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FROM SWEENEY TODD TO JOHNNY DILLINGER, DEPP KEEPS KNOCKING 'EM DEAD

EQUALLY AT EASE AS A BRITISH SLASHER OR AN AMERICAN GANGSTER, JOHNNY DEPP CERTAINLY KNOWS HOW TO MAKE MURDER PAY. BELOW, DETAILS ON THIS PAIR OF KILLER PIX, PLUS OTHER NEW DEPP PROJECTS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Sacha Baron Cohen, Timothy Spall, Christopher Lee, Jamie Bower, Jayne Wisener, Laura Michelle Kelly, Ed Sanders, Michael N. Harbour, Peter Bowles, Anthony Head, Ian Burford (Directed by Tim Burton; Written by John Logan; DreamWorks and Paramount) From “Edward Scissorhands” to “Ed Wood,” Johnny Depp and his favorite director, Tim Burton, have never been afraid to come across as creepy. Even so, it’s a jolt to learn that their sixth collaboration will be “Sweeney Todd,” the film version of Stephen Sondheim’s 1979 musical about the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, an ex-con who slashes the throats of his customers in order to supply ingredients for the succulent pies to be baked and sold by his equally demonic mate (Helena Bonham Carter, whose casting surely had nothing to do with the fact that she is the mom of Billy-Ray Burton, son of the film's director). Sing out, Johnny! Now Playing

PUBLIC ENEMIES: Johnny Depp (Directed by Michael Mann; Universal) John Dillinger was not as scary as Sweeney Todd, but don't be surprised if Johnny Depp makes the gun-toting terror of thirties Chicago almost as chilling as he makes the demon barber of Fleet Street in Tim Burton's current musical. “Public Enemies” is based on the book by Bryan Burrough about FBI biggie J. Edgar Hoover's crusade to bring Dillinger and other dirty rotten scoundrels to justice. At one point, Leonardo DiCaprio was reportedly in discussion with director Michael Mann about participating in this project. If he's still available, somebody should tell him that the plum role of Baby Face Nelson has yet to be cast. Opening date to be announced

THE RUM DIARY: Johnny Depp, Josh Hartnett, Benicio del Toro, Nick Nolte (Written and directed by Bruce Robinson; FilmEngine) It’s been nearly 10 years since Johnny Depp played Raoul Duke, a hell-raising journalist, in the film version of Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” Nobody, including the author, believed that Duke was anyone other than Thompson himself. Now Depp is playing Paul Kemp, an eccentric reporter in “The Rum Diary,” the autobiographical novel the late Hunter published when he was 22. Set in San Juan, Puerto Rico, during the fifties, “Diary” depicts the chaotic, booze-and-drugs fueled adventures of a brawling Hunteresque freelancer from New York who tries to twist himself into a latter-day Hemingway. Playing his unruly expatriate pals: Nick Nolte, Benicio del Toro and Josh Hartnett. Sounds like a high time will be had by all. To read Guy Flatley's 1979 interview with Nick Nolte, click here. Opening date to be announced

SHANTARAM: Johnny Depp, Emily Watson, Franka Potente (Directed by Mira Nair; Written by Eric Roth and Gregrory David Roth; Warner Bros.) An Australian named Lindsay (Johnny Depp) has a major heroin habit which sends him to what promises to be a long, harsh term of imprisonment. As in the Gregory David Roberts novel from which this drama stems, however, Lindsay escapes and lands in a crime-crammed Bombay slum, where he manages to pass himself off as a crackerjack physician--one who engages in gunrunning and smuggling in order to give his poor patients the kind of care they so richly deserve. The next stage of Lindsay’s physical and spiritual journey is Afghanistan, where he joins the insurgents in their struggle to oust the Russians. Tomorrow Iraq? Peter Weir, who was set to direct "Shantaram," dropped out when the folks at Warner Bros. informed him that his take on the material was all wrong. He was replaced by Mira Nair, director of "Monsoon Wedding" and "The Namesake." Opening date to be announced

SASHA'S STORY: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF A RUSSIAN SPY: Johnny Depp (Warner Bros.) Will moviegoers glut themselves on a double serving of the true-life tragedy of Alexander “Sasha” Litvinenko, the KGB agent-turned-superspy who suffered a hideous death last November after dining on sushi containing polonium-210? Possibly so, if both Warner Bros. and Columbia follow through with plans to fast-track competing versions of the same raw-deal tale. The Warner Bros. project, "Sasha's Story: The Life and Death of a Russian Spy," is based on a Doubleday book being written by Alan Cowell, the New York Times bureau chief who has covered the story extensively for The Times. It’s extremely likely that Johnny Depp, whose Infinitum Nihil production company is partnered with Warner Bros., will play the bigger-than-life character who, on his deathbed, accused Vladimir Putin of plotting his murder. While the people at Columbia will not have the pleasure of Johnny Depp’s company on their Litvinenko take, they will surely be working with solid pros, starting at the top with director Michael Mann, and including Marina Litvinenko, the former spy’s widow, and Alex Goldfarb, her collaborator on “Death of a Dissident,” a book scheduled to be published by Free Press, a Simon & Schuster subsidiary, in May. No word on who’ll play Litvinenko in “Death of a Dissident.” But the names of Tom Cruise and Sacha Baron Cohen do flutter to mind. Opening date to be announced