Johnny Depp has plans to play one of history’s most famous magicians. The Hollywood Reporter today brings word that Depp will take on the role of Harry Houdini in Lionsgate’s upcoming The Secret Life of Houdini, to be directed by Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest, RED 2).
First announced in 2009, the big screen project is to be based on the 2006 book of the same name by William Kalush and Larry Sloman. Published in 2006, it is officially described as follows:
Since his death eighty-eight years ago, Harry Houdini’s life has been chronicled in books, in film, and on television. Now, in this groundbreaking biography, renowned magic expert William Kalush and bestselling writer Larry Sloman team up to find the man behind the myth. Drawing from millions of pages of research, they describe in vivid detail the passions that drove Houdini to perform ever-more-dangerous feats, his secret life as a spy, and a pernicious plot to subvert his legacy.
“The Secret Life of Houdini” traces the arc of the master magician’s life from desperate poverty to worldwide fame—his legacy later threatened by a group of fanatical Spiritualists led by esteemed British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Initiating the reader along the way into the arcane world of professional magic, Kalush and Sloman decode a life based on deception, providing an intimate and riveting portrayal of Houdini, the man and the legend.
It was said when the project was first announced that the studio is not looking to make a biopic but rather an action thriller likened in tone to Lucasfilm’s Indiana Jones franchise.
Depp will produce through his Infinitum Nihil alongside Christi Dembrowski with Frank Marshall and Bruce Cohen also attached to produce.
Warner Bros. has officially announced the cast for its film about James “Whitey” Bulger, starring Johnny Depp in the title role.
The currently-untitled project, based on the book “Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob,” began filming in locations around Boston and Cambridge, Mass., this week, CBS Boston reports.
Joining Depp in the film about the Boston mobster will be Benedict Cumberbatch (“Sherlock,” “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”) as his brother, Billy Bulger. Jesse Plemons (“Breaking Bad,” “Friday Night Lights”) will play Bulger’s longtime partner in crime, Kevin Weeks, and Sienna Miller (“Factory Girl”) has been cast as Bulger’s girlfriend, Catherine Grieg.
Other stars joining the film include “Fifty Shades of Grey” star Dakota Johnson as Bulger’s former girlfriend and the mother of his only child, Lindsey Cyr; Joel Edgerton (“The Great Gatsby”) as former FBI agent John Connolly; Julianne Nicholson (“August: Osage County”) as Connolly’s wife, Marianne; Adam Scott (“Parks and Recreation”) as FBI agent Robert Fitzpatrick; and Rory Cochrane (“Argo”) as Steve Flemmi, another member of the Irish mob.
Actors Cory Stoll (“House of Cards”), Brad Carter, W. Earl Brown and David Harbour are also part of the cast, Warner Bros. said.
Here’s the studio’s synopsis of the movie: “In 1970s South Boston, FBI Agent John Connolly (Edgerton) persuades Irish mobster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger (Depp) to collaborate with the FBI and eliminate a common enemy: the Italian mob. The drama tells the true story of this unholy alliance, which spiraled out of control, allowing Whitey to evade law enforcement, consolidate power, and become one of the most ruthless and powerful gangsters in Boston history.”
The film is slated to arrive in theaters next year.
Johnny Depp is a man of many faces, costumes, hairdos and appearances, obviously. His visages basically fall into two camps 1) looking like Johnny Depp’s “movie guy lead character” (i.e. that sort of generic look from “Transcendence” with those same round glasses he uses in so many of his “normal” roles) and 2) his wild and wacky transformations. But in this first look from his upcoming action comedy “Mortdecai,” well, maybe that appearance splits the difference.
Sporting blonde slicked back hair, a suit and even a handle bar moustache, in “Mortdecai,” Depp plays international terrorist, debonair art dealer and part-time rogue Charlie Mortdecai (well that explains the look doesn’t it?). According to the synopsis, juggling angry Russians, the British MI5, and more, Mortdecai must traverse the globe armed only with his good looks and special charm in a race to recover a stolen painting rumored to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold.
Hmmm, if you’re looking a little sideways at that, we can’t blame you. For an action-comedy, that all sounds a little bit silly and possibly too frothy, then again it’s based on a successful trilogy of books, so you know Lionsgate is hoping for a franchise.
The movie also stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Paul Bettany, and Olivia Munn. The real worry frankly is director David Koepp. He’s one of the biggest and most successful screenwriters for hire in the world (“Jurassic Park,” “Carlito’s Way,” “Mission: Impossible,” “Panic Room,” “Spider-Man”) and it’s likely that if all of us had 10 more lives to live, we’d never be as successful as he has been in Hollywood. That doesn’t negate the fact that the last time Depp and Koepp teamed up, we got the disastrous “Secret Window” (2004) which today still stands as one of the worst movies Johnny Depp has ever been in. So proceed with caution and keep your enthusiasm in check. “Mortdecai” opens February 6, 2015 via Lionsgate.
New day, new event! Enjoy few pictures I grabbed from Johnny at the Spike TV’s “Don Rickles: One Night Only”, and I’m hoping I’ll be adding more.
Public Appearances > 2014 > [May 06] Spike TV’s “Don Rickles: One Night Only”
Johnny enchanted us in the perfect outfit by Ralph Lauren last night at the MET Gala. Enjoy the over 150 HQs I’ve added to the gallery. Thanks to Holly for some donations.
Public Appearances > 2014 > [May 05] “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” Costume Institute Gala
Johnny and Amber participated to the opening night of Cabaret in New York yesterday. Enjoy HQs I grabbed helped by my friend Holly.
Public Appearances > 2014 > [April 24] “Cabaret” Broadway Opening Night
Also here there’s a little introducing part when giving the award to Sam and Josh!
LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp would like to transcend being Johnny Depp.
“I don’t want to look back in 30, 40 or 50 years and have my grandkids say, ‘You did a lot of stupid s—, Granddad. What an idiot you were, smiling for the cameras and playing the game.”
He adds with a laugh, “I’d rather they say, ‘Wow, man, you’re nuts.’ ”
Depp, 50, runs a hand through his black shirt and tries to explain his current movie.
“I see this film as a man chosen by God to grow a long beard. He knows the rest of the world will be slaughtered, but the animals will come to him,” he says, adding, “Just wait. That’s ‘Noah!’ Oh, ‘Noah.’ Oh no, no, no!”