The Lone Ranger

There’s no question at this point that The Lone Ranger was a big fat flop, but why it failed so badly remains up for debate. Were audiences turned off by the cultural insensitivity? Does Johnny Depp need to put down the white makeup? Was the movie just not very good?

According to director Gore Verbinski, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and stars Depp and Armie Hammer, the answer is none of the above. Instead, the team pegs the film’s poor box office performance on film critics, whom they believe were “gunning for” the movie due to its production troubles. Cue every single movie reviewer I know: If only we had that kind of power. Hit the jump to watch them complain.

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Johnny Depp

If the failure of The Lone Ranger suggested that audiences may be ready to take a break from Johnny Depp, the actor’s latest statements indicate that the feeling may be mutual. Depp told UK press today that he was “probably not too far away” from retiring from acting, after about three decades in the business.

Even if Depp decides to quit, however, it won’t be for some time yet. He’s got about five films lined up for the next couple of years, four of which haven’t even begun shooting yet. Hit the jump to read his comments.

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Gwyneth Paltrow / Ewan McGregor

The Lone Ranger was a low point for Johnny Depp, but the actor’s already brushed himself off and moved on. Wally Pfister’s Transcendence is shooting now, Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods enters production later this year, and he’s got David Koepp’s Mortdecai coming together after that.

The last film on that list got a nice shove forward last month when Depp started closing in on a formal deal after years of development. Now it’s picking up even more big names, as Gwyenth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor enter talks to co-star. Hit the jump for plot details and more.

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Johnny Depp

The Lone Ranger flopped so hard last weekend that it had pundits wondering whether Johnny Depp‘s star was, at long last, on the decline. But despite the $150 million it stands to lose on that film, the folks at Disney haven’t lost faith in him. In fact, they’re eager to take their relationship with him to the next level.

Depp’s production company Infinitum Nihil has closed a first-look deal with the Mouse House, after years set up at Warner Bros. In addition, Depp’s just about set to reprise his role as the Mad Hatter for the Alice in Wonderland sequel, currently titled Into the Looking Glass. More details after the jump.

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transcendence_1-header

The film Transcendence is the directorial debut of Christopher Nolan’s long-time cinematographer Wally Pfister. The film has mostly been a mystery so far; we know the cast, which includes Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Rebecca Hall, Cillian Murphy, Clifton Collins Jr., Kate Mara, and Paul Bettany. And we know that the story involves the transferrence of consciousness from a human (Depp) into a computer.

Most of the rest of the details have been under wraps. And they’ll remain so, but a few more teaser bits have come to light. Above is the first still from the production of the movie, showing the basic look Depp and Hall sport in the movie. And a brief behind the scenes featurette, embedded after the break, gives you a bit more info to go along with a Chinese teaser poster and quote from one producer about the aims of the film. Read More »

johnny-depp-secret-window

Johnny Depp‘s The Lone Ranger died at the box office last weekend, and looks likely to land as one of his films that finds particularly minor traction in the minds of audiences. In other words, most of the people who’ll remember The Lone Ranger in ten years are those who made and paid for it. Kinda like Secret Window, a decent  film that Depp and David Koepp made together almost a decade a ago (released in 2004) but which has fallen between the cracks of Pirates releases and other big-ticket stuff featuring the actor.

Now Depp and Koepp (which would have been a great name for a vaudeville duo) are getting back together to adapt The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery, a crime novel with comedic overtones. The resulting film will likely be called simply Mortdecai, and represents the end of a development effort that Depp has been trying to keep moving for a while. Read More »

The Lone Ranger

Why is a film in which a magic horse eats scorpions off Armie Hammer’s face so insufferably fractured and dull? Now that I’ve got your attention, consider the unfortunate fate of a film, one eager to subvert Western tradition, which becomes deeply lost in the wilderness between the arthouse and multiplex.

The Lone Ranger, masterminded by the Pirates of the Caribbean team of Gore Verbinski (director) and Jerry Bruckheimer (producer), throws out one weird idea after another — fanged rabbits factor in — almost as distractions for the fact that it wants to batter the very myth of the American west. In all cases, it does so without any significant unifying principle to weave the ideas into a movie of any compelling merit. More interesting to talk about than it is to watch in the moment, The Lone Ranger is still a dud in the end.

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Alice in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll wrote more than one adventure in Wonderland, so the notion of a sequel to Alice in Wonderland is hardly new. But the idea of a film carrying on the approach of Tim Burton’s superficial, action-oriented film from 2010 does sound a bit ridiculous. Nevertheless, Burton’s film made over a billion dollars, propelled in part by a post-Avatar interest in 3D. So a sequel was probably inevitable.

At least it won’t be called Alice in Wonderland 2; right now the working title is Into the Looking Glass. (Presumably to be presented as a subtitle, so we’ll likely be calling the film Alice in Wonderland: Into the Looking Glass.)

Now the film has a likely director in James Bobin. The veteran of Da Ali G Show and Flight of the Conchords directed The Muppets for Disney, and is finishing up The Muppets…Again! for the company. Seems like a big thumbs-up from Disney, which has decided that Bobin is a director who can create what the Mouse House wants. Read More »

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