behind Lone Ranger have made significant sacrifices to see their movie made. Kudos to them for believing in their project and for putting hundreds of people to work at a time when those jobs are desperately needed.

“Johnny Depp, Jerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski are such a talented combination and we’re thrilled to get back to work with them on The Lone Ranger,” a Disney spokesperson told Anthony Breznican of EW’s Inside Movies blog. We’re thrilled, too, to see this movie back in production!

The Zone thanks Emma and SeaGoddessCalypso for breaking the news; you can read more about the resurrection of The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum. You can read Anthony Breznican’s blog post HERE.

TV Alert–Larry King’s interview with Johnny Depp airs Sunday, October 16th, on CNN!

Set your DVRs! Larry King has given us a wonderful gift: he sat down for a long conversation with Johnny Depp and will be kind enough to share it this Sunday night, October 16th, on CNN! The interview will air on CNN at 8pm Eastern time, with repeat broadcasts at 11pm ET and again at 2 am on Monday, October 17th. King promises “a rare, candid and in-depth interview” in which Johnny gives the journalist “a tour of his private office in Hollywood, showing his personal paintings and memorabilia and open[ing] up to King about his life and work.” Sounds great!

Expect to hear Johnny discuss his latest project with Tim Burton, Dark Shadows, which recently completed filming, as well as The Rum Diary, based on an early novel by Hunter S. Thompson, which comes to theaters October 28th. Johnny also talks with King about his family, his friendships with his mentors Marlon Brando and Thompson, and his reaction to the release of the West Memphis 3.

“We had a great time yesterday with Johnny,” King tweeted on Tuesday. “He could not have been nicer! We taped the interview in his private office.”

The photo above shows Johnny during the Larry King interview; to see a larger version, CLICK HERE. King has uploaded several pictures to his Facebook page; you can see other photos HERE and HERE.

The Zone thanks bascan333, ChristinaFAN, and Emma for sharing the news; thanks also to HonestGirl for photos. You can read more about Johnny’s interview with Larry King on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Johnny Depp’s Infinitum Nihil to produce a live-action film about Dr. Seuss!

Will Johnny Depp play Dr. Seuss on the silver screen? It could happen! Johnny’s production company, Infinitum Nihil, is partnering with Illumination Entertainment to develop “a live-action movie about the life of classic children’s author and illustrator Dr. Seuss (aka Theodor Geisel),” according to the Hollywood Reporter’s Risky Business blog. “Depp will produce the project with the potential to star as Seuss, and Universal Pictures will distribute. Keith Bunin (In Treatment) has been hired to write the screenplay.” Other producers include Infinitum Nihil president Christi Dembrowski, Illumination’s Christopher Meledandri and David Kennedy.

“With Depp already having brought to life the Mad Hatter, Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie and Willy Wonka, the iconic Seuss seems a great fit for his chameleonic personality and recent desire to make family films,” observes The Hollywood’s Reporter’s Borys Kit and Jay Fernandez. “While producers say that the film is unlikely to take the fantastical CGI-coated style of Alice in Wonderland, which grossed more than a billion dollars worldwide with Depp in the lead, they are not ruling out animated bells and whistles.”

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for breaking the news; you can read more about the Dr. Seuss project on the Zone’s News & Views forum. The Hollywood Reporter article is available HERE.

Johnny Depp on cover of November 2011 issue of VANITY FAIR!

Good news! Johnny Depp graces the cover of the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair (November 2011), which features a profile of Johnny by his longtime friend, the novelist Nick Tosches, and elegant new photos by Terry Richardson. To see a larger version of the Vanity Fair cover, CLICK HERE, and to sample a couple of other photos which aired on tonight’s Access Hollywood, CLICK HERE and HERE.

Here’s a taste of the interview from the Vanity Fair press release: “Nick Tosches, Depp friend of a decade and writer of this month’s cover profile, says the Rum Diary actor is ‘the same old Johnny’ who pumped gas to make ends meet [. . .].Today, compliments from rock idols mean more to the actor than cash. During the interview, Tosches shared with Depp that their mutual buddy Keith Richards, the professed inspiration behind Captain Jack Sparrow, had ‘beautiful things to say’ about Depp’s singing in Sweeney Todd. ‘He never told me that,’ Depp says, touched.”

The November issue of Vanity Fair will be on newsstands in New York and Los Angeles on Thursday, October 6th, and will be available in the rest of the country on Wednesday, October 12th.

The Zone thanks Emma, HonestGirl, and Aida for sharing the news and photos, and Theresa for the Access Hollywood screencaps. You can read more about the Vanity Fair cover story on the Zone’s News & Views forum.