"He never leaves... On my first day of shooting on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas I get this call from Bill Murray halfway through the day. He says, 'I just want to warn you about something. Be careful when you're playing Hunter because he never leaves.' Nothing has never been more true. He's still in me every day.'" Johnny Depp has felt a deep connection to Hunter S. Thompson ever since he portrayed the late writer in 1998 movie Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas. Murray portrayed Thompson in 1980 film Where the Buffalo Roam.
Both felt the late 'gonzo journalist' who wrote the book the film was based on was there with them in spirit - and they celebrated the man, who was a close friend of Depp's, with a morning ritual.
Robinson tells WENN, "We had Hunter's chair with a script and Dunhill cigarettes and a bottle of Chivas Regal every morning before we started work. Johnny and I would stick our fingers in (the Chivas Regal) and put the perfume of the whiskey behind our ears to celebrate Hunter. This was for him."
Depp adds, "It was the idea of keeping Hunter's spirit alive on the set for us. I knew I had Hunter with me. When I put my head on the pillow at night, I had him with me. It became addictive for everyone to go over and dab the whiskey on their ear."
Just to keep us guessing, Johnny Depp likes to take a little bit of mainstream and mix it with a little bit of the outskirts. As we know, period dramas are all the rage these days. Mad Men ignited the fad, sparking the great Boardwalk Empire, and newbies Pan Am and the recently-cancelled Playboy Club. So Depp's attachment as producer to a period piece about William Wilkerson, founder of The Hollywood Reporter and Las Vegas' Flamingo Hotel and the man responsible for discovering Lana Turner, is no big eyebrow-raiser. What is a bit bizarre is where this series will air: Lifetime.
Lifetime is infamous for its melodramatic TV movies about tragic accidents, miracle births and women fighting oppression. A dramatic series about high society mogul Wilkerson is not exactly the network's wheelhouse. But perhaps Lifetime is trying to extend its appeal to larger audiences. Depp is certainly one way to go about that. Reportedly, he will have a cameo role in the series -- although if we know Depp, that part won't remain a cameo for very long.
Graham King is producing the series with Depp. King also produced the Depp-starring films Rango and the upcoming Hunter S. Thompson adaptation, The Rum Diary.
The actor is releasing the album through his production company Infinitum Nihil, and it will feature an instrumental from the Johnny Depp Band and a duet with JJ Holiday.
The record will also feature Christopher Young's score, Dean Martin's Volare and Patti Smith's The Mermaid Song, according to Billboard.com.
The film is adapted from the novel of the same name from Depp's longtime friend, the late Hunter S. Thompson.
To a great deal of people, this man means a lot.
He's a man who will certainly not be forgot.
His name's Theodor Geisel, known well as Dr. Seuss.
He's a man of great wisdom, not hardly obtuse.
And he must mean a lot to ol' Johnny Depp:
a dapper young scrap with a pep in his step.
Many a film does this Johnny produce.
And now he'll produce one of ol' Dr. Seuss.
Ol' Johnny as' Geisel—a wonderful match!
To play this dear writer, ol' Depp is a natch!
The project is young still, not quite underway.
But if Depp has his way, then we'll see it some day.
And a film about Seuss? This is long overdue!
The man who imbued us with many a Hoo.
So celebrate, all, this splendiforous news.
A movie, by Johnny, about Dr. Seuss.
In case that wasn't clear, Johnny Depp is putting together (to possibly star in) a biopic about Dr. Seuss. Nothing is cemented yet, but Depp is apparently dedicated to the idea. In the past, Depp has starred in biopic films about writers including , J.M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan (in Finding Neverland), satirist John Wilmot (in The Libertine), and Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, based on the Gonzo journalist's book of the same name; Depp will also be starring in the upcoming Thompson adaptation The Rum Diary, in theaters October 28). Keep your ear out for news on this development; it could be a real winner.
Hunter S. Thompson once said that Johnny Depp was the only man who he'd want to play him onscreen—as a result, we got Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which the vast majority of us embrace as a godsend. The two men became close friends while working on the movie together. After Thompson's suicide, Alex Gibney created the spectacular documentary Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, which Depp narrated.
And now, JD is assuming a Thompsonian role for the third time, complete with the same suspicious baritone voiceover that accompanied both films prior: The Rum Diary, written and directed by Bruce Robinson as an adaptation of Thompson's early novel.
Depp's will play the chaotic Paul Kemp on a Puerto Rican exploit alongside Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard, Giovanni Ribisi and Richard Jenkins.
Source: Imp Awards via Comingsoon
The latest cinematic tribute to the late Hunter S. Thompson is The Rum Diary, based on the author's longtime-unpublished novel about a fictional young journalist's hedonistic and dangerous trip to Puerto Rico. The film stars Johnny Depp as Paul Kemp (whose journey is inspired by Thompson's own Puerto Riccan adventures) as well as Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard, Giovanni Ribisi and Richard Jenkins.
Singing the praises of Hunter S. Thompson is fairly pointless deed. Everyone who knows him has likely already decided how they feel about him. There are the tirless devotees who appreciate the man's onconscionable genius and hold dear the watermark he has forever left on the world of not simply journalism but writing entirely. And then there are the others... whom we'll just gloss over. Regardless of which side you're on, you're likely glued to it. But if you're in the first category, you still hold an unvarying spot in your Top Ten for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
The movie was a godsend -- perhaps the truest and most worthwhile film adaptation of a piece of literature created in our time. Depp portrayed Thompson's alias Raoul Duke with such artistic dedication and originality, narrating his thoughts in a thrilling timber, to cement Terry Gilliam's vibrant love affair with madness.
The Rum Diary, adapted from an even earlier work by Thompson, will reunite Depp with his role playing a thinly veiled embodiment of the author and with the memorable style of narration. It's hard to say if this movie will capture the magic of its cinematic predecessor. Of course, the two stories are not related and are not meant to be compared, but when such important elements are revisited, you can't help but hold one up to the other.
Some of us might be apprehensive. Can today's Depp and director Bruce Robinson (Withnail & I) bring Thompson's words to life in The Rum Diary? We don't know. But let's just say, the film is in capable hands. And the poster seems to be in the spirit Thompson would appreciate. So sure, we're a little nervous. But we're also very excited.
When you watch spy movies, it’s all CIA and MI6, with the occasional taste of Mossad or KGB thrown in for the measure (i.e. this week's The Debt). But what about the other, underrepresented intelligence agencies? Including the ones that aren’t especially intelligent. We’ve assembled a list of government agencies that deserve their own movies. Because if we're living in a world with TWO Johnny English films, there must be available space in spy film market.
Who They Are: The Harry Potter books introduced the Aurors as the magical equivalent of the police—wizards and witches who work for the Ministry of Magic and ensure that magical crimes don’t go unpunished. Their illustrious ranks include James Potter, Nymphadora Tonks, Mad-Eye Moody, and eventually even Harry and Ron, after the end of the series. The Aurors are the Wizarding World’s first line of defense against big baddies like Voldemort and everyday scumbags like Mundungus Fletcher. At least, when they aren’t being used for evil, like in book seven.
Why They Deserve A Film: Okay, hear me out. Now that the Harry Potter books and movies are officially over, it’s only a matter of time until WB tries to do something new with the franchise. And rather than rehash Hogwarts or follow the trio’s kids, why not head in a different direction? An Auror film could either be a prequel, tracking the rise of the Death Eaters and the Ministry’s attempts to stop them, or be set after the events of the series as they face off against organized wizard crime. Can you imagine goblin crime lords? Werewolf drug-dealers? Veela prostitution rings? Well, maybe not that last one, if they want to keep it in the PG-13 zone. And there’s no reason to keep it in England, why not embrace spy-film aesthetics and show us a glimpse of the wider wizarding world? The possibilities are endless (and someone's already dabbled with the possibility, in the April Fool's TV Show "The Aurors")
Who They Are: In the world of The Venture Bros, where super-villainy lurks around every corner, there’s got to be someone mildly competent around to protect against the forces of evil. That’s where S.P.H.I.N.X (!) comes in. While The Venture Bros is crowded with superheroes and secret organizations including the O.S.I. (Office of Secret Intelligence) and The Guild Of Calamitous Intent, S.P.H.I.N.X (!) stands out for having the best talent, best uniforms and best giant talking security Sphinx. Plus, they happen to be pretty good at their jobs, which is especially noteworthy for the Venture Bros universe.
Why They Deserve A Film: Think of it as Team America: World Police for a new generation. Venture Bros as a whole is an excellent series that really deserves a film, but the complicated universe may not translate well to the big screen for beginners. So a familiar starting point—a G.I Joe parody—might make it more accessible. Plus, there’s never been a character as ready for the big-screen as mulleted murder machine Brock Sampson. The Venture Bros delights in skewering and repurposing film tropes, so a transition to the big screen could be as natural as Hunter Gather’s transition to woman and back. (What, we didn’t say that it was a normal spy parody cartoon.) And would be good encouragement for Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick to hire some additional voice actors.
Who They Are: Founded by Queen Victoria, Torchwood has served as Britain’s first line of defense against hostile alien activity. At least, when the Doctor’s busy. Run by immortal Captain Jack Harkness, Torchwood has dealt with dangers large and small, and with a good sense of humor. It’s like Men In Black, but with way more sex. Way, way more sex.
Why They Deserve A Film: Children of Earth proved that Torchwood could be genuinely great. A miniseries that felt more like an intense Hollywood thriller than many intense Hollywood thrillers, Children of Earth proved that Torchwood could get beyond its sex-and-melodrama roots and produce something painfully suspenseful and gripping. The current series, Miracle Day, isn’t quite as good, it’s still a fun show to watch and proves that Russell T. Davies isn’t tapped out yet. Plus, John Barrowman’s Captain Jack Harkness is basically the lovechild of Indiana Jones and James Bond, so it only makes sense that he would to the big screen of his ancestry. Torchwood’s unique blend of spy-thriller and science fiction roots means that the entire universe is at its disposal, for a film.
Who They Are: Before he crashed an airplane on an island or became the next Spielberg, J.J. Abrams made his first foray into nonsensical conspiracies with spy show Alias. Agent Sydney Bristow serves as a double agent in SD-6, an organization that claims to be part of the CIA, but is actually part of a very convoluted ancient society known as the Alliance Of Twelve. SD-6 is a classic evil organization, profiting off of chaos and destruction while striving towards world domination.
Why They Deserve A Film: Before the whole Rambaldi plot collapsed under its own weight, Alias was a pretty great show. And now that J.J. Abrams has a lot more experience with TV and film, this could be a great chance to reboot the franchise from a new perspective. The original Sydney Bristow, Jennifer Garner, is getting a bit old to return to the part, but there’s a new crop of young actresses growing out there who would kill for a role as a well-developed, smart, and kick-ass character in a J.J. Abrams project. My vote? Natalie Morales, who already followed in Bristow’s footsteps in ABC series The Middleman. While we’re not usually big fans of reboots, Alias had so much potential that we’d like to see Abrams get another shot.
Who They Are: After the Austin Powers films, you’d think that the James Bond parody would be tapped out. So it’s a good thing that Archer is so surreal, bizarre, and hilarious that calling it a “parody” barely scratches the surface. The FX series follows the exploits of ISIS, a CIA stand-in so terrible at their jobs that it explains how the Cold War is still going on well into the twenty-first century.
Why They Deserve A Film: After two glorious seasons, Archer is quickly becoming the funniest show on TV. But just because something’s funny for 22 minutes doesn’t mean that it’ll still be funny for two hours. Fortunately, Archer’s humor seems like the type that could translate to the big screen—witty, dialogue-heavy action films, like Lethal Weapon or Iron Man have had success before. And with a full two hours, there would be time for each cast member of Archer’s sprawling ensemble to shine. It’s not often that we see the ISIS crew try to tackle a large-scale mission, but I think they’re up to the challenge. If only because it open up a whole new world of ways for them to screw up.
A trailer has finally surfaced for Rum Diary, Johnny Depp's long-gestating second turn as legendary gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson:
Rum Diary co-stars Amber Heard and Aaron Eckhart, and is written and directed by Bruce Robinson. It opens October 28, 2011.
Click on the image below to view our massive Johnny Depp gallery:
If you first saw those Rango posters and trailers and thought "What the heck is the deal with this cartoon about a Hunter S. Thompson-esque lizard and his little plastic orange fish?" I understand. But you should know there's a lot more going for this strange animated comedy. That description is probably the biggest part. Sure it's rated PG. It's colorful. It has kid-friendly jokes. But it's not a kids' movie. It's a hilarious complex and refreshingly dark animated story.
Director producer and writer Gore Verbinski had this little tale in his head since before he started in on the Pirates of the Caribbean series and when he finished the third film he was finally able to return to this passion project. Set in the town of Dirt a dusty little western hamlet outside of Las Vegas Rango follows a lizard -- also named Rango -- who is thrown from the comforts of his suburban lizard tank into the rough and tumble (modern) Old West. He quickly encounters the dangers of the outside world but when he stumbles upon the little town he accidentally makes himself into a hero thus putting the burden of their vicious drought on his scaly little shoulders. This tale offers a slew of new deserty characters all of which are somewhat cute in their own rights but you'd probably never want to pick them up and cuddle them.
There are two things that make Rango work so fantastically. One is the sheer visual grandeur of the whole thing. Without leaning over to the 3D side of things it looks unlike any animated features we've seen; rich colors incredible detail realistic imperfections and quirks swathed in a dusty southwest exterior make up the background for Rango's adventure. But beyond the incredible landscape and creature features the cast is so full of fantastic actors it's almost unfair. Besides hosting a long list of character actors including Stephen Root and Harry Dean Stanton we find big names like Isla Fisher Abigail Breslin Bill Nighy and Timothy Olyphant (to name a few) lending their able tones as well. Of course leading the charge is Johnny Depp who could carry just about anything (hey how do you think those limping Pirates sequels stay afloat?). He and the rest of the cast were filmed acting out the scenes in costume so the animators could capture their varying emotions and facial expressions onscreen and those efforts are extremely evident in the film.
Now as for the features this Blu-ray offers we've got plenty to work with. In addition to the 10 deleted scenes that you can watch separately or as part of the extended version of the film the Blu-ray offers a few fantastic extras. My favorite it probably the simplest: a picture-in-picture storyboard feature that lets you see each scene's origins. (You may have to be a nerd to enjoy it but it's pretty great.) Next we find features like the behind-the-scenes featurette which lets you glimpse the cast shooting those live action scenes mentioned earlier as well as featurettes about how the film came into fruition. There's a quick little safari of the desert available as long as you don't find the nature guide as obnoxious as I do. Finally there's an interactive tour of Dirt which is probably a little more for the young'uns than adults but it's pretty cute.
The features are great but the real treat here is seeing this beautiful film in 1080p high definition. Verbinksi and his team of animators have really outdone themselves and what could make something so beautiful just that much better? Johnny Depp as a lizard. Case closed.