Articles from January 2013

“He’s a genius in creating these characters” — Jerry Bruckheimer talks about Johnny Depp’s Tonto

Jerry Bruckheimer previewed the Lone Ranger Super Bowl trailer for Yahoo’s Movie Talk and answered questions about his latest project. Here’s what Mr. Bruckheimer had to say about Johnny Depp and The Lone Ranger:

Q: Johnny Depp created such a unique and such an iconoclastic character with Jack Sparrow. What sort of process do you go through with Johnny for creating a character like Tonto, in this case?

JERRY BRUCKHEIMER: Well, I mean, it’s his process. He’s a genius in creating these characters. He found a character that he wanted to play in Tonto, conceptualized the character, created the makeup and worked with his makeup artists and sent me some photographs of how he thought Tonto should look. Again, he created another iconic character, and I can’t [wait] for you and the audience — well, you’ve seen him on the trailer, but I can’t wait for you to see the relationship between the Lone Ranger and Tonto. This is the origin story of the Lone Ranger. So, we’re telling how the Lone Ranger became the Lone Ranger.

Q: Westerns, lately, have had kind of an up-and-down — and mostly down — success rate at the box office. How do you find the balance between the sort of classic Western archetypes and also modernizing it for today’s audience?

JERRY BRUCKHEIMER: We heard the same thing about pirate movies. They hadn’t been successful for 30 years or so, if not longer. With Gore and our writing teams and Johnny and Armie, I think we created something very special. It’s still a Western but, you know, Django [Unchained] is a Western, too, and it’s doing quite well. I think it’s the characters that you fall in love with and the story, and I think we’ve got both [characters and a story] that are very interesting. Hopefully, we’ll have the kind of surprise for the audience who they got when they saw Pirates.

The Zone thanks Lou Lou 63 for sharing the Bruckheimer interview and a beautiful new Lone Ranger still that you can see HERE; you can read more on the Zone’s Porch General Discussion forum. The Movie Talk interview is available HERE.

“It’s so much fun watching Johnny do what he’s so good at”–Armie Hammer talks about THE LONE RANGER

In a new interview with MTV’s Josh Wigler, Armie Hammer, who plays the title character in Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger, explains the relationship between his lawman and the Native American Tonto, played by Johnny Depp: “It’s a lot more balanced than the original show, where the Ranger would tell Tonto what to do, and he would say, ‘Me do,’ and run away. Nobody was thrilled with that, and Johnny especially wasn’t thrilled with that.” The new film “is more like a buddy comedy,” Hammer says. “[T]here’s give and take, and push and pull, between these two guys. They’re a team, so when it comes down to it, they’re willing to do what it takes to get the job done. It’s a great relationship between the two of them. It’s very fun, almost a Midnight Run vibe, where you have two guys with one goal but very different ways of going about it.”

Regarding Johnny’s performance as Tonto, Hammer describes it as “f*****g beautiful,” adding an apology for the profanity. “It’s so much fun watching Johnny do what he’s so good at: larger than life characters who feel so real. There will be lines in the script, and then Johnny says, ‘Wouldn’t it be funnier if I just do this with a look?’ Everybody goes, ‘Well, I don’t know if that’s possible; the audience needs to understand this.’ And he’ll go, ‘No, no, like this.’ And he’ll do the look, and everyone will say, ‘That’s perfect!’ He knows what he does well, and he does it well for sure.”

Disney has released a new UK poster for the film; you can see it HERE. Don’t be confused by the date on the poster; August 9, 2013 is the release date in the United Kingdom, but the North American release date is July 3, 2013.

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for sharing the Hammer interview and Lou Lou 63 for the poster. You can read more about The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum. The full MTV interview is available HERE.

TV ALERT–Disney’s THE LONE RANGER sponsors Super Bowl pre-game show on Sunday

Here’s a reason to tune in early for the big football game on Sunday afternoon: Disney’s The Lone Ranger is sponsoring a half-hour of the Super Bowl pre-game coverage on CBS, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. EST, on Sunday February 3rd. This represents a considerable investment for the studio and certainly shows a high level of confidence in the excellence of the film. Hopefully we’ll see a new trailer or some new footage on Sunday.

The Zone thanks Emma and Lou Lou 63 for breaking the news; you can read more about The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

“An incredible experience”–Armie Hammer talks about working with Johnny Depp on THE LONE RANGER

The Lone Ranger‘s Lone Ranger, Armie Hammer, appeared on Conan recently, and when his host observed that it must be “pretty amazing” to co-star with Johnny Depp as Tonto, Hammer replied, “That was an incredible experience, getting to work with that guy. [. . .] He’s a character. He’s amazing. He’s every bit as cool as you don’t think it’s possible for him to be.”

Asked if he was “nervous” to meet Johnny, Hammer replied that “startled” would be a more accurate description, because they met during The Lone Ranger table read, when the cast gathered to read through the script. “[S]omeone goes past me and says, ‘Oh, Armie, this is Johnny,’ and I turn around . . . and he was wearing the full get-up. [. . .] The face-paint and all that. So they go, ‘Armie, this is Johnny,’ and I go, ‘Huh!'” Hammer flinched and recoiled, then recovered himself and smiled broadly. “‘Sorry, something in my throat. Nice to meet you, man.’ Very startling.”

“Was he in character,” Conan O’Brien asked, “or did he behave normally?”

Hammer assured his host that Johnny “behaved normally . . . he just didn’t look normal.” Hammer also showed a Lone Ranger trailer and explained that a striking tracking shot showing his character standing atop a rickety wooden platform rising high above Dead Horse Point, Utah is not a CGI effect. That is really Armie Hammer standing up there, all alone — because Armie was told, “We really can’t put two people on it.” Yikes!

The Zone thanks MinaDM for finding the Conan interview and sharing it; you can see the video HERE. You can read much more about The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Johnny Depp writes a song with Alice Cooper for new album!

In a recent video interview with the Desert Sun, Alice Cooper revealed that he’s been in the recording studio working on his new album . . . with Johnny Depp: “In fact, I just got out of the studio with him [Johnny]. I was in the studio with him for two days, in L.A., right before . . . I got here Wednesday night. Tuesday and Wednesday I was all day in the studio with him. [. . .] We were writing for my new album, and he came up with a good song. Really good song.”

Q: Oh . . . he wrote it?

ALICE COOPER: Yeah, he wrote it. I wrote the lyrics; he wrote the music. And, um, it’s really going to be good. It’s the title track, actually, for this new album, so —

Q: What can you tell me about him?

ALICE COOPER: He’s a great player. He’s a great guitar player. He’s as good as anybody in any band. I mean, you can put him in any band, from Guns N’ Roses to anybody, to Foo Fighters and our band. I mean, he can play any kind of rock ‘n’ roll you want.

Q: If he took a hiatus and wanted to tour with you —

ALICE COOPER: (laughing)I told him, if this whole acting thing, you know, fizzles out . . . be in a band. That’s how he started, anyways.

The Zone thanks Lou Lou 63 for sharing the interview, which is available HERE.

Announcing three new galleries for the Zone!

The Zone is happy to announce three new additions to the Zone’s permanent photo galleries! Our collection of ads and posters for Johnny Depp’s films has been greatly expanded, so much so that we have divided our presentation into three separate galleries, organized chronologically to create a retrospective of Johnny Depp’s career. You can find them by clicking the PHOTO GALLERIES button above, selecting THE DEPPARTMENT, and scrolling down to the MOVIE ADS galleries.

The first MOVIE ADS gallery,available HERE, features ads from 1985 through 1999; the second gallery, available HERE, focuses on Johnny’s films from 2000 through 2009; and the final MOVIE ADS gallery, available HERE, covers films from 2010 to the present.

Artwork in these galleries was contributed by AnaMaria, Emma, Evochka, FantasticJD, Part-Time Poet, sleepy, and Theresa. Many thanks to all who have shared movie posters with us, and thanks to the artists who created them!

“He covers himself up”–Helena Bonham Carter talks about working with Johnny Depp in THE LONE RANGER

In a new interview, Helena Bonham Carter spoke about her experiences working with Johnny Depp; the duo have made six films together, including Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland, Dark Shadows, and this summer’s The Lone Ranger: “He is funny because he’s one of the most beautiful men in the world and he just covers himself up to such a degree,” Helena said, “but he does make me laugh. It’s always fun with Johnny because you’ve no idea what he’s going to come as,” she explained. “His make-up and his costume is always like — pile it on more . . . he’s somewhere in there.”

The Lone Ranger is the first time Helena and Johnny have worked together on a project that wasn’t directed by Tim Burton, and Helena conceded that it felt a bit strange at first. “It was a bit weird when I walked on set and there was Johnny in his usual crazy make-up, tons of make-up. And me looking actually a bit strange too — I had one leg and a peg leg. And there was no Tim. And then we got used to it.” She had praise for her new director and the filmmaking experience: “Gore Verbinski is very funny. He’s worked with Johnny a lot and it was fun.”

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for sharing the interview; you can read more about The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

A new Infinitum Nihil film project, MORTIMER WINTERGREEN, hires screenwriter Jack Thorne

Johnny Depp’s Infinitum Nihil is joining with Warner Bros. to produce Mortimer Wintergreen, a family film based on Myron Levoy’s young adult novel, The Magic Hat of Mortimer Wintergreen. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Nanny McPhee Returns director Susanna White is attached to direct, and Jack Thorne has been hired to write the screenplay. Thorne’s adaptation of Nick Hornby’s A Long Way Down arrives later in movie theaters later this year. He also has had a distinguished career in British television.

Here’s’s description of the book’s plot: “In 1890s South Dakota, Amy and Joshua escape from their mean Aunt Vootch. They plan to find their grandparents in New York, and manage to team up with a traveling magician, Mortimer Wintergreen, who is also New York bound. Mortimer owns a truly magic hat with a temperamental, mischievous mind of its own. Adventures abound as their way is blocked by outlaws, runaway hot-air balloons, geese, and their persistent Aunt Vootch. But the hat is always ready for action. Buoyant comedy. A fine addition to stories that truly entertain.”

Johnny will produce Mortimer Wintergreen with his Infinitum Nihil partner Christi Dembrowski. John Carls of Wild Things Productions is also producing. Johnny also might star as the magician, subject to script approval and his schedule.

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

WEST OF MEMPHIS: VOICES OF JUSTICE, with performances by Johnny Depp, is released today

Today Legacy Recordings will release West of Memphis: Voices For Justice, an album of music and songs inspired by the documentary West of Memphis, which chronicles the case of the West Memphis Three. The album serves to raise awareness for the continuing fight for exoneration of the West Memphis Three. The fascinating track listing includes Patti Smith’s “Wing,” recorded live at the Voices for Justice benefit concert in Little Rock in 2011; a cover of Mumford & Sons’ “Little Lion Man” by Tonto’s Giant Nuts featuring Johnny Depp and Bruce Witkin; Marilyn Manson’s cover of “You’re So Vain,” featuring Johnny on guitar; Bill Carter’s “Anything Made of Paper;” and Johnny reading one of Damien Echols’ letters from Death Row over excerpts from the Nick Cave and Warren Ellis score for West of Memphis.

The full track listing is available HERE. According to the Legacy Recordings website, purchase of West of Memphis: Voices for Justice will in part directly benefit the West Memphis Three. The CD is available from Amazon for $9.99.

A selection of photos showing Johnny Depp working on the West of Memphis soundtrack is available HERE.

The Zone thanks humiliatedgrape for breaking the news and BonBon for sharing the pictures; you can read more on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 5 gets an official release date–July 10, 2015

Disney made the return of Captain Jack Sparrow official today, announcing that Pirates of the Caribbean 5 will sail into movie theaters on July 10, 2015. “Johnny Depp will return for the next installment,” reports Pamela McLintock of the Hollywood Reporter, “although no director is yet attached.” This news follows quickly after Disney’s confirmation that Jeff Nathanson had been hired to write the Pirates 5 script.

The Zone thanks sleepy for breaking the news; you can read more about Pirates of the Caribbean 5 on the Zone’s News & Views forum. The Hollywood Reporter article is available HERE.

THE LONE RANGER is one of Entertainment Weekly’s 2013 “Movies to Watch”

Gore Verbinski’s new version of The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the Ranger, receives a fine write-up in Entertainment Weekly‘s 2013 Movie Preview issue, including a gorgeous photo of the two heroes walking side-by-side. Nice! EW’s Geoff Boucher emphasizes the “partnership” between Tonto and the Ranger (no “sidekick” here): “Contrary to his name, the Lone Ranger has never been a one-man posse [. . .]. Verbinski liked the chemistry between Depp’s eccentric nomad and Hammer’s unsubtle lawman.”

Verbinski confided that a similar chemistry existed between Johnny and Armie. “They couldn’t really be more different,” he told Boucher. “It’s one of those situations where their off-screen friendship is as much The Odd Couple as when they are on screen together — something we were hoping for.”

The Zone thanks Lou Lou 63 for sharing the news; you can read more about The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum. The EW article is available HERE.

The Lone Ranger will be in theaters on July 3, 2013.

Disney hires Jeff Nathanson to write a script for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 5

Disney wants to make another installment of its lucrative Pirates of the Caribbean franchise; the studio announced Friday (January 11th) that it has hired Jeff Nathanson to write a screenplay for Pirates of the Caribbean 5. Nathanson has no previous history writing Pirates movies, but his resume includes several films that involve capers, trickster characters, and comedy, including Catch Me If You Can, Tower Heist, and Rush Hour 2 and 3. Justin Kroll, who broke the news in Variety, reports that “Jerry Bruckheimer is producing with [Johnny] Depp set to return as Captain Jack Sparrow. Plot details are unknown, and it’s not clear whether thesps from past installments, like Geoffrey Rush or Keira Knightley, would return to reprise their roles.” Kroll makes no mention of a director for Pirates 5.

Dave Trumbore of cautions that Johnny may not yet be “set to return” as Captain Jack. “Depp was ‘close’ to signing on for the film back in 2011,” Trumbore writes, “but has yet to officially do so. [. . .] We know that previous reports about the film shooting in and around Puerto Rico turned out to be erroneous and we know that Penelope Cruz hasn’t received any offers of scripts. Not much to go on. What we can count on is that Depp will be courted to return for a fifth film as the man is a box office treasure trove.” The full article is available HERE.

The Zone thanks Theresa for breaking the news; you can read more about Pirates 5 and its new screenwriter on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Infinitum Nihil will publish Woody Guthrie’s HOUSE OF EARTH on February 5th!

Joyous news for book lovers everywhere: Johnny Depp’s HarperCollins book imprint, Infinitum Nihil, will publish its first title on February 5, 2013, when Woody Guthrie’s House of Earth is released. An essay co-written by Johnny and historian Douglas Brinkley will introduce the novel; they worked together to edit Guthrie’s manuscript, which was finished in 1947 but never before published. describes the novel as “a powerful portrait of Dust Bowl America, filled with the homespun lyricism and authenticity that have made his [Guthrie’s] songs a part of our national consciousness. It is the story of an ordinary couple’s dreams of a better life and their search for love and meaning in a corrupt world.”

Early reviews for House of Earth are laudatory. Kirkus Reviews calls House of Earth “an achievement [. . .], yet another facet of Guthrie’s multiplex talents.” Publishers Weekly observes, “With dialogue rich in ‘hillbilly’ vernacular and a story steeped in folk traditions, Guthrie’s drought-burdened, dust-blown landscape swirls with life. His heritage as folksinger, artist, and observer of West Texas strife lives on through these distinct pages infused with the author’s wit, personality, and dedication to Americana.”

House of Earth is available for purchase at for a pre-order price of $15.98 for the hardcover and $14.99 for the Kindle edition. You can see the cover artwork HERE. If you prefer audiobooks, here’s a special treat — the unabridged audiobook version of House of Earth is available from Amazon for $23.09, and the readers are Johnny Depp and Douglas Brinkley!

More happy news . . . House of Earth will be the next selection read by Oprah Noodlemantra’s Book Club! Check the ONBC forum for details HERE.

Johnny Depp attends Marilyn Manson’s birthday party

Happy birthday and many happy returns to Marilyn Manson, who celebrated his 44th birthday in style on Saturday, January 5th with a party at Greystone Manor in West Hollywood, California. Johnny Depp was there, wearing his favorite hat and blue sunglasses; you can see a photo of Johnny with Manson and other partygoers HERE. Many thanks to humiliatedgrape for sharing the picture; paparazzi footage of Johnny’s black SUV being driven away from the party is available on You Tube, but there’s scarcely a glimpse of JD himself — just his security staff doing their duty.

Quentin Tarantino would like to work with Johnny Depp–new interview

In a recent interview with Charlie Rose, director Quentin Tarantino (whose latest effort, Django Unchained, has taken the box office by storm) declared that he would like to work with Johnny Depp someday. “We would love to work together,” Tarantino said. “We’ve talked about it for years [. . .] . Not that we get together and talk about it for years, but from time to time. We’re obviously fans of each other.”

So far, the right Tarantino-Depp project has not germinated, the director explained. “It just needs to be the right character. I just need to write the right character that I think Johnny would be the right guy to do it with. And if he agrees, then we’ll do it. And then it’ll be magical.” No doubt! Tarantino added, “I haven’t written the perfect character for Johnny Depp as of yet. Maybe someday I will [. . . .] We’ll see.”

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the Tarantino interview; you can read more on the Porch General Discussion forum.