Johnny Depp withdraws from THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY

Johnny Depp has withdrawn from the upcoming film THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY, according to producer Frank Marshall. Johnny was to play Elle France editor Jean-Dominique Bauby in the biopic; Bauby suffered a stroke at the age of 43 and was left completely paralyzed, except for his left eye. Nonetheless, Bauby managed to use his eye to blink out a haunting memoir which not only described how it felt to be trapped inside an unmoving body, but also included the journeys he took in his imagination. Julian Schnabel, who directed Johnny in BEFORE NIGHT FALLS, is set to direct THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY; a script by Ronald Harwood, who won an Oscar in 2003 for THE PIANIST, has been ready for nearly a year. Unfortunately the project fell victim to Johnny’s crowded schedule: “Everybody wants Johnny these days,” producer Marshall told entertainment reporter Louis B. Hobson. “We couldn’t hold him to the project, so we’re in the process of casting a French actor to fill the role. Johnny really wanted the role but he won’t be available for a couple of years, and we couldn’t wait.”

Thanks to emma for breaking the story on the Zone’s News & Views forum; you can read Marshall’s comments HERE. The next project for Johnny, when the third PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movie is completed, is likely to be Peter Weir’s film of SHANTARAM; another project receiving a great deal of buzz recently is a film version of J.P. Donleavy’s classic Irish novel, THE GINGER MAN, to be directed by THE LIBERTINE’s Laurence Dunmore.

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