Articles from April 2012

“A quest for justice”–Jerry Bruckheimer on THE LONE RANGER

In an interview with Anthony Breznican of Entertainment Weekly, Jerry Bruckheimer reflected on his new film, The Lone Ranger, which is currently filming in New Mexico with Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the lawman. Is the Lone Ranger mythology intact? “We have the classic elements, the big white hat for The Lone Ranger, though he’s not wearing his blue suit,” the producer told EW. “But he has his black mask, and he has silver bullets, and of course he has his horse Silver. Everything else is slightly different.”

One important change, of course, is the telling of the story from Tonto’s point of view this time around. “Tonto and The Lone Ranger aren’t exactly in sync,” Bruckheimer explained. “They share the same quest for justice, but they approach it from two different points of view. The Lone Ranger is a prosecutor coming back to his home in Texas from back east, and he believes in the law of the courtroom, where Tonto has a whole different perspective on the law, and likes to take it into his own hands. They see justice completely differently.”

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the interview; you can read the EW article HERE, and you can read more about The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Tonto in the spotlight: Jerry Bruckheimer talks about THE LONE RANGER

In an interview with MTV News at CinemaCon, producer Jerry Bruckheimer declared that Johnny Depp’s Tonto “will play a pivotal role in relating [the] story” in his new version of the Western classic The Lone Ranger, currently shooting under the direction of Gore Verbinski. “It’s him [Tonto] telling the story of the Lone Ranger. . . . It’s his voice,” Bruckheimer explained. Tonto is no longer “the servant that he was in the radio series and television series. He’s quite a different character.”

As for the plotline, Bruckheimer kept his statements vague but, as always, enthusiastic. The story “has some fantasy elements in it. It’s grounded, but there are spiritual elements to it,” the producer said. “It certainly has elements of humor, which Gore brings to everything he does, and great action as well. It’s kind of like The Odd Couple meets The Wild Bunch.”

Bruckheimer assured MTV News that the changes necessitated by Disney’s budget cuts last fall were “minor” and haven’t affected the scope of the film: “Minor things [were cut], nothing anybody will miss. The whole wonderful train sequences are still there. It’s a big movie,” Bruckheimer promised. “It really is.”

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the interview; you can watch the video HERE. To see a larger version of the photo of Johnny and Jerry Bruckheimer backstage at CinemaCon, CLICK HERE. Many thanks to Mr. Bruckheimer for tweeting the photo. You can read more about The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum.


Entertainment Tonight tantalized us with a little behind-the-scenes glimpse of Dark Shadows on their April 25 broadcast; the photo at left shows Johnny Depp in the one moment in the segment when he was not in costume as Barnabas Collins (to see a larger version of the screencap, CLICK HERE.) As ET struggled to describe the tone of the film, calling it Johnny’s “wild new ride” and a “gothic comedy,” Johnny said, “It’s kind of a fine line between soap opera and reality.” ET showed brief, witty clips of Johnny’s Barnabas confronting Eva Green’s Angelique and of Helena Bonham Carter’s Dr. Julia Hoffman confronting Michelle Pfeiffer’s Elizabeth Stoddard. “Every actor is wild in this one,” ET commented, and Michelle Pfeiffer agreed. “Everybody was so funny and so weird,” she said. “We all tried to out-weird each other.”

The Zone thanks Theresa for the ET clip and Lou Lou 63 for the screencap. You can read more about Dark Shadows on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Tim Burton “never considered DARK SHADOWS a comedy,” he tells CinemaCon–new photos with Johnny!

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp were laughing — as usual — when they took the stage at CinemaCon 2012 in Las Vegas to promote their latest collaboration Dark Shadows, but the director insists that whatever humor is in the film stems from the unique predicament in which the film’s central character, Barnabas Collins, finds himself. The director didn’t set out to make Dark Shadows a comedy. “It’s not like I’m being campy with it or anything,” Burton told MTV News. “The guy’s been locked in a box for 200 years, and [when] he comes out … something weird is going to happen.”

MTV News asked Burton directly if he felt the Dark Shadows trailer — which is very funny — is reflective of his film, which hits theaters May 11. The director conceded that there are humorous elements in the movie — “Everything that’s in [the trailer] is in the movie,” he confirmed — but he doesn’t believe the film as a whole could be classified as a comedy. “It’s a funny film for me, because I never considered it a comedy,” Burton said. “I was always trying to capture the weird vibe of Dark Shadows, which is a weird thing to try to capture.”

When MTV asked for comparisons to Burton’s previous films, Burton said he can see a link with Edward Scissorhands, his first film with Johnny; but he asserts that there are many subtle differences between Barnabas Collins and any other character he’s put onscreen. “Edward Scissorhands was more of a naive character. Barnabas has been around the block a few times,” Burton told MTV News with a laugh. “There is something about a character who doesn’t quite fit into the world, which is similar,” but in the case of Barnabas, “he’s been around a long time.”

To see photos of Johnny and Tim on stage at CinemaCon, CLICK HERE and HERE; for a portrait of Johnny alone, CLICK HERE. The Zone thanks Emma for the Burton interview and Lu for sharing the beautiful photos; you can read more about CinemaCon on the Dark Shadows thread and the Lone Ranger thread on the News & Views forum.

“We want to make sure we get it right”–producer Jerry Bruckheimer on THE LONE RANGER

When producer Jerry Bruckheimer appeared at CinemaCon in Las Vegas to talk about his latest project, The Lone Ranger, he brought along a sure-fire audience attention-grabber: his star, Johnny Depp, who plays Tonto. Mr. Bruckheimer explained why he wanted to bring the Western saga, which debuted on radio in 1933, to a new generation: “It’s all about justice and we all love to have justice in our world around us.”

The producer is also concerned with showing justice and respect to the Native American culture represented in the film. Leaders of the Navajo nation have already visited the film site. “We’ve been working with the Navajos and the Comanches and a few others,” Bruckheimer said. “We want to make sure we get it right and make it as authentic as we can in the movie.”

Bruckheimer sounded delighted with his new screen team of Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, who plays the Ranger. “Armie’s such a gentleman. He’s so fun to be with,” Bruckheimer declared. “Johnny’s such a generous actor. They’re getting along great. And they are so fantastic together.” We can’t wait to see that chemistry on the big screen.

To see a larger version of the photo of Johnny with Jerry Bruckheimer, CLICK HERE, and to see a photo of Johnny waving to the crowd at CinemaCon, CLICK HERE. The Zone thanks Theresa for sharing the Bruckheimer interview and pictures; you can read more about The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Sad news: Jonathan Frid, the original Barnabas Collins, dies

Rest in peace to Jonathan Frid, who created the role of vampire Barnabas Collins in the original Dark Shadows TV series. Mr. Frid, who was 87, died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes in a hospital in Hamilton, Ontario after a life devoted to the theater. His performance as Barnabas was a television landmark, a character without precedent in the rather vanilla world of 1960s daytime fare. “Jonathan Frid was the reason I used to run home from school to watch Dark Shadows,” Johnny Depp wrote in an email to the Los Angeles Times after news broke of Mr. Frid’s death. “His elegance and grace was an inspiration then and will continue to remain one forever more.”

Mr. Frid made a cameo appearance in Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, which filmed at Pinewood Studios last summer and opens next month. The photo above shows Mr. Frid standing next to Johnny Depp in his costume and makeup as Barnabas Collins; to see a larger version, including other original Dark Shadows cast members and Tim Burton, CLICK HERE. “When I had the honor to finally meet him,” Johnny told the LA Times, “[he] generously passed the torch of Barnabas.”

Geoff Boucher of the Times’ HeroComplex blog, who spent time on the set of Dark Shadows, has reflected that Jonathan Frid’s beloved Barnabas “may have been the bright north star that led Depp into a career of spooky mansions and gothic superstardom, which would explain why Depp was giddy when he met Frid for the first time.” Recalling that meeting, Boucher writes that Johnny described Mr. Frid in these words: “‘As elegant and magical,’ Depp remembered, ‘as I had always imagined.'”

And so he shall always be in the memories of the millions who saw and appreciated his work. Zoners everywhere send our condolences to Mr. Frid’s family and his Dark Shadows family. We thank Emma, LouLou and Theresa for sharing information; thanks also, and our deepest sympathies, to Kathryn Leigh Scott, who published a beautiful eulogy for her castmate on her blog HERE. Geoff Boucher’s LA Times article is available HERE.

Johnny Depp meets with Navajo leaders in Monument Valley

While shooting The Lone Ranger in Monument Valley, Johnny Depp visited with Navajo leaders who paid a good-will visit to the filmmakers. In costume as Tonto, Johnny spoke with Navajo president Ben Shelly and vice president Rex Lee Jim, who presented Johnny and costar Armie Hammer with Pendleton blankets. You can see Johnny proudly wearing his blanket HERE, with Rex Lee Jim on the left and Ben Shelly on the right. For another photo of Johnny shaking hands with the Navajo president, CLICK HERE, and to see the Navajo leaders with Armie Hammer (nice costume!), CLICK HERE.

Johnny also met with Dr. Gayle Dine’ Chacon, the Navajo nation’s surgeon general; she is responsible for responding to public health problems among Navajos. “He is a very charming man, very gracious and very concerned as well,” she told the local press. Dine’ Chacon spoke to Johnny about preventing youth suicide, a leading cause of death among young Navajos. “He probably spent a good hour with us. Everybody else left the set, but he was still there.”

“He is so charming,” Dine’ Chacon confided. “You feel that you are the only one there — that he’s just focusing on you.” For a photo of Johnny with Dr. Dine’ Chacon, CLICK HERE.

Many thanks to Emma, FANtasticJD, and Theresa for sharing articles and photos; you can read more about Johnny’s visit with the Navajo in Monument Valley on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Johnny Depp performs in Paul McCartney’s new video, “My Valentine”

The photo at left shows Johnny Depp in a completely unexpected film role — the video for Paul McCartney’s song “My Valentine,” which was directed by Sir Paul himself. McCartney, working with Academy Award winning cinematographer Wally Pfister (Inception, The Dark Knight), filmed three different videos of “My Valentine:” one featuring Johnny alone, one featuring Oscar winner Natalie Portman, and one featuring both actors. “My Valentine” is one of two new compositions on McCartney’s recently released album of love songs, “Kisses on the Bottom.” In the video, Johnny and Ms. Portman perform the lyrics in sign language; Johnny also plays the guitar.

How did Johnny’s performance come about? “I wasn’t sure that I wanted to do the big, million dollar music video thing,” Sir Paul told Vanity Fair‘s Julie Miller at the video premiere, which took place at Stella McCartney’s West Hollywood store — fittingly enough, as the video was daughter Stella’s idea. “Stella suggested that I do something really simple. ‘You know Natalie,’ she said. ‘Ring Natalie up and just ask her if she will sign to your song.’ She agreed and then I realized that I needed [another person] so I asked Johnny and he was kind enough to agree to do it. A week after Stella had mentioned the idea, I was back here in L.A. filming it with the great cinematographer Wally Pfister.” Perfect!

While rock god Eric Clapton plays the guitar solo on McCartney’s album, Sir Paul confirmed that is our own JD playing on the video: he’s not faking it. “I must just point out also that Johnny is really playing the guitar solo,” McCartney declared to Vanity Fair. “That’s him playing. The boy is good.” To see photos of Johnny taken from the video, CLICK HERE, HERE, and HERE, and to see a photo of Johnny with Paul McCartney during the filming, CLICK HERE.

The Zone thanks Emma and FANtasticJD for sharing the news, and Theresa for the photos. You can read more about “My Valentine” on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Johnny Depp plays guitar with Marilyn Manson at Revolver’s Golden Gods Awards!

Johnny Depp the musician made another surprise appearance in Los Angeles last night, this time playing guitar to support his longtime friend Marilyn Manson at Revolver Magazine‘s Golden Gods Awards concert at Club Nokia. Johnny wore a black shirt, black jeans, black boots, and a black cowboy hat with a rakish feather. “In true Depp style, he played it cool –- keeping his head low, almost to the point of being incognito,” reports Apparently many in the crowd didn’t realize it was Johnny until “Sweet Dreams” ended and Manson called out, “If you don’t recognize my personal friend … my personal savior, my personal guitar hero … Johnny Depp!”

Johnny also played guitar for Manson’s “The Beautiful People.” describes the performance: “All the while Depp was straight faced, focusing on his playing, though he broke into an occasional smile –- absolutely in control, bemused at times, but obviously enjoying himself.” For pictures of Johnny performing at Club Nokia, CLICK HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. To see Johnny waving goodbye to the crowd, CLICK HERE, and for a photo of him backstage with his fellow musicians, CLICK HERE.

The Zone thanks Emma and Theresa for sharing the news and pictures; you can read more about the concert on the Zone’s News & Views forum, and on the Pit General Discussion forum. The article is available HERE.

DARK SHADOWS premieres in Los Angeles on May 7th!

Red carpet watchers rejoice! The long-anticipated premiere of Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, starring Johnny Depp as iconic vampire Barnabas Collins, will take place in Los Angeles on Monday, May 7th! The premiere will be held at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, a Hollywood legend in its own right. The press junket for Dark Shadows will take place during the preceding weekend, May 5-6, in Los Angeles, with Johnny Depp, Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jonny Lee Miller, and Tim Burton scheduled to participate.

The UK premiere of Dark Shadows is scheduled for Wednesday, May 9, but the venue has not yet been announced.

The Zone thanks FAntasticJD and Emma for sharing the news; you can read more about the Dark Shadows premieres and press junket on the Zone’s News & Views forum.