By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 28, 2011 at 3:29AM
Update: Cinema Blend reports that Paramount has told them it's not Depp in the picture, but they would not confirm or deny if he was in the movie.
Wait, what? While we've known that Martin Scorsese has been plugging away on his 3D period-set children's film "Hugo Cabret" it appears one of the biggest stars in the world has snuck an appearance into the film. Last week, Le Parisien published a still from the film showing Johnny Depp in the background, revealing his character as M. Rouleau. In the book, he's an abstract painter who helps the children on their adventure.
Led by Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz, with a starry cast including Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Lee, Emily Mortimer, Jude Law, Michael Stuhlbarg, Ray Winstone, Frances de la Tour and Richard Griffiths, the film is an adaptation of Brian Selznick‘s best-selling children’s historical fiction book, “The Invention Of Hugo Cabret,” and follows the 1931-set story of the eponymous orphan boy living a secret life in the walls of a Paris train station. When Hugo encounters a broken mechanical man, an eccentric girl (Isabelle, played by Moretz), and the cold, reserved man who runs the toy shop, he is caught up in a magical, mysterious adventure that could put all of his secrets in jeopardy.
Depp's participation is not much of a surprise when you think about it. "Hugo Cabret" is being produced by GK Films, and they've had a long-standing relationship with Depp and his Infinitum Nihil shingle, re-upping their agreement last summer for three more years. In fact, Depp has starred in "The Tourist" and "Rango" for GK Films, has "The Rum Diary" on the way and is also leading Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows" a co-production between GK and Infinitum Nihil. So, yeah, when he saw Scorsese's project lining up on the production slate, we're sure a couple of phone calls were made.
Lastly, we've also received a pic of the crew of the film which happens to sport a first look at the mechanical man that plays a important part in Hugo and Isabelle's tale. It's not exactly RoboCop but it's a nifty-looking '30s era design of a robot which is pretty cool; we've included a page from the book with the automaton for comparison's sake. "Hugo Cabret" opens on November 23rd.