Johnny Depp

And The Joker is his stylist. CelebBuzz (via Cinema Blend) has a handful of shots that prove that Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have begun shooting Dark Shadows, but the design work going on here is absolutely atrocious. Fortunately, there are more where the one above came from. Of course, we don’t know if this is the costume and make-up work for Barnabas Collins or just Depp arriving to work, but if it’s the former, applause is in order. It’s nice to see that they’re keeping this thing as cartoonish as possible. Dark Shadows was never meant to be taken seriously.

read more...

I’ve reported on the Thin Man remake that Johnny Depp is attached to star in a couple times before. First, there was the news that “Permanent Midnight” author Jerry Stahl would be writing the new screenplay for the film. Then there was word that past Depp collaborator Rob Marshall would be stepping in to direct. A new round of updates on the development of this project seem to confirm that, yes, Marshall is still attached to sit in the director’s chair. However, it seems that Stahl never actually did any writing for the film, so the suits have gotten a new guy to start a script from scratch. According to Deadline Rockland, veteran screenwriter David Koepp has now been charged with the duty of updating the exploits of married P.I. team Nick and Nora Charles. Koepp’s name doesn’t really tell me much about what to expect from this movie. He’s responsible for completely acceptable literary adaptations like Jurassic Park, but he’s also responsible for completely unacceptable literary adaptations like Angels & Demons. I guess his involvement is going to be a bit of a crapshoot.

read more...

Getting The Rum Diary to both page and screen has been a real trip. Hunter S. Thompson wrote the book back in the 1960s, chronicling his adventures writin’ and boozin’ and livin’ down in Puerto Rico (as told through the eyes of his alter-ego “Paul Kemp”), but it was not published until 1998. A film adaptation has been kicked around since 2000, with the film ultimately lensing in 2009, though the film won’t be released until later this year. Johnny Depp plays Kemp in the film, marking Depp’s second attempt at playing Thompson (or, more accurately, a Thompson-based character from the author’s own work), after turning in one of his best performances as the gonzo journalist in Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas back in 1998. Depp again takes on his Thompson twang for another dip into the life of the icon. This time, drugs have been swapped for rum, the deserts of Vegas for the oceans of Puerto Rico. The Thompson follies will likely not abate, however. The film also stars Amber Heard, Aaron Eckhart, Richard Jenkins, Giovanni Ribisi, and Amaury Nolasco. Kick back, take a sip, and check out the trailer after the break.

read more...

It may be considered old news since it happened a whole week ago, but Disney passing on The Lone Ranger is a remarkably good sign. It’s noteworthy for more than the average news of the day because it hints at a crack in the current foundation of studio thinking. It’s barely ever publicized, since a studio refusing to make a film is hardly newsworthy, but a project this high-profile, featuring talent like Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski, that’s been reported on so thoroughly used to be a done deal. Now, that’s not the case. It’s not like this is the end of the story crisis or anything, but it’s the Hollywood equivalent of a crack addict putting down the pipe, and it should be celebrated.

read more...

Despite the fact that the storytelling went off the rails and the budget’s bloated to bursting, Gore Verbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy ended up making Disney more money than most spoiled aristocrats will see in their lifetime. Given his rep as a franchise builder, I thought it was pretty shocking when Disney recently pulled the plug on his upcoming movie The Lone Ranger. Yeah, a $250m budget is ridiculously high for a movie about a couple of guys on horses, but with Verbinski teaming back up with his Pirates star Johnny Depp, and The Lone Ranger already being a property that people are familiar with, I figured this project would be bullet proof. Not so, as according to THR, a Lone Ranger with a $250m budget would have to hit upwards of $800 million to make a profit after all of the necessary marketing costs and shady backroom money trading were handled. Despite the fact that a movie needing to make more than three times its budget to turn a profit is ridiculous, and the surest sign that the studio system is broken, that’s just the way it is. And with John Favreau’s Cowboys and Aliens not coming close to that number this summer, pumping so much money into a Western isn’t a risk Disney is looking to take, even in their Pirates of the Caribbean and Alice in Wonderland magic man Johnny Depp is on board.

read more...

Culture Warrior

A genre nearly as old as filmmaking itself, the western thrived throughout the years of the studio system but has zigzagged across rough terrain for the past forty or so years. For the last fifteen-ish years, the struggling, commercially unfriendly genre was either manifested in a neoclassical nostalgic form limited in potential mass appeal (Appaloosa, Open Range) or in reimagined approaches that ran the gamut between contrived pap and inspired deconstructions (anything from Wild Wild West to The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford). But last December, True Grit – a bona fide western remake that relied on the opportunities available in the genre’s conventions rather than bells, whistles, or ironic tongues in their respective cheeks – became a smash hit. Did this film reinvigorate a genre that was on life support, as the supposed revitalization of the musical is thought to have done a decade ago, or are westerns surviving by moving along a different route altogether? Three westerns released so far this year – Gore Verbinski’s Rango, Kelly Reichardt’s Meek’s Cutoff, and, as of this weekend, Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens – suggest mixed directions for the dusty ol’ genre.

read more...

Ahoy! Yeah, I know that’s a lame way to start. Especially when you consider this week’s Commentary Commentary, our third, goes from essential classics like The Thing and Die Hard to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. We’re not scraping the bottom of the barrel just yet, and even though Curse of the Black Pearl is by no means a bad movie, it just hasn’t reached a level of beloved nostalgia like our first two. Okay. Enough preamble. This DVD offers three separate commentaries featuring various members of the cast and crew, but rather than hear the insight Jack Davenport had to offer – we love you, Jack – it’s probably best to hear from the film’s director and star. So here, without any further waggery or warm-up, is what was learned from their commentary.

read more...

For a while, the only thing we really knew about Disney’s upcoming The Lone Ranger is that Johnny Depp would be starring, curiously enough, as Tonto. Then, as the project began to take shape, we learned that he would be re-teaming with his Pirates of the Caribbean and Rango director Gore Verbinski, who came on to helm things. Then the third big piece of the puzzle came into place when The Social Network’s Übermensch Armie Hammer signed on to play The Lone Ranger himself. And now that the big names are in place, it has come time to begin filling out the rest of the cast.

read more...

Like most giant stars, Johnny Depp is attached to far more projects than he could ever appear in, so any news of upcoming development is near meaningless. With that in mind, here are three more pieces of meat that Depp is adding to his plate. Slashfilm is reporting that he’ll be continuing his engrossing and high grossing relationship with Disney by developing an adaptation of the 1970s made-for-TV movie The Night Stalker which features a journalist who starts to believe that serial killings in and around Las Vegas are actually the work of a vampire (which sounds curiously like the new Fright Night). Along with The Mouse, Depp is also trying to bring the story of Paul Revere’s midnight ride to life. Here’s hoping he doesn’t do all his research for it on Wikipedia. If that weren’t enough, Depp wants to start moving on In the Hand of Dante with Julian Schnabel as the director. According to The Playlist, the project isn’t exactly official, but Depp owns the rights, and Schnabel claims, “We’re gonna work on writing it, developing it.” The story, adapted from the book by Nick Tosches splits its time between Dante finding inspiration to write his “Divine Comedy” in the 14th century and a fictionalized Nick Tosches sinking into the underworld in 2001.

read more...

It was in early May that we reported Disney was ready to get another Pirates of the Caribbean film off the ground, but that the series’ star Johnny Depp wanted them to hold off a little bit. He seemed to want a chance to do other things, but also intimated that he would come back for a Pirates 5 only if the right director and script were in place. Well, just two months later, On Strange Tides has made one billion dollars at the box office and The Wrap is reporting that Depp is already in negotiations to appear in a fifth film. It’s amazing how fast a billion dollars can move things along. The Wrap seems to be talking to sources close to the production (their cousin knows this guy who knows a guy) and apparently a rough draft for Pirates 5 has already been written, and Jerry Bruckheimer and his team of chained up screenwriters are meeting 3 to 4 times a week to get it up to snuff and make sure that it passes muster with Captain Jack. Perhaps that’s a bit of overkill on Bruckheimer’s part. The fact that the last two had terrible scripts didn’t seem to deter anybody from making these movies or going to see them in droves. Screw Pirates 5, I’m already getting excited for Pirates 17. I just hope they can get Depp back for it.

read more...

While enduring the mild pain caused by Transformers: Dark of the Moon, I thought to myself, “Man, this Sam character is a real prick. What type of people actually like this person? This is the best savior we could get?” I then realized that I often find myself thinking this nowadays. We rarely get great, likable heroes or genuine badasses on film anymore. Most are either mopey, passive, or do morally questionable acts. I’m not referring to anti-heroes — although, I do include one on the list — but, rather, the unintentionally lame mainstream characters that aren’t the most compelling or charming. A few of these not-so-heroic characters aren’t due to bad acting. As you’ll notice, Leonardo DiCaprio made the list for Inception, where he gave a solid performance. While I wouldn’t say that most of the actors featured here impressed anyone, DiCaprio and a few others certainly did. Here are ten mainstream characters that exhibit very little heroics:

read more...

It’s obviously Mustache Thursdays around here, and in the second piece of facial hair-based news, Variety is reporting that Tom Wilkinson is close to joining Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp in The Lone Ranger. The veteran actor would be playing a “railroad tycoon” which most likely means he’ll be playing a bad guy, unless this story has the Ranger teaming up with a suave businessman to save the town or something. Casting Wilkinson is always a smart move because he can play just about anything and make it sing. Hammer is a strong leading man type, and Depp will most likely be as crazy as he wants to be as Tonto, but this reboot stands out as trading off of name recognition that has nothing to do comic books or plastic toys from the 1980s. It’s a name that appeals to a considerably older crowd, and it might be an effective move to bring in a younger crowd ready for wild west adventure alongside an older generation that remembers the character (or watching reruns of the character on television). It might be a clever move, and the casting is shaping up really well.

read more...

Two-weeks or so after the release of the near-terrible Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, there’s already a list of directors that Disney is keen on to helm the fifth entry in the quality diving franchise. The list of filmmakers Disney is favoring is a bit surprising. There’s their top pick of Tim Burton, the always busy Sam Raimi, critical darling Alfonso Cuarón, Twilight 2 guy Chris Weitz, and the online venom drawer, Shawn Levy. Apparently an offer went out to Rob Marshall to return months ago, although he may be too busy with his Thin Man remake (*eye roll*)… Burton was rumored for the fourth film as well, but after Alice in Wonderland and Planet of the Apes, I don’t think I’ll ever be interested in seeing a big Burton action sequence ever again. And considering he’s currently working on Dark Shadows then Frankenweenie, he may be not have the time. Side note, when will see an original Burton film again?

read more...

Coming off the heels of box office news that Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides made more money in its standard showings than in its 3D showings, and a weekend in which the big 3D family release Kung-Fu Panda 2 opened softer than analysts were predicting, comes comments from Tim Burton regarding his upcoming films, and whether they will use 3D. As you might remember, Burton’s last film, Alice in Wonderland, used the oft derided 3D post conversion method and became one of the poster children for film’s that didn’t present well crafted 3D effects at all, but still charged the extra money for the ticket. When asked about 3D plans for his upcoming big screen adaptation of the vampire soap opera Dark Shadows, Burton said, “I have no plans for that.”

read more...

Disney’s latest installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise arrived in theaters nationwide yesterday, and in keeping with all things peg-leggy and swashbuckly, I present selections from the On Stranger Tides press conference. Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Rob Marshall, Jerry Bruckheimer, Ian McShane and Geoffrey Rush were front and center for the press event, with moderator Pete Hammond at the helm. Here’s what they had to say.

read more...

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr gets shanghaied by a group of drunken, smelly people he met in a pub. If only, if only these were really pirates taking him aboard a haunted ship. Alas, they weren’t. Let’s just say that there might be a few trips to the pharmacy in store for him. After surviving his if-only-it-were-real-pirates experience, Kevin took a shot at seeing Jodie Foster’s Beaver. Unfortunately, no one told him this was a title to an actual film, so he spent another few days in jail, missing any opportunity to see that new Mel Gibson film at all.

read more...

After the nadir that was Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, it was clear that the most lucrative movie franchise of the new millennium needed some freshening up. So, out (reportedly by their own choosing) went director Gore Verbinski and co-stars Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley. In their stead, new helmer Rob Marshall is relied upon for his eye for grandiose theatrical imagery and staging, while Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane are meant to add spice and character to the proceedings. Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is, well, Captain Jack. Yet On Stranger Tides, the fourth Pirates flick, proves an age-old maxim: the more things change, the more they stay the same. However much the franchise has cosmetically shifted, the new picture is rooted in the familiar: Supernatural-tinged storytelling, murkily-shot battles fought against pristine backdrops, colonial-era costumes and the admittedly unforgettable protagonist, who has become an icon thanks to Depp’s epicene, offbeat take. It is by now a tired formula, rendered in such a way that emotional investment is muted and the more adventuresome aspects are diluted by their adherence to this static aesthetic. Character and atmosphere are sacrificed to spectacle, and the spectacle — sprightly chases, dull sword fights and sweeping, zooming shots of the lush Caribbean sea/countryside — has worn down.

read more...

Dark Shadows is the next chance for Tim Burton to succeed, and he’s playing in a very familiar sandbox. A too-familiar sandbox for some, but there’s still hope that in retuning to Gothic roots in a passion project for Johnny Depp, the director can recapture some magic. The one mystery about the movie is what kind of tone it will take. The television show is well known enough, but the movie could take it seriously, keep the camp, or shoot for something entirely different. Fortunately, there’s a plot synopsis  lurking about (thanks to a Warner Bros. press release announcing the start of filming). Unfortunately, it won’t tell us anything about the tone. Read the synopsis for yourself and try to figure out if Burton and company are going more Scissorhands or more Ed Wood here:

read more...

Despite reports that The Lone Ranger is looking like it’s going to be a movie that will be featuring it’s title character no more prominently than the former sidekick Tonto, it will still be a huge release with all the power of the Disney marketing machine behind it; so I imagine a lot of actors have been going to bed every night hoping and praying that they would somehow get cast as the masked man. Well, those poor saps can put the rosaries away, because they never had a chance. Armie Hammer has it all locked up. What did you expect? He’s 6’5”, 220, and there’s only one of him. Hammer turned heads playing the Winklevoss twins in last year’s high profile film The Social Network. He managed to catch everybody’s attention not only by being statuesque and charming, but by also playing two roles so convincingly that a lot of people who saw the film thought he must have actually been two people. Just imagine how good he’s going to be when he only has to play one guy. Or don’t imagine. You won’t have to. According to Variety we’ll all find out soon enough, as production on The Lone Ranger is set to start moving forward once Depp finishes shooting on Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows and Hammer completes his work on The Brothers Grimm: Snow White.

read more...

The fourth step in a franchise can often be the sticking point, especially when that franchise has taken a break of sorts after the third installment – just ask fans of Die Hard, Indiana Jones, Alien and Scream. The issues are generally two-fold, as the filmmakers are charged with somehow making a high-numbered sequel that retains the spirit of the original, at the same time as offering something new and compelling enough to entice new fans. Add to that the fact that that gap generally means that the fourth installment has to make enough money to turn heads, and certainly a lot more than would traditionally accepted of a third sequel, and you have a minefield of potential pitfalls. But surely Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides would be okay? Regardless of the critical reaction, the film will make an obscene amount of money, so that won’t be an issue, but the pre-release noises coming from the Mouse House, and director Rob Marshall actually seemed to suggest that this particular number 4 was going to address the problems of the preceding two sequels, which for fans and filmmakers alike set some exciting bells ringing. So swelled by that excitement, I donned a pair of the Palais’ frankly ridiculous 3D glasses and settled in to watch a rum and gunpowder caper.

read more...
  PREVIOUS PAGE
NEXT PAGE  
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Comic-Con 2014
Summer Box Office Prediction Challenge
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3