Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Oscars: Dust Settles On The Fall Festivals With No Clear Best Picture Front-Runner (Yet) Oscars: Dust Settles On The Fall Festivals With No Clear Best Picture Front-Runner (Yet) Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Watch: NYFF Trailer Has Snippets Of ‘Inherent Vice’ Footage For Those Checking For Trailers Several Times A Day Watch: NYFF Trailer Has Snippets Of ‘Inherent Vice’ Footage For Those Checking For Trailers Several Times A Day TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth Boardwalk Empire - Season 5 - Episode 1 Recap: “Golden Days For Boys & Girls” Boardwalk Empire - Season 5 - Episode 1 Recap: “Golden Days For Boys & Girls” The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes 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 | www.oliverlyttelton.com 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.


E-Mail Updates