Articles from March 2012

A new gig–Johnny Depp plays drums for Bill Carter’s band in Los Angeles

Johnny Depp took a break from the dusty trail — playing Tonto in Gore Verbinski’s update of The Lone Ranger — to play drums for longtime friend Bill Carter at a couple of club dates in Los Angeles this week. Lucky patrons at The Mint on Pico Boulevard on Thursday were entertained by Bill, Johnny, Bruce Witkin, Joey Malone, and Mike Thompson. On Friday, Bill, Johnny, Bruce, Mike and Joey played at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, where they opened for Todd Snider. You can see a photo of the band onstage at the El Rey HERE — from left to right, that’s Mike on accordion, Bruce on cigar-box guitar, Johnny on drums, Bill playing guitar and singing, and Joey on guitar. You can see another photo from the El Rey HERE.

To see a larger version of the photo of Johnny above, CLICK HERE; that beautiful portrait was cropped from a photo taken by Suzanne Allison at the Mint. Ms. Allison’s stunning photos are available on the Unison Music Facebook page HERE and the Atlas Jams website HERE.

Johnny’s association with his bandmates goes back a long way — Bruce Witkin and Joey Malone were members of The Kids, and Bill Carter and Johnny played together in P. Many thanks to FANtasticJD and to Johnny Depp Rocks for sharing photos and news. You can read more about Johnny’s gigs on the Zone’s Pit General Discussion forum.

Rob Marshall prepares to cast Nora Charles in his remake of THE THIN MAN

Which lucky thespian will don glamorous gowns and trade witty remarks with Johnny Depp while sipping martinis and, oh yes, solving an intricate murder case? While Rob Marshall’s remake of the Dashiell Hammett classic The Thin Man has always had its leading man attached — Johnny Depp will play the suave sleuth Nick Charles — the plum role of Nora, Nick’s partner in life and crime-solving, has not been cast. Now things may be changing;’s Mike Fleming reports that Marshall will start holding meetings “next week [. . .] to find who’ll play Nora in the Warner Bros remake of The Thin Man.”

And who might be taking those meetings with the director next week? Here’s a list of names Fleming has been hearing prominently mentioned as potential Noras: “Eva Green, Amy Adams, Emma Stone, Carey Mulligan, Rachel Weisz, Kristen Wiig, Emily Blunt and Isla Fisher.” Fascinating!

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for sharing the news; you can read more about this story on the Zone’s News & Views forum. Mike Fleming’s report is available HERE.

“A mixture of light and dark”–Geoff Boucher interviews Johnny Depp and Tim Burton on the DARK SHADOWS set

Geoff Boucher, who writes for the Hero Complex blog at the Los Angeles Times, visited the soundstages of Dark Shadows when the Tim Burton film was shooting at Pinewood last summer. According to Boucher, the director seemed much more comfortable in the re-created Collinwood mansion than on the mind-numbing green screen sets of his previous film, Alice in Wonderland. “It’s so nice to come to work here — not everything is green,” Burton said, adding that the more realistic sets benefit the creative process. Dark Shadows is “a soap opera — or started as one,” Burton explained, “and that really means working with the actors. And the sets help everyone. And it’s just more fun.”

Boucher describes the film as “an ongoing mystery” and “a fractured valentine to the pop-culture obsessions” of Burton’s youth. The new Dark Shadows retains the elements of the original series but adds a large helping of humor — intentionally so, according to Burton, who must entice a new audience of moviegoers who weren’t born when the series aired. “What I loved about [Dark Shadows] was the fact that it was a melodramatic soap opera, and, well, that flies in the face of any modern studio’s interests as far as moviemaking,” Burton confessed. “But what we’ve gone for is a mixture, and that’s always what I’ve been interested in; I think most of my movies are mixtures of light and dark and serious things and things that have humor in them.”

Boucher spoke with Johnny Depp about his role as the vampire Barnabas Collins. “There’s an elegance to this guy that’s kind of fun; Barnabas is a good one,” Johnny said. “And just look around — there’s nothing like working with Tim.” Johnny should know; Dark Shadows marks their seventh live-action film collaboration. Boucher reports that Johnny achieves the distinctive voice of Barnabas Collins by counting backwards from ten: “[H]e’s himself at the top,” Boucher writes, “but the accent and affectations gather with each digit until he is a vampire at zero.” Fascinating!

The Zone thanks Theresa for sharing the article; you can read much more about Dark Shadows on the Zone’s News & Views forum. The Geoff Boucher article is available HERE, and it’s a great read.

DARK SHADOWS on the cover of the next issue of FANGORIA

“The Night Calls to Barnabas Collins . . . VAMPIRE!” blares the front cover of the next issue of Fangoria (issue #313), which features a new photo of Johnny Depp as Barnabas, with blood dripping from his fangs — a reminder that Dark Shadows balances classic horror elements with dark comedy. The new Fangoria also features artist Mark Crow’s full-page portrait of Helena Bonham Carter as Dr. Julia Hoffman on the back cover of the issue. To see the front cover, CLICK HERE, and to see the back cover, CLICK HERE.

The issue features several articles on Dark Shadows: one called “Dark Shadows — Tim Burton’s Gothic Soap Opera,” which has interviews with Burton and producer Richard Zanuck; “The Many Faces of Helena Bonham Carter,” including an interview with the subject; and a look back at the original ’60s television series with actress Marie Wallace.

The Zone thanks Theresa for sharing the news; you can read much more about Dark Shadows on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Johnny Depp and Marilyn Manson record “You’re So Vain” for Manson’s new album

More fun in the recording studio for Johnny Depp — multiple media outlets, including the Huffington Post and MTV, report that Johnny joined longtime friend Marilyn Manson to record the Carly Simon classic “You’re So Vain” for Manson’s forthcoming album, Born Villain. In an interview with Joel Dommett of, Manson confirmed that Johnny “plays drums and lead guitar on a bonus track” of “You’re So Vain,” while Manson “played guitar and sang.” Nor was Johnny the only Depp involved: “Johnny’s son Jack [. . .] was in the room and he actually played on the song too. It’s pretty cool.” No word on the younger Mr. Depp’s instrument of choice.

The MTV.UK interview with Marilyn Manson is available HERE, and includes the revelation that Manson has known Depp since he was 19, when Manson appeared as an extra on 21 Jump Street. Manson’s Born Villain drops on May 1.

The Zone thanks Theresa for breaking the news; you can read more about the collaboration on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

“DARK SHADOWS is a story about family”–Tim Burton on his latest creation

In the new issue of Total Film, director Tim Burton tells Richard Jordan how he envisions Dark Shadows, which Jordan describes as “a tale of family dysfunction involving vampires, witches, and a surprising amount of heart.” Burton would concur, especially with the focus on the family unit: “What I liked about Shadows is it’s a story about family,” Burton declared. “I grew up resisting family and then as I got older I realised what a strange and chaotic but important thing it is. I think all families are pretty weird . . . . We’ve just tried to link the supernatural elements into real issues that families face: like the feelings of a teenager growing up, when your body’s changing and you’re angry at everybody; or the challenge of trying to keep the family together — whether they’re alive or dead!”

Burton compares Johnny Depp, whom he directs for the eighth time in Dark Shadows, to iconic horror-monster actors Lon Chaney and Boris Karloff. “There’s that whole theory of ‘mask acting,'” Burton explains, “if you’re hiding behind a bit of make-up, it allows something else to come out of you — and I find that fascinating.”

Burton’s update of Dark Shadows will be in movie theaters on May 11, 2012.

The Zone thanks In-too-Depp for sharing the Total Film article; you can read more on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Johnny Depp honored as fashion icon by the Council of Fashion Designers of America

Johnny Depp’s unique sense of style has earned him the Fashion Icon award of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, who will bestow the honor at their annual gala in June. CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg and CEO Steven Kolb announced details of the awards ceremony on Wednesday, March 14. “This year, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the CFDA, we can see what a critical role the CFDA Fashion Awards continue to play in our efforts to promote American Fashion,” Kolb told the press. The awards ceremony, with comedian Seth Meyers as master of ceremonies, will be held on June 4 in New York at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ Alice Tully Hall.

Johnny Depp is the first male ever to receive the Fashion Icon award. Congratulations, Johnny!

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the news; you can read more about the award on the Zone’s Pit General Discussion forum.

See the DARK SHADOWS trailer here!

A delightfully demented extended trailer for Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, starring Johnny Depp as vampire Barnabas Collins, premiered today during The Ellen DeGeneres Show. You can watch the trailer here:

Many thanks to FANtasticJD and Theresa for sharing the video. Dark Shadows comes to a theater near you on May 11, 2012.

BREAKING NEWS–DARK SHADOWS trailer to debut on ELLEN on Thursday, March 15!

If you’re waiting for a glimpse of a Dark Shadows trailer — and aren’t we all? — your wait is almost over! The trailer for Tim Burton’s new film is scheduled to debut in two days, on Thursday, March 15th, exclusively during Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so set your DVRS! Ellen‘s official website shows her welcoming guests Ewan McGregor, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, and country singer Toby Keith on March 15th, and concludes with this: “Also, Ellen has the exclusive trailer for the new Tim Burton film, Dark Shadows, starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Helena Bonham Carter!” You can read the announcement HERE. Not coincidentally, Ellen is distributed by Warner Bros., which also produced Dark Shadows.

The Zone thanks shadowydog for breaking the most welcome news; you can read more about Dark Shadows on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Armie Hammer promises THE LONE RANGER will be “a great, funny adventure”

In a recent interview with Ruben V. Nepales of the Phillipine Inquirer, The Lone Ranger‘s Lone Ranger, Armie Hammer — that’s him at left in his character’s signature black mask — disclosed a few details about the film, now shooting in New Mexico. “Next week, we start doing the stuff between Johnny and me which is really what this movie is about,” Hammer said. “It takes place in a frontier town in the 1800s. More than anything, it will be a great, funny adventure, [a] buddy comedy driven by the relationship between the Lone Ranger and Tonto. It’s about how they get along over some things and then quibble about other things. They’re like an old married couple.”

Hammer spoke to Nepales after The Lone Ranger had finished its first week of principal photography. “It’s going so well, I’m so relieved,” the actor confided. “If it’s like that for the next seven months, I’ll be the luckiest and happiest dude in the entire universe. It has all been great — being in a Jerry Bruckheimer production, seeing how everything just flows so smoothly and watching how Gore is in such capable control of everything he’s doing. And watching Johnny do his stuff — he’s a genius.” Sounds great!

The Zone thanks Theresa for sharing the interview; you can read more about The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum. The complete interview with Armie Hammer (which included promotion for his new film, Mirror, Mirror) is available HERE.

“We’re all in this together”–Armie Hammer talks about filming THE LONE RANGER

The striking photo at left — taken and tweeted by The Lone Ranger producer himself, Mr. Jerry Bruckheimer — gives our first glimpse of the legendary lawman and the spirit warrior Tonto as Gore Verbinski’s film envisions them. Armie Hammer, who plays the Ranger, is currently promoting Mirror, Mirror (in which he plays Prince Charming to Julia Roberts’ evil queen), but an interview with Access Hollywood focuses almost entirely on The Lone Ranger. Asked if coming to work with “the whole Pirates team” felt like “coming into a sort of pre-established club” where he had to fit in, Hammer replied, “Fortunately the club has very lenient acceptance rules, apparently, because we’re all in this together at this point. We’re working together.”

Hammer spoke about The Lone Ranger — both the filmmaking experience and the character he plays — with enthusiasm and charm. As for his famous co-star, Hammer said, “Johnny is fantastic to work with.” Asked if Johnny “does an accent as Tonto,” Hammer replied, “Yeah. He’s got like a ‘Tonto’ thing.” Hammer sounded proud of the Ranger’s depth, describing his character as “less of that two-dimensional, some kind of Prince Charming thing, and more of the human underneath all that.”

Hammer did give Access Hollywood a wardrobe scoop, confirming that (unlike the famous TV series) his Ranger does appear onscreen in a variety of costumes. “I’m not always in the same gear,” he said, grinning. You can watch the five-minute Access Hollywood interview HERE.

Many thanks to Emma for sharing the Access Hollywood interview, and to christinaFAN, Theresa, and to Mr. Jerry Bruckheimer for sharing the photo.

New DARK SHADOWS photos released!

Johnny Depp strikes a formal pose as vampire Barnabas Collins in Tim Burton’s update of Dark Shadows, coming to a multiplex near you on May 11, 2012; to see a larger version of the newly-released image, CLICK HERE. Sharing the screen with Johnny are a trio of formidable femmes: Eva Green as the stunning witch Angelique (CLICK HERE), Michelle Pfeiffer as the matriarch of the Collins family, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (CLICK HERE), and Helena Bonham Carter (with flaming red hair) as Dr. Julia Hoffman (CLICK HERE). The photographs, by Mary Ellen Mark, will appear with a feature by Jim Windolf in the April 2012 issue of Vanity Fair.

Producer Richard Zanuck told Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times that Dark Shadows is “a bit of a horror film, a love story, a soap opera and there’s humor; all of it adds up to great entertainment.” After a lifetime in Hollywood, Mr. Zanuck certainly knows “great entertainment” when he sees it, so that’s quite a compliment.

The Zone thanks Sleepy for sharing the photographs; you can read more about Dark Shadows on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Johnny Depp in Los Angeles on March 1–new photos!

Apparently Tonto isn’t needed yet on the New Mexico location for The Lone Ranger, since Johnny Depp was photographed in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 1. The photo at left shows Johnny standing outdoors smoking one of his hand-rolled cigarettes and holding a cup of coffee; longtime Depp-watchers will recognize the blue jacket with brown leather trim as a long-time favorite. To see a larger version of the photo, CLICK HERE, and to see another picture, CLICK HERE. This photo of Johnny walking away gives a good view of how long his hair is now; CLICK HERE.

The Zone thanks Evochka for sharing the photos; you can find a discussion of them on the Zone’s Pit General Discussion forum.