The Hollywood Reporter calls Johnny Depp “the latest A-list actor to fall victim to the Writers Guild of America strike” in a story headlined “Depp in play as strike delays two films.” That doesn’t mean that Johnny will be toplining a stage production any time soon (although the idea is not without charm); “in play” means that he is currently free–not committed to any film that’s shooting soon–and that studios can hope to entice him to sign on to a new project that would film in early 2008. The Zone sincerely hopes there are some interesting projects out there with completed shooting scripts and an intriguing role that would be perfect for Johnny Depp, and that Tracey Jacobs’ phone is ringing right now.
About the two Depp films put on hold, the Hollywood Reporter says, “The actor was scheduled to film SHANTARAM–Warner Bros. and Initial Entertainment Group’s adaptation of the Gregory David Roberts novel–in the winter, but that project has now been postponed. Among the reasons the film has been delayed is that the script was not in the shape the filmmakers wanted; the current strike prohibits any revisions. Budgetary concerns also were a factor. Sources said SHANTARAM’s budget was heading north of $75 million, outside the studio’s comfort zone for the drama set in India and Afghanistan.”
As for THE RUM DIARY, it has also been “put on hold,” says the Hollywood Reporter. “Bruce Robinson, whose 1987 comedy WITHNAIL & I gained a cult following, was adapting and directing. THE RUM DIARY, loosely based on [Hunter S.] Thompson’s experience working as a freelance journalist in Puerto Rico in the late 1950s, is in the development stages. Depp had planned to make the film after SHANTARAM.”