Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances Watch: Tom Hardy Does Double Duty In Trailer For Gangster Drama 'Legend' Watch: Tom Hardy Does Double Duty In Trailer For Gangster Drama 'Legend' The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Johnny Depp To Help Woody Guthrie's Dust Bowl Novel 'House of Earth' Get Published Next Year

The Playlist By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist July 11, 2012 at 2:22PM

No matter the critical barbs that Johnny Depp's increasingly caked-in-make-up performances garner, it's a fair assumption that a uniquely odd passion project lies behind each dollar earned from them. One of his most recent attempts saw him returning to Hunter S. Thompson's acid-tinged worldview with “The Rum Diary,” which tanked at the box office. But fortunately another literary pursuit is within his reach, this time dealing with the only "fully realized" novel from folk singer Woody Guthrie, who would have been 100 years old on July 14th.
2
Woody Guthrie Johnny Depp

No matter the critical barbs that Johnny Depp's increasingly caked-in-make-up performances garner, it's a fair assumption that a uniquely odd passion project lies behind each dollar earned from them. One of his most recent attempts saw him returning to Hunter S. Thompson's acid-tinged worldview with “The Rum Diary,” which tanked at the box office. But fortunately another literary pursuit is within his reach, this time dealing with the only "fully realized" novel from folk singer Woody Guthrie, who would have been 100 years old on July 14th.

Finished in 1947 but never released, Guthrie's Depression-set novel “House of Earth” will finally hit shelves, thanks to the help of Depp and author Douglas Brinkley, and promises to show an alternate side to the legendary songwriter known for such compositions as “This Land Is Your Land,” “Pastures of Plenty,” and “Do Re Mi.” In an essay for the New York Times Book Review, Depp and Brinkley explain how they first heard about the work, their journey tracking a typescript down at the University of Tulsa, and then announcing the process of editing the work for its eventual distribution.

It's said Guthrie's late-1930s Dust Bowl experiences formed the backbone of what would later become “House of Earth,” which follows two farmers in tune with their land, Tike and Ella May Hamlin, espousing the benefits of adobe houses against the brutal West Texas weather to great resistance from the lumber companies in town. Tonally set between authentic slice-of-life drama and political allegory, the novel also purports to share erotic fits on par with D.H. Lawrence, featuring “a scorching lovemaking scene on a hay bale” among other graphic scenes unspecified in their potentially uncomfortable location.

Nowhere in the essay mentions any possible film adaptation in the works, although Guthrie himself did have sights on filmmaker Irving Lerner (“Murder by Contract”) helming one while he was writing it. As for the recent revival circumstances, Brinkley met Depp through Hunter S. Thompson, and the two went on to pen liner notes for the recent documentary about the author, “Gonzo.” One could very well imagine a similar tribute being made to Guthrie as well, but for now we'll just have to wait for his singular book's unveiling to see what comes of it. Bob Dylan was shown a copy recently, reportedly finding himself “surprised at the genius of the prose,” so if his word is anything to go by, “House of Earth” should be something pretty special when “a major New York publisher” releases it next year. [Guardian]

This article is related to: Johnny Depp


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates