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Once Rumored Movie Projects

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BROWN : Movie that isn't scheduled to be shot.
GREEN : Movie that has already been shot or is about to be shot.

Dark Shadows

7/18/2002 SCIFI.COM
Dark Shadows Lurks Again?
Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis confirmed that he is developing a new big- screen version of his gothic soap opera, according to TV Guide Online. "We are working on making that happen," Curtis told the site. "We have people who are interested in providing financing, and we're having lots of conversations."
Curtis added, "Will it happen? I can't say, but it's a possibility. Do you want to hear something funny? We'd heard for ages that Johnny Depp always wanted to play Barnabas Collins, so we checked into it, and lo and behold, depending on the script, it is something that he'd like to do." He continued, "I'd also very much like to work with [screenwriter] Steven de Souza, and we've had a lot of fun talking about it. Dark Shadows has an undying audience. The show never goes away. It's running on SCI FI Channel, and 40 episodes were recently put out on a four-disc DVD set. I understand they sold out within days and [Mpi Media Group] had to go back for a second printing. Never in my life did I imagine that the show would still be around."

Dark Shadows Online!

Dark Shadows [TV-Series 1966-1971]

Dark Shadows [TV-Series 1991]

Deep Cover

5/15/2001 DarkHorizons
Deep Cover: Cinefantastique reports that Director Mike Newell and Johnny Depp are in talks to do this sequel to "Donnie Brasco"

Book "Donnie Brasco:Deep Cover"

Diamond Dead

First is a letter to Johnny Depp:
Dear Mr. Depp,
I am enclosing a copy of the script, DIAMOND DEAD by Brian Cooper. I am a huge admirer of your work.
I will be directing and have just completed a rewrite, which I feel is very close to what we want the film to be. It lampoons everything from the music business to organized religion, the federal government and the blind adoration of crazed and insatiable fandom.
It is a black comedy with songs and music by Richard Hartley (who composed the music for THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW). It is not a rock opera, but is a unique story of a Rock Band who returns from the dead to appear in one more rousing rock concert.
We are beginning to generate a lot of interest because ROCKY HORROR (Richard) meets NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (me). Richard has recorded a demo of nine songs. The producer, Andrew Gaty and I are very excited about the possibility of making this an extraordinary movie because we love the material and think there is a vast audience who will get it.
We would be thrilled if you would consider appearing in the film. The band leader, Dr. D would require less of a time involvement. Mathias, the owner of the theater where the band performs, would be run-of-the-show with breaks. Alison Lohman (White Oleander, Matchstick Men) is reading the script for the character of Aria. We also hope to have the likes of David Bowie or Sir Ian McKellen in our film. We expect to shoot around March next year, possibly in England.
We have also finished some preliminary designs of the costumes and makeup as they are all very important "characters" in this genre of horror musical. I am hoping that you might be attracted as we are to DIAMOND DEAD and I would be happy to send you the music demo and the sketches. And, at your convenience, I would be delighted to talk to you about your ideas on the project.
George Romero

05/06/2004 Ananova
Stars lined up for zombie rock movie
Johnny Depp, David Bowie, Marilyn Manson, Ozzy Osbourne and Gwen Stefani are being sounded out for roles in a movie about a rock band that comes back from the dead.
Zombie flick Diamond Dead would be made by George A Romero, who directed Night of the Living Dead, and Rocky Horror Show composer Richard Hartley.
The film comes with a ready-made fan base - its website, www.diamonddead.com, has already attracted eight million hits.
Unusually, it gives fans the chance to read the film's script and engage in regular webchats with the makers about all aspects of the movie including casting and financing.
In one post, producer Andrew Gaty reveals: "We discussed several casting possibilities. Zach is exploring the possibility of Johnny Depp in any role, who I heard is a Romero fan.
"We are also finding out about David Bowie, Marilyn Manson, Ozzy Osbourne. We also discussed Gwen Stefani for Aria. I am particularly interested to hear your thoughts on Gwen."
And, later, he adds: "The script is out to Marilyn for the role of Jesus Christ. Any comments?"
Ridley and Tony Scott's Scott Free Productions have signed up to co-produce the project with Gaty.
The black comedy, based on a script by Brian Cooper, sees an aspiring female singer attempt to join an up-and-coming garage band, only to accidentally cause their demises.
She makes a deal with Death to bring the group back, whereupon they become an overnight success.

Official Site


The Z Review

Eliza Graves

1/2001 Newsletter (the Hollywood Reporter web site on 1/4/01)
Helmer Singer has Depp in mind

Johnny Depp, hot off his critically acclaimed performances in "Chocolat" and "Before Night Falls," is being courted by helmer Bryan Singer to star in the lead role of his Renaissance Films' drama "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind." No negotiations have begun as the actor is mulling over several feature film offers, including Icon Prods.' "Eliza Graves," as he decides his next move. "Confessions" is a fictitious account of the secret life of "The Gong Show" host Chuck Barris, who also was purportedly a CIA hit man. "Graves," set in the early part of the 20th century, is about a young doctor working in an asylum who falls in love with a patient. Depp is repped by UTA.

Eliza Graves

Set during the post-Civil War era, Eliza Graves tells a story of upside down circumstances. A medical student from Harvard travels to Maine for a residency in an insane asylum. Upon arriving at his assignment, the student learns that it's not the doctors and staff, but rather the patients running the ward. Joe Gangemi scripted this project based on a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. Mike Van Diem will direct for Paramount Pictures and Icon Productions. Mel Gibson produces along with Bruce Davey. The historical drama, which has Ian McKellan and Heath Ledger attached to star, is currently in the development phase.

Fame, Ain't It A Bitch

5/11/2001 E! Online Movie Scoop
Fame, It Ain't a Bitch:
E! personality A.J. Benza (and I'm not just mentioning him so I'll be booked on his new E! show A.J. After Hours) celebrated the release of Fame: Ain't It a Bitch, a memoir of his days in New York's gossip trenches, at a sprawling Bel-Air manse last week. Heady from the attention, he told me Miramax optioned the rights for a film (the company also synergistically published the book under its Talk Miramax imprint) to star Johnny Depp.
"And I said, 'There isn't a better person I want to play me.' It's a fucking dream. I've loved Johnny Depp forever and ever," Benza says. "I love him more than Winona Ryder loved him. To see his name next to mine gives me chills. He's beautiful. I'm not gay, but at that point, I almost switched over." Though A.J. won't play himself, he plans to cameo as one of his Long Island-bred friends. "I gotta," he says. "It's my shot. How many chances do you get? You know Hollywood--it might never get made, but just the fact that they're talking about it and saying Johnny's name next to mine..."

Book "Fame Ain't It a Bitch: Confessions of a Reformed Gossip Columnist"

The Fountain

8/2002 Newsletter
HOLLYWOOD superstar Brad Pitt will call Sydney home when he arrives in Australia next month to start work on his new $100 million movie. The Warner Brothers movie The Fountain will be based on the Gold Coast, but the film company has also reserved space at Fox Studios for the next four months. The rumour in Los Angeles is that Pitt and his wife, Friends star Jennifer Aniston, want to base themselves in Sydney rather than on the Gold Coast. A partial move to Sydney would suit Pitt's co-star, Cate Blanchett, who has just returned home to Sydney with husband Andrew Upton and their newborn son, Dashiell. Upton starts rehearsals tomorrow for the world premiere of his own production, Hanging Man, opening on August 28. Last year, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr criticised the Gold Coast after filming Scooby-Doo. They complained about the lack of quality restaurants and the level of harassment from fans and photographers. Pitt and Aniston are expected to spend up to six months in Australia working on the big-budget film. The project almost collapsed last month when the budget blew out because of last-minute script changes. Pitt spent months in Hawaii working on the script and waiting to finalise finance for the movie, which revolves around time travel. The Fountain, directed by Requiem For A Dream's Darren Aronofsky, was initially going to be filmed completely at Movie World on the Gold Coast but it will now almost definitely be filmed in Sydney. "We never talk about what films are coming in," said Fox Studios spokeswoman Victoria Buchan, "but we have put a hold on studio space for both Fox and Warners." While Pitt may prefer Sydney, his minders have also been scouting for a suitable high-security beachfront mansion on the Gold Coast to accommodate him and Aniston while he is filming there. "He wanted a house on the beach, which was 20 minutes away from each location for the film," confirmed one insider, who said pre-production would start in Sydney next week. The movie will also star Johnny Depp. ARTICLE END. Also - Corona article about The Fountain

Darren Aronofsky Online
Depp Falls Into 'The Fountain'...NOT!
July 30, 2002: A couple updates ago, we posted a story from Australian newspaper The Daily Telegraph (click here to view) about The Fountain. The Telegraph got it mostly right, except for launching a rumor that took off around the net about Johnny Depp's involvement in the film...oops.

Yahoo! Movies

Four North

05/21/2004 Herald Sun
Mum stunned by $7m
By Alison Barclay
HOLLYWOOD has just found its next big all-Australian thing - not a movie star but a modest medical worker from Melbourne.
Heather Morris, manager of the social work team at Monash Medical Centre and first-time screenwriter, has signed a $7 million deal with Hollywood production company Talk Story to produce her first film. Four North is based on her experiences in Monash's pediatric oncology ward. It will be shot in Melbourne this year and next.
The cast is yet to be chosen, but Best Actress Oscar nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes has read the script. "And we love Johnny Depp," Morris says wishfully.
The mother of three is stunned by her incredible beginner's luck. Squeezing a year-long screenwriting course around her social work duties, Morris penned the script at night.
Four North is inspired by the real-life story of a young computer worker's accidental visit to the children's cancer ward.
"He is my anti-hero. The incidences in the screen play, they are real ones; they did happen. People say that could not possibly have happened, but they did!" said Morris.
She made her breakthrough last year when, on a trip to Los Angeles, she noticed the American Screenwriters' Association was holding a conference. She asked if she could attend.
There, she met film producer Kathie Fong Yoneda and pitched her story during a tea break.
"I left her nothing in writing," Morris admits. "It was a woeful pitch. My synopsis was even worse."
But Yoneda was intrigued. She alerted colleague Pamela Wallace to the curious yarn and she optioned it.
Between them, Yoneda and Wallace have more than 25 years' worth of film credits, including Witness, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and the Paul Newman film The Colour of Money. The two will be in Melbourne this weekend to give a seminar for screenwriters and producers and, they hope, flush out more talent to take home.
Morris says Hollywood is hungry for new material and keen to cultivate Australian writers.
Kathie Fong Yoneda and Pamela Wallace will give a seminar for screenwriters at ACMI, Federation Square, this weekend. Cost: $395. Call 8663 2583.

The Front Runner

The Latest Buzz On The "Liberace Movie"! (See Liberace)
THE ADVOCATE, August 31, 1999

Or how about a track suit and whistle? The star is also mentioned as a contender for the long-awaited film version of Patricia Nell Warren's The Front Runner. Barry Sandler, who's adapting the heartbreaking novel with the author, says Depp has a "real magnetic intensity and vulnerability" necessary for track coach Harlan. Go, Jonny, go!

Book "The Front Runner"

Gangs Of New York

8/1999 Newsletter
Mitchell Fink said on CNN Showbiz Today that Johnny has reportedly been offer a lead in Martin Scorsese's "Gangs Of New York". The actors already attached to the film are Robert Deniro and Leonardo Dicaprio. The role Johnny would play is Deniro's oldest son. Leo's big brother. It is a story that takes place in New York in the 30's about a Mob war. I have heard other reports about this movie where Johnny's name has not been mentioned but I, personally, am keeping my fingers crossed for this one.

Book "The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld"

Official Site


Yahoo! Movies

Geek Love

2001/4/1 L.A.Times interview
He also hopes to one day reteam with Burton for a the film adaptation of the cult novel "Geek Love," a Warner Bros. property the two discussed making years ago. Depp would play Arturo, a murderous flipper-footed circus oddity-another tailor-made role for a man who owns a collection of rare bugs and horrific medieval paintings celebrating the Inquisition, letters from Charles Manson, naughty videos of celebrities and a torture chair placed in the entryway to his home.

Book "Geek Love"

Ghost Rider

6/2000 Newsletter
'Ghost Rider' Movie On the heels of yesterday's big Marvel/Artisan production deal comes word from Marvel Enterprises and Crystal Sky Entertainment about a feature film based on the Ghost Rider comic book. The film is planned to have a budget in the $75M range and will start shooting early next year. In addition, the production is hoping to get Johnny Depp for the role of Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle stunt rider who makes a pact with the devil that will allow him to avenge a wrongdoing to a loved one. By day, Blaze is a normal man, but at night he is transformed into a burning skeletal demon on wheels who hunts down those who have brought pain to the innocent. The film will be produced by Avi Arad, Steven Paul and actor Jon Voight, who may also take a role in the film. The film's screenplay was written by David Goyer (Blade).

Ghost Rider Hype!(Movie "Ghost Rider" Fansite)
Nic Cage Has the Eyes for Ghost Rider
Friday, June 7, 2002 10:03 CDT
Marvel Studios' Avi Arad spoke to Empire Australia Magazine about the Ghost Rider movie adaptation.
So Nicolas Cage was picked to play "Ghost Rider" over the interested Eric Bana - but why? "Ghost Rider to me was always Nic Cage, because he has the eyes," says Arad. "We are about to start Ghost Rider - one of the greatest morality tales."
Thanks to Moviehole.

Vengeance Unbound(The Ultimate Ghost Rider Fansite)


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The Z Reviews

Good Omens

3/2001 Newsletter
The state of Terry Gilliam's directing career is reminiscent of where Ridley Scott found himself in the 1990s, snakebit by the collapse of "Crisis in the Hot Zone." After spending years to make "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" -- the film's collapse was the subject of the documentary "Lost in La Mancha," which Gilliam premiered at the Berlin Film Festival -- He's also got two promising films he wants to do back-to-back. Gilliam is in talks with Johnny Depp and Robin Williams to star in "Good Omens," which he and longtime writing partner Tony Grisoni adapted from the novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, about the battle between heaven and hell to track down the newborn antichrist after it is misplaced at the hospital. The elements are Gilliam stalwarts: Depp starred in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and the aborted Quixote pic, Williams starred in "Brazil" and "The Fisher King" and Chuck Roven produced "12 Monkeys."

3/26/2002 Ain't It Cool News
Bad Omens of Terry Gilliam's GOOD OMENS project?
Harry here.... What the hell? Ok, first off this could very well be a brilliant frickin film. Something we have never seen before, and damn Monkey See Monkey Do Money Men are getting in the way of getting this baby made. Someone out there step up to the plate. The idea that Gilliam has the sort of trouble he has making movies is absolutely unforgivable. The man is a master fillmmaker and he has to go through the hell of a thousand rusty razor blades just to have a project fall apart every 2 or 3 years.... THIS IS NOT RIGHT! New Line? Dreamworks? Sony? Somebody cool? COme on!
I doubt very much that you have missed this, but thought that this snippet of info about the Gaiman/Pratchett novel would interest you. Taken from this months Total Film magazine....
That was then.. The idea of Terry Gilliam bringing Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaimans fantasy comedy to cine life had us excited back in Issue 38. Progress was slow though, with Gaiman cagey about its chances. This is now.. In Issue 55 Gilliam told Total Film that the script (co-written with Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas collaborator Tony Grisoni) was close to finished and he was hopeful of getting it made. A quick chat with El Tel this month, though, reveals a much less rosy outlook. Despite rumours linking Gilliam alumni Robin The Fisher King Williams and Johnny Fear and Loathing Depp to roles, it looks like Good Omens is a no-go. "We've been trying to raise the money. I thought we had it, but it doesnt look like we do now", he admits. "I think its another one thats collapsed."

Book "Good Omens"

Dreams The Terry Gilliam Fanzine


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The Great Raid

11/2001 Newsletter
Dahl, Miramax storm to front for 'Great Raid'
By Zorianna Kit LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter)
Filmmaker John Dahl ("Joy Ride") is in negotiations to helm Miramax Films' drama "The Great Raid." The project will reteam Dahl with the studio for which he directed the 1998 feature "Rounders." Written by Carlo Bernard and Doug Miro, "Raid" is set during World War II and follows a group of U.S. soldiers, led by an ambitious young colonel, who are sent to liberate American prisoners of war from a Japanese camp in the Philippines. Sources said the studio hopes to enlist Johnny Depp to star in the project and has made the actor an offer. Marty Katz ("Reindeer Games") is producing "Raid." Miramax executive vp production Jon Gordon and vp production and development IMichelle Raimo are said to be overseeing the project.

Yahoo! Movies
(5/23/02) Before Benjamin Bratt signed on, Johnny Depp had also been approached to star as Colonel Henry Mucci.

Book "The Great Raid on Cabanatuan : Rescuing the Doomed Ghosts of Bataan and Corregidor"


Howard Hughes biopic

4/1998 Newsletter
At ShoWest in March, an announcement was made that Johnny is considering playing Howard Hughes in a project called "Empire: The Life, Legend and Madness of Howard Hughes. Here is an article about the picture which appeared in Variety on 3/12/98:
"AS VEGAS (Variety) - Filmmaking brothers Allen and Albert Hughes are set to direct a biopic of Howard Hughes at Universal, with Johnny Depp attached to star as the once-dashing billionaire who eventually became a germophobic recluse. The Hughes brothers, said sources, have set Terry Hayes to adapt ``Empire: The Life, Legend and Madness of Howard Hughes,'' the bio written by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele...
The Hughes brothers will produce the billionaire biopic with Kevin Messick, president of their Universal-based production company Underworld Entertainment.
Depp, last seen as the title character in the Mike Newell-directed ``Donnie Brasco,'' will have his hands full with Hughes. A millionaire at age 18, the handsome Hughes became a celebrity playboy, famous for producing such films as ``Hells Angels'' and ``The Outlaw,'' meanwhile becoming the most famous pilot since Charles Lindbergh. He romanced great Hollywood beauties like Jean Harlow and Katharine Hepburn.
But Hughes is also well remembered for his descent into a world of isolation. His downfall began when he survived a near-fatal airplane accident and became hooked on prescription drugs. By the time he died, he was a long-haired, long-fingernailed wreck who was bedridden much of the time and developed a debilitating fear of germs and diseases. According to the book, his arms were spotted with broken pieces of hypodermic needles embedded in his skin. Hayes will script the story to have it ready for the Hughes brothers to direct when they finish ``From Hell,'' sources said. The brothers would not comment. Depp is repped by ICM's Tracey Jacobs. "

Book "Empire: The Life, Legend and Madness of Howard Hughes"

Howard Hughes Corporation

The Hulk

9/1997 Newsletter
One report from Zentertainment (http://www.zentertainment.com) was that Johnny has been offered the role of Bruce Banner in a movie about the Incredible Hulk comic book character. In the 9/5/97 New York Post this role was further explained: "He's also in discussions with director Gayle Anne Hurd about doing the voice for the "Incredible Hulk", a special-effects fantasy to be produced by the wizards at George Lucas' factory."

Yahoo! Movies
9/18/01 - Coming out of left-field is the news reported by Michael Fleming of Variety that the current front-runner to play Dr. Bruce Banner is Australian Eric Bana, star of the violent bio, Chopper.

The Incredible Hulk

Official Site


It Only Rains at Night

7/2002 Newsletter
Heading Top Ten Unproduced Screenplays
"It Only Rains at Night" (2/1992 Movieline)
Screenwriter Neal Jimenez, who wrote "River's Edge" and wrote and co-directed "The Waterdance," taps into something bleak, savage, personal and outrageously funny in this frighteningly deadpan parable. The screenplay, to which Johnny Depp has been committed for several years, reads like an odd mix of Kafka, Jim Jarmusch and funky, Max Fleischer version of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit." It's about a lonely, bland bachelor who by day beheads society's "enemies," and by night practices gourmet cooking while listening to old Jack Benny radio shows. The crisis in this offbeat world occurs when he falls in love with the severed head (it can talk, too!) of one of his victims. Jimenez is that rare bird who can create an alternate universe that's completely idiosyncratic, yet accessible. In this hypersurreal world the central character is described walking against a background of the same stock footage of "neighbors" over and over. He lives by his company's motto, "To Protect and Sever." And once he's awakened to the madness of his existence and ponders suicide, the old codger angel from "It's a Wonderful Life" comes along to advise him to go ahead and end it all. "It Only Rains at Night" has producers Midge Sanford and Sarah Pillsbury (who produced Jimenez's acclaimed screenplay "River's Edge") sold. "It's one of those projects that development and middle- level executives just love, but that their bosses think is just too weird," says Sanford, known as an advocate of edgy material. "It is weird, wonderful, and with Johnny starring and Neal directing, it will someday make a very special movie."

1999/11/17 Sleepy Hollow chat event
blondjay77 asks: Hi Johnny! -You are brilliant! Do you have any more plans to DIRECT?
Johnny Depp: wow!!! thank you blondjay!! yeah, there's a film I'd like to do hopefully we'll do it next year there's a script by Neil Jimnez called *It Only Rains at Night*

It Started With Eve

9/2001 Newsletter (August's Film Review mag)
Johnny Depp and Jennifer Love Hewitt are teaming up for a new version of the 1941 romantic comedy "It Started With Eve". The $40 million remake will have virtually the same story as the Deanna Durbin and Robert Cummings original, recounting the deathbed wish of a crusty millionaire to meet the fiance of his wayward son. Because he's free and single, the son asks a cloakroom attendant to pose as his bride-to-be for a day. The farcical complications begin when the millionaire takes a shine to the girl and then makes an unexpected recovery from his illness. Albert Finney is being sought to play Depp's screen dad, the part originally taken by Charles Laughton, and Bruce McColloch ("Dog Park") may direct.

Yahoo! Movies
Cast: Hugh Grant (in talks); other cast not announced yet.

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