We’re celebrating! It’s the Zone’s 6th birthday at this site!

Yes, this venture of Sleepy’s and mine has been underway for six full years now, continuing the Johnny Depp Zone tradition that has been operating in one form or another for more than 12 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 and At World’s End; 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 and charm us as the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s blockbuster Alice in Wonderland.

Now Johnny is busy filming his fourth Pirates of the Caribbean adventure, On Stranger Tides, for a new director, Rob Marshall, and we’re awaiting the release of three other films: Bruce Robinson’s version of The Rum Diary, the romantic thriller The Tourist with Angelina Jolie, and Gore Verbinski’s first animated feature, Rango. The year to come will surely be a busy and delightful one!

As we celebrate and reminisce today, I’d like to thank Sleepy and the Zone staff — Theresa, Joni, Shadow, AnaMaria, Liz, and DeppintheHeartofTexas — 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, and to all of our members for making the Zone a wonderful place to be. Thanks to mytreasure for the charming birthday card, and to Andre for his technical wizardry. Most of all, thanks and much love always to Johnny Depp, for being a continual source of inspiration and delight–he’s the reason we’re here!

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