Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
What Was I Watching Before? Bryan Singer Says 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Is "The True Birth Of The X-Men" What Was I Watching Before? Bryan Singer Says 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Is "The True Birth Of The X-Men" Review & Recap: 'True Detective' Season 2, Episode 3 'Maybe Tomorrow' Review & Recap: 'True Detective' Season 2, Episode 3 'Maybe Tomorrow' Zack Snyder Defends 'Man Of Steel' Finale, Ben Affleck Reveals Bruce Wayne Knew People Who Died In That Battle Zack Snyder Defends 'Man Of Steel' Finale, Ben Affleck Reveals Bruce Wayne Knew People Who Died In That Battle New Book Contends Eric Stoltz Was “Difficult” & The Cast Wasn’t Shocked He Was Replaced On ‘Back To The Future’ New Book Contends Eric Stoltz Was “Difficult” & The Cast Wasn’t Shocked He Was Replaced On ‘Back To The Future’ Watch: Scott Lang Wants To Call The Avengers In New International 'Ant-Man' Trailer Watch: Scott Lang Wants To Call The Avengers In New International 'Ant-Man' Trailer Watch: Epic New Trailer For Werner Herzog's 'Queen Of The Desert' With Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson, & More Watch: Epic New Trailer For Werner Herzog's 'Queen Of The Desert' With Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson, & More The 20 Worst Films Of 2015 So Far The 20 Worst Films Of 2015 So Far Zack Snyder Reveals The Easter Egg Idea He Pitched Christopher Nolan And David Goyer For 'Man Of Steel' Zack Snyder Reveals The Easter Egg Idea He Pitched Christopher Nolan And David Goyer For 'Man Of Steel' New Images Of Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, More In 'Batman v. Superman,' Ben Affleck Compares Batman To Hamlet New Images Of Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, More In 'Batman v. Superman,' Ben Affleck Compares Batman To Hamlet Mads Mikkelsen And Hugh Dancy Released From Their 'Hannibal' Contracts Mads Mikkelsen And Hugh Dancy Released From Their 'Hannibal' Contracts Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Watch: Michael Fassbender Plays ‘Steve Jobs’ In New Trailer For Oscar-Contender Co-Starring Kate Winslet & Seth Rogen Watch: Michael Fassbender Plays ‘Steve Jobs’ In New Trailer For Oscar-Contender Co-Starring Kate Winslet & Seth Rogen Tom Cruise Still Gearing Up For 'Top Gun 2,' Story Will Involve Drone Warfare Tom Cruise Still Gearing Up For 'Top Gun 2,' Story Will Involve Drone Warfare 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 Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke '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" 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 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

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.


E-Mail Updates