Articles from July 2013

Executive producer credit on THE LONE RANGER was “a beautiful gesture from Jerry Bruckheimer,” Johnny Depp tells UK press

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski, and actors Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Ruth Wilson, Tom Wilkinson, and Harry Treadaway met the British press to promote The Lone Ranger on Monday, July 22. While some of the questions trod familiar ground, journalists did venture into fresh territory, as when one reporter asked Johnny about the impact of his role as one of The Lone Ranger‘s executive producers.

Q: Johnny, you are Executive Producer on this. I wondered what sort of benefits that brought you in terms of decision-making? And Jerry and Gore, how did that affect your relationship with Johnny?

JERRY BRUCKHEIMER: Well, I think he got to the craft service line ahead of everybody else. (Laughter) So I think that worked for him.

JOHNNY DEPP: Yeah. And I got a chair. (More laughter) And a trailer. Coffee, occasionally. (He chuckles, and then grows serious.) You know, the executive producer credit was a beautiful gesture from Jerry, just out of the kindness of his heart, to hand me that title. Primarily because we were all in it from the very beginning. As I said before, from the very seed of the project, we were all in there, in all the script meetings and whatnot, and that, for me, was plenty — that was beautiful, to be welcomed into that part of the process. But then for Jerry to give me that title was . . . yeah, that was quite a shock. So basically, what I’m saying is, I didn’t do anything.

JERRY BRUCKHEIMER: That’s not quite right, because it wasn’t an honorary thing. It was something that . . . he [Johnny] brings so much creativity to the process, and to have him in, in the script meetings early on, conceptualizing the character — his character and other characters — it helps us so much, because he’s got such a wealth of creative knowledge that he puts layers on the script and the story. It was a pleasure to bring him in really early, and creatively it was fantastic for the movie.

The Zone thanks Theresa for sharing video of the UK press conference; a larger photo of Jerry, Johnny and Gore is available HERE. You can read more about The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor in talks to join Johnny Depp in MORTDECAI

Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor are in talks to join Johnny Depp in the crime caper Mortdecai, which will be directed by David Koepp. Variety reports that Lionsgate is “fast-tracking the project with a high-profile team.” According to Variety, Mortdecai will go into production late this fall, after Johnny finishes Rob Marshall’s musical Into the Woods. Paltrow, an Oscar-winner for Shakespeare in Love, was most recently seen playing Pepper Potts in Iron Man 3; McGregor will be seen in August: Osage County (with Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep) this fall.

Mortdecai is based on a series of books by Kyril Bonfiglioli. Roguish art dealer Charles Mortdecai is in a race to recover a stolen painting rumored to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold.

Andrew Lazar is producing Mortdecai with Infinitum Nihil’s team of Johnny and Christi Dembrowski.

You can read more about Mortdecai on the Zone’s News & Views forum. The Variety article is available HERE.

“Tonto is a lone wolf”–Johnny Depp discusses THE LONE RANGER and its critics with the BBC

In a video interview with the BBC at the London premiere of The Lone Ranger, Johnny Depp responded to critics who assert that his Tonto is “another quirky character like Captain Jack Sparrow” — in other words, just Captain Jack on dry land. “There are a lot of differences between Captain Jack and Tonto,” Johnny said. “Captain Jack needs other people to manipulate to get what he wants. He couldn’t — he wouldn’t work on his own. Tonto is sort of a lone wolf. If there are any similarities at all, I suppose it’s just because it’s born out of my head.”

Asked if he was “disappointed” in the film’s performance at the U.S. box office, which “hasn’t lived up to many people’s expectations,” Johnny replied, “No, because I don’t have no expectations . . . but other people do. I think critics were especially upset that it didn’t really tank. I think they were hoping it would really take a dive.” The Lone Ranger has currently earned more than $81 million in North America and almost $150 million worldwide.

The Zone thanks emma for sharing the BBC interview; you can read more about The Lone Ranger‘s London premiere on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

THE LONE RANGER premieres in London–new photos of Johnny!

When Disney Movies UK tweeted yesterday, “Johnny Depp & the stars of #TheLoneRanger arrive on the red carpet from 5.30pm tomorrow for the UK premiere @ODEONCinemas Leicester Square,” we didn’t realize that “the stars” would include the scene-stealing white horse who plays Silver, or that the “red carpet” would actually be white! But Silver, sporting a spiffy silver-trimmed saddle, stood proudly in Leicester Square and posed for pictures with Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer. Johnny wore a charcoal gray three-piece suit with a blue shirt, and Armie wore a two-piece red suit with a white shirt and dark red tie. Photos from the London premiere are available HERE.

Many thanks to humiliatedgrape and our friends at for sharing photos; you can read more about the London premiere of The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum and Pit General Discussion forum.

Johnny Depp attends Berlin premiere of THE LONE RANGER–new photos!

German fans gave Johnny Depp and his Lone Ranger colleagues — producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski, and co-stars Armie Hammer and Ruth Wilson — a warm welcome at the red carpet premiere of The Lone Ranger in Berlin on Friday, July 19. Wearing a gray suit and black shirt, Johnny gave many interviews for German media and signed autographs for well-wishers who waited patiently behind barricades for a chance to say hello, shake hands, or take a quick picture.

Photos of the Berlin premiere are available HERE.

The Zone thanks Aida and Theresa for sharing photos; you can read more about The Lone Ranger‘s Berlin premiere on the Zone’s News & Views forum and Pit General Discussion forum.

TV ALERT–Johnny Depp’s appearance on THE LATE SHOW with David Letterman re-airs tonight, July 19th!

If you missed Johnny Depp’s appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman on June 27th — or you would just like to watch it again and chuckle — the show will be rebroadcast tonight, July 19. Johnny and Dave talk about The Lone Ranger, of course, which Dave praises as “wildly entertaining.” They also discuss fatherhood, what it’s like to turn 50 (“just another decade,” they agreed), Johnny’s acting process, and his connection to the Native American community.

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for sharing the news.

Johnny Depp nominated for two Teen Choice Awards!

Johnny Depp received a 2013 Teen Choice Award nomination as Choice Movie Star: Male for his performance as Tonto in The Lone Ranger. Other nominees in the category include Henry Cavill for Man of Steel, Dwayne Johnson for Fast & Furious 6, Chris Pine for Star Trek Into Darkness, and Channing Tatum for White House Down.

Johnny and Lone Ranger co-star Armie Hammer were nominated in the Choice Movie: Chemistry category. They face competition from Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in The Heat; Don Cheadle and Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man 3; Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Paul Walker in Fast & Furious 6; and Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum in White House Down. Congratulations to Johnny and Armie!

Fans ages 13-19 can vote once each day per category for their favorite TEEN CHOICE 2013 nominees HERE. Voting ends at 11:59 PM PT on Saturday, Aug. 10.

The Teen Choice Awards 2013 will air on Fox on Sunday, August 11, 2013 from 8 to 10 p.m.

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for sharing the news; you can read more about the 2013 Teen Choice Awards on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Johnny Depp greets Tokyo press and fans at THE LONE RANGER premiere!

Johnny Depp joined co-star Armie Hammer, director Gore Verbinski, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer in Tokyo today for a press conference promoting The Lone Ranger, followed by the red carpet premiere of the spectacular Western. An enthusiastic crowd, including some folks wearing Tonto’s signature face-paint, gave Johnny and Armie a warm reception. Photos from the premiere, including Johnny signing autographs for fans, are available HERE. Many thanks to Emma and Theresa for sharing the photos.

Johnny adopted a more casual look for the photocall earlier in the day, wearing jeans and his familiar battered fedora to greet the Japanese press. Photos from that event are available HERE.

The Zone thanks emma, humiliatedgrape, and Theresa for sharing pictures from the photocall; you can read more about Johnny’s visit to Japan on the Zone’s Pit General Discussion forum, and more about The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp arrives in Japan to promote THE LONE RANGER–new photos!

The photo at left shows Johnny Depp greeting a young fan at Narita Airport when he arrived in Japan this morning to promote The Lone Ranger. Johnny was accompanied by Amber Heard and his children, Lily-Rose and Jack, as well as security chief Jerry Judge. Asked to comment on the large crowd waiting at the airport to greet him, Johnny told a television reporter, “It’s always very surprising but very warm and very touching . . . . It’s always very nice.” Photos of Johnny at the airport interacting with the crowd are available HERE.

The Zone thanks emma, mosh-chops, and Theresa for sharing photos; you can read more about Johnny’s visit to Japan on the Zone’s News & Views forum and Pit General Discussion forum.

Johnny Depp to return as the Mad Hatter in ALICE IN WONDERLAND 2

Johnny Depp will pull out a favorite hat from his wild-and-crazy chapeau collection and return as The Mad Hatter in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland 2. Linda Woolverton, who wrote the 2010 Alice, is scripting the sequel, which may be called Through the Looking Glass. James Bobin, who has done Disney proud helming their Muppets franchise reboot (The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted), will direct, taking the baton from Tim Burton. Alice in Wonderland won two Oscars (costume design and art direction) and broke the $1 billion barrier at the box office during its theatrical run in 2010.

You can read more about the Alice in Wonderland sequel on the Zone’s Porch General Discussion forum.

Johnny Depp’s Infinitum Nihil moves to Disney

Johnny Depp’s movie production company, Infinitum Nihil, has a new home at Disney. Variety reports that “[u]nder a new multi-year first-look deal, Depp will develop film projects he can produce at the studio, expanding his relationship with Disney.” Johnny has two Disney projects on his current schedule: Rob Marshall’s musical Into the Woods and the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean. A sequel to Alice in Wonderland is also in development.

Johnny started Infinitum Nihil in 2004, with his sister Christi Dembrowski as president; the company was then based at Warner Bros. According to Variety, the Warner Bros. deal “expired in 2011, and the Disney deal was quietly brokered several months ago.”

The Zone thanks Lou Lou 63 and Theresa for sharing the news; you can read more on the Zone’s News & Views forum. The Variety article is available HERE.

BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp in talks to star in MORTDECAI for David Koepp

Here’s a happy surprise: there’s another new project on Johnny Depp’s schedule! Johnny is now in negotiations to star in Mortdecai for director David Koepp at Lionsgate. The snappily-titled Mortdecai is an adaptation of Kyril Bonfiglioli’s final novel, The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery. Johnny will be producing the film with his Infinitum Nihil partner Christi Dembrowski and Andrew Lazar.

Johnny will play roguish art dealer Charles Mortdecai, who, the studio says, “must traverse the globe armed only with his good looks and special charm in a race to recover a stolen painting rumored to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold.” Got that? If that’s not enough plot for you, the Hollywood Reporter states that Mortdecai “also has to juggle angry Russians, the British Mi5, his impossibly leggy wife and an international terrorist.” Sounds like he’s in for a busy day.

David Koepp has long been one of the busiest and most successful screenwriters in Hollywood — if you saw Jurassic Park, the first Mission: Impossible, Spider-Man, Panic Room, or Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, you saw his work. He previously directed Johnny Depp as Mort Rainey in Secret Window (Koepp adapted Stephen King’s novella for the screen); his most recent effort as writer-director was 2012’s Premium Rush.

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

Happy 10th anniversary to Captain Jack Sparrow and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN!

Believe it or not, it was exactly ten years ago today that Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl opened in movie theaters across North America, and the public got its first glimpse of Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow. Critics were predisposed to sneer at a movie inspired by a theme-park ride — was there even one review that failed to highlight that fact, or to mention that the pirate movie was a dead genre? — but ecstatic word-of-mouth soon made the pundits and past history irrelevant. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl eventually claimed box-office booty of $654 million worldwide, lodged its colorful characters permanently in the popular imagination, and launched three fantastically successful sequels. Now Captain Jack Sparrow’s boast is true around the world: everyone has heard of him. Huzzah!

Johnny Depp’s performance in The Curse of the Black Pearl earned him an Oscar nomination and a SAG Award as Best Actor. “His performance is original in its every atom,” wrote Roger Ebert in his review. “There has never been a pirate, or for that matter a human being, like this in any other movie.” Critic Emmanuel Levy has called Captain Jack Sparrow “the only iconic screen character to have yet emerged in the new millenium.”

The Zone congratulates and thanks all of the dedicated artists who worked on Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; you have given us more hours of pleasure and pure entertainment than we could possibly count. Thanks, above all, to Johnny Depp . . . the best pirate we’ve ever seen.

We’re celebrating the Zone’s 9th birthday at this site! Cheers!

It’s our ninth birthday! Sleepy and I started the Johnny Depp Zone on this site nine years ago, continuing the Johnny Depp Zone tradition that has been operating in one form or another for more than 15 years.

We officially opened the “new” Zone on July 9, 2004, the first anniversary of the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. When we began the website, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had just started shooting at Pinewood, Corpse Bride had just been announced, there were rumors Finding Neverland would finally be released in the fall, and Johnny’s production company, Infinitum Nihil, had just been formed. The Libertine was in post-production and headed for a work-in-progress showing at the Toronto Film Festival.

How time flies! Not only have we seen Finding Neverland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride and The Libertine make their way into theaters, but we’ve watched every step of the production of the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels Dead Man’s Chest, At World’s End, and On Stranger Tides; we’ve heard Johnny sing his way to a Golden Globe win and an Oscar nomination in Sweeney Todd; we’ve seen him shoot up the screen as Dillinger in Michael Mann’s Public Enemies, charm us as the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s blockbuster Alice in Wonderland, intrigue Angelina Jolie in The Tourist, ride to the rescue in Gore Verbinski’s Oscar-winning Rango, discover his Hunter S. Thompson-inspired “voice of ink and rage” as a journalist in The Rum Diary, rise from the undead as Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows, and tutor Armie Hammer’s Eastern lawyer in a quest for frontier justice as Tonto in Verbinski’s majestic and maligned The Lone Ranger.

Johnny is currently filming Wally Pfister’s Transcendence, and his next project will see him singing on screen again, as the Wolf in Stephen Sondheim’s award-winning musical Into the Woods, with a powerful cast including Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Tracey Ullman, under the direction of Rob Marshall. Also, he’s now editing his documentary on friend and inspiration Keith Richards.

As we celebrate and reminisce today, I’d like to thank Sleepy, Theresa, Joni, Liz and fireflydances for their dedication and hard work. Without them, we wouldn’t have a Zone. Many thanks to everyone who has helped us along the way, to all the Zone staff past and present, to Andre for his technical wizardry, to mytreasure for the lovely birthday card, and to all of our members for making the Zone a wonderful place to be.

Most of all, thanks and much love always to Johnny Depp, for nine years of entertainment, inspiration, and delight — he’s the reason we’re here!

New project? Johnny Depp says he wants to play Kyril Bonfiglioli’s Charlie Mortdecai

Zoners who worried when Johnny Depp told Rolling Stone‘s Brian Hiatt that he “thinks every day about retirement” can take a deep breath: new movie projects and new characters continue to maintain their allure. In an interview with PopSugar’s Lindsay Miller, Johnny gave a surprising answer when asked about his next project:

Q: What do you want to do next? Is there something that you haven’t done or a story you haven’t told that you really want to?

JOHNNY DEPP: Yeah. There’s a couple of things, you know, that we’ve been talking about for years that we want to get made. There’s a great series of books by a guy named Kyril Bonfiglioli called The Mortdecai Trilogy and there’s one called The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery. And it’s a very funny series of books and a very interesting character.

Q: Okay, so that might be next.

JOHNNY DEPP: Might be. We’ll see. I hope so.

Charlie Mortdecai, the hero of Bonfiglioli’s books, is described as “a wealthy art dealer with a penchant for good food, bourbon, and fine clothes, who frequently finds himself caught up in strange cases of crime and espionage.” Sounds fascinating!

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

THE LONE RANGER is “a buddy movie,” says director Gore Verbinski

In a recent interview with Eric Eisenberg of CinemaBlend, director Gore Verbinski described his latest project, the epic Western The Lone Ranger, as “a mix of Don Quixote and Midnight Run.” Verbinski wanted to approach Johnny Depp’s Tonto as “Sancho Panza telling the story of Don Quixote,” so the film would come to the audience through Tonto’s perspective. And it was important that the relationship between the Ranger and Tonto be one of equals, not a hero and a sidekick.

“It needs to be a two-hander,” Verbinski explained. “I need the Lone Ranger that’s sort of Jimmy Stewart from [John Ford’s The Man Who Shot] Liberty Valance, who’s going to believe in right and wrong and come in on the train and kind of crash into this sort of [Sam] Peckinpah world where justice can be purchased now.” The Lone Ranger character has to go through a process of education to come to terms with the world as it is. “[W]e take this cop and this Native American and shackle them together and then put them on this quest where their worlds are colliding and they’re the only two people who know the truth and nobody else believes them. [. . .] So you get into a buddy movie. This is [. . .] two guys that sort of don’t get along, but it’s Midnight Run, and that’s kind of the engine underneath this thing and then you deal with the bigger issues, the bigger subtext, of the train and progress and this sort post-modern western.”

The full CinemaBlend interview with Gore Verbinski is available HERE. You can read more about The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum and the Porch General Discussion forum.

Hi-yo, Silver! THE LONE RANGER rides into theaters today!

After years of preparation and a seven-month-long shoot, Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger rides into theaters today, delivering thrilling action, heartfelt characterizations, and the majestic scenery of the still-Wild West to your local multiplex. Johnny Depp plays Tonto, a Comanche who retells the story of how John Reid (Armie Hammer) set aside his law books to become the Lone Ranger, and how the pair banded together to fight injustice. The topnotch supporting cast includes James Badge Dale as Texas Ranger Dan Reid; Ruth Wilson as Dan’s wife Rebecca; Bryant Prince as young Danny Reid; Tom Wilkinson as railroad baron Latham Cole; William Fichtner as outlaw Butch Cavendish; Helena Bonham Carter as a shrewd madam; Barry Pepper as Captain Fuller; and Saginaw Grant as a Comanche chief.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer built an Old West town in New Mexico to use as the film’s set, along with a 200-foot long train tunnel, two 250-ton trains and miles of track. Director Verbinski told Reuters that building such ambitious sets was necessary to achieve the right “feel” for the film’s biggest action scenes: “The movie is an epic tale and I didn’t want it to feel overly lush and too pretty,” he said. “We all know what trains and horses look like, so I wanted to shoot trains and horses and do it the old-fashioned way.”

The Zone congratulates everyone involved in bringing The Lone Ranger to the screen, and thanks them for their vision and commitment.

You can read more about The Lone Ranger on the Zone’s News & Views forum; member reaction to the film is available on the Porch General Discussion forum.

Johnny Depp appears on JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE–new interview!

Wearing rolled-up sleeves and a hat almost as big as the Lone Ranger’s, Johnny Depp appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday night and solved a mystery of several months’ duration: how he happened to get his picture taken with the chart-topping boy band One Direction last November. Midway through the interview, Kimmel produced the photo, saying, “Your daughter tweeted this photograph, and this is you with the band One Direction. How did this happen?”

JOHNNY DEPP: My daughter was . . . she’s a great fan of One Direction and she asked if she could go to see them on — I think The Ellen Show or something like that. (Ed. note — One Direction filmed a concert on November 9, 2012 that aired on The Ellen Show on November 14, 2012.)

JIMMY KIMMEL: Right. Okay.

JOHNNY: So I hooked it up, and . . . (audience laughter)

JIMMY: That’s a nice chit to have, as a dad. I mean, really.

JOHNNY: I arranged for her to go and see them on the show, and then they wanted to come back and say Hi, so —

JIMMY: (incredulous) To your house?


JIMMY: Ow, wow. Wow. That’s a helluva — that’s really hooking it up. So then One Direction went with your daughter back to your house.

JOHNNY: You seem somewhat jealous. (audience laughter)

JIMMY: No one ever comes to my house.

Photos from the show are available HERE. The Zone thanks humiliatedgrape for sharing the photos. You can read more about Johnny’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

“My kids . . . certainly made me grow up,” Johnny Depp tells Charlie Rose–new interview!

In an interview that aired on CBS This Morning on July 1, co-host Charlie Rose engaged Johnny Depp in a far-ranging and lively conversation about many matters dear to Johnny’s heart: the creation of Tonto, the acting process, Marlon Brando, fatherhood and its responsibilities, Johnny as musician, and Johnny’s goals for the future. When Charlie asked what having kids has meant, Johnny replied, “Everything.” He continued:

JOHNNY: They’ve certainly made me grow up, that’s for sure. Just as they sort of progress throughout life — my son, my boy Jack is now 11, my daughter Lily-Rose is 14 — you know, you start getting hit with some very interesting situations in life, as a parent. When they approach that teenage arena, which is frightening, because you still have memories of that age, and the things you might have been doing at that age, so . . . (laughing)

CHARLIE: You lay awake thinking, God, I hope they don’t do what I did.

JOHNNY: Oh, God. Please don’t do what I did.

Asked what his priorities for the future are, now that he’s turned 50, Johnny said his goals were to “search for a little more freedom, here and there. Maybe a little less work — a little more time with the kids — a little more freedom. A little more time off.”

“More space,” Charlie suggested, and Johnny agreed. “More space, more ability to breathe, and not . . . you know, not have to be the novelty.”

The Zone thanks humiliatedgrape for sharing the CBS This Morning interview; you can read more on the Zone’s News & Views forum.