Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 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 From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki 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 Won't Play Pancho Villa For Emir Kusturica; Gael Garcia Bernal & Benicio Del Toro Might

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist February 22, 2011 at 2:00AM

We're sure our kids won't believe us when we tell them, decades from now, but once upon a time, Johnny Depp was an oddball character actor. Sure, he'd occasionally take a studio paycheck gig, like "Nick of Time" and "The Astronaut's Wife," but for the most part, his career was made up of interesting projects with acclaimed directors with Jim Jarmusch, Sally Potter and Roman Polanski being among his collaborators.
1


We're sure our kids won't believe us when we tell them, decades from now, but once upon a time, Johnny Depp was an oddball character actor. Sure, he'd occasionally take a studio paycheck gig, like "Nick of Time" and "The Astronaut's Wife," but for the most part, his career was made up of interesting projects with acclaimed directors with Jim Jarmusch, Sally Potter and Roman Polanski being among his collaborators.

But since he became a bona fide A-lister with "Pirates of the Caribbean," things have changed. Other than a favor for Terry Gilliam on "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," and the upcoming, long-delayed Hunter S. Thompson passion project "The Rum Diary," Depp's become a firmly tentpole-based kinda guy, spending 2010 turning in horrible performances in two terrible films -- "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Tourist."

For the last year or so, however, it looked hopeful that Depp might squeeze in a project that sounded far more promising. The actor was set to reteam with his "Arizona Dream" director Emir Kusturica on a biopic of the legendary Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. The project, based on the novel "The Friends of Pancho Villa," by James Carlos Blak, had the title "Wild Roses, Tender Roses," and would co-star Salma Hayek, and originally planned to go before cameras this month.

But with the recent news that Kusturica was planning an adaptation of the Bosnian novel "The Bridge on the Drina," we speculated that the project may have fallen by the wayside, and Depp seemed to confirm this, telling a Spanish website that "I think this role has to be played by a Mexican actor" -- presumably a fact in no way connected to the star being set to film "Dark Shadows," "The Lone Ranger" and two further "Pirates of the Caribbean" films in the next few years.

The bad news is, according to Serbian site Blic (via Bleeding Cool), that Depp appears to be officially off the project. The good news is that the film seems to still be alive, and has two other acclaimed actors circling the central role, in the form of Gael Garcia Bernal and Benicio Del Toro. The site reports that Kusturica is set to met both actors in Cuba in the near future, and will then begin production "shortly."

Both seem like good choices, although Bernal seems both confident and excited about the prospect of the film. At the helmer's Kustendorf Film Festival recently, the actor was quoted as saying (via what seems like some slightly dodgy translation) "I will probably land the leading role because of physical resemblance with Pancho Villa" and "I believe Emir is the only director who can do the Pancho Villa story. Even better than any Mexican director. You know why? Because he is a kind of Pancho Villa in his own right."

Whichever of the two lands the role (and both have fairly clear slates at present, although Del Toro's attached to the crime flick "The Iceman" and his name keeps cropping up for "The Three Stooges"), it seems that they'll co-star with Hayek, who still seems to be attached. The film also seems to have reverted to its original, somewhat lengthier title; "Seven Friends of Pancho Villa and the Woman With Six Fingers." There's no exact word on when the film will shoot, but it looks like it's definitely Kusturica's next project, and we're excited at the prospect to be sure.

This article is related to: Actors, Foreign Directors, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benicio Del Toro, Emir Kusturica


The Playlist

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


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates