BREAKING NEWS–Johnny Depp to film PUBLIC ENEMIES for director Michael Mann

What will Johnny Depp be doing this winter? Preparing to play notorious 1930s gangster John Dillinger in Michael Mann’s film PUBLIC ENEMIES, which is scheduled to begin shooting on March 10, 2008 in Chicago. Windy City Deppheads, rejoice!

Yes, it’s official; Variety reports that Johnny and Michael Mann met and settled the deal yesterday in Los Angeles. “Meeting hours before the Hollywood premiere of Depp’s SWEENEY TODD, the director and actor shook hands on a deal that triggers a March 10 start for PUBLIC ENEMIES in Chicago,” says Variety. ” [The] drama is set during the great crime wave of 1933-34, when the government’s attempts to stop Depression-era criminal legends such as John Dillilnger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd transformed J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI into the country’s first federal police force.”

PUBLIC ENEMIES will be made for Universal, Variety reports, with Mann and his Forward Pass producing along with Kevin Misher and his Misher Films. Tribeca’s Jane Rosenthal will be executive producer.

The current writers’ strike will pose no problem for PUBLIC ENEMIES; director Mann is likely to be satisfied with the script in its current state, as he wrote it himself. The screenplay is based on Bryan Burrough’s 2004 book, PUBLIC ENEMIES: AMERICA’S GREATEST CRIME WAVE AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI, 1933-34.

The Zone thanks Emma and Theresa for breaking the news in this fast-developing story–the first whisper of this project appeared in the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER on Tuesday, and one day later it was a done deal. You can read more about the project on the Zone’s News & Views forum; to read the Variety article, click here:

The Zone congratulates Johnny Depp and Michael Mann on their new project, and wishes them a swift and satisfying shoot in Chicago. PUBLIC ENEMIES will certainly be on our Most-Wanted list! –Part-Time Poet

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