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Thompson on Hollywood

Career Watch: Can Depp Transcend His Rep for Onscreen Quirk?

For most actors, playing a cyber-age Dr. Frankenstein whose consciousness is converted into an artificial-intelligence experiment that threatens humankind would be considered a rather unusual role. But casting Johnny Depp as a mad scientist in the just-opened sci-fi thriller “Transcendence”? It barely registers a ripple on his scale of bizarre characters.
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • April 21, 2014 6:19 AM
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  • 3 Comments

'Captain America' Tops Box Office Top Ten for Third Week as Depp's 'Transcendence' Flops

This Easter weekend three religious-themed films made the Top 10, led by new opener "Heaven Is for Real" (Sony) which barely missed taking the #2 spot despite playing in more than 1,000 fewer screens than the box office leaders. This unheralded low-budget effort reinforces the most significant trend of 2014 so far: faith-based films nabbing substantial audiences.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 20, 2014 1:03 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Wally Pfister Talks Analog vs. Digital in 'Transcendence'

Wally Pfister not only adores film but also vinyl. That's because they both embody "the breath of life," analog beauty that's at the heart of "Transcendence." Indeed, the Oscar-winning cinematographer ("Inception") and Christopher Nolan's former right hand man couldn't have found a more personal statement for his directorial debut than a cautionary tale about uploading human consciousness into a super computer.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • April 18, 2014 1:15 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Talking Tech and 'Transcendence' with Johnny Depp and Wally Pfister (VIDEO)

You can always bet on a lively press conference with Johnny Depp, but the recent tech talk about "Transcendence" and the inevitability of uploading human consciousness into a super computer brought out his more vulnerable side. Depp admitted, among other things, that he's too clumsy when it comes to texting and that his role as an AI scientist-turned megalomaniac was difficult without a flamboyant mask to hide behind.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • April 16, 2014 1:37 PM
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'Transcendence' Director Pfister Talks Perseverance: "Do not give up"

I learned at least six things from the "Transcendence" Panel at the Las Vegas National Association of Broadcasters Convention (NAB) that won’t likely be reported in the mainstream press. Did you know...
  • By Valentina Valentini
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  • April 8, 2014 8:40 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Talking Johnny Depp's Oscar-Nominated Makeup and Hair in 'The Lone Ranger'

When it came to Johnny Depp's trippy Tonto in "The Lone Ranger," there were two makeup and hair challenges: the middle-aged Native American as well as the old man (a tribute to legendary Dick Smith's Jack Crabb from "Little Big Man"). We get the lowdown from Oscar-nominees Joel Harlow, who's become Depp's go-to makeup guy, and hairstylist Gloria Casny.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 7, 2014 2:28 PM
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Wally Pfister Talks 'Transcendence' with LA Times: "If People Are Expecting Nolan Lite, I Think They'll Be Surprised"

Wally Pfister, best known as Christopher Nolan's Oscar winning cinematographer, will this year make his directorial debut with sci-fi actioner "Transcendence," arriving April 18 and starring Johnny Depp as an ailing scientist who downloads his brain into a supercomputer. Pfister sat down with the LA Times to talk his first time in the director's seat, getting advice from Nolan, navigating inevitable comparisons to Nolan, and more. Highlights below, plus the film's trailer.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • January 10, 2014 1:16 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Johnny Depp's Crime Comedy 'Mortdecai' Heads Into Production, Adds Paul Bettany and Olivia Munn to Cast UPDATED

UPDATE: Principal production has begun in London on action-comedy "Mortdecai," starring Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor, adapted from the series of three novels by Kyril Bonfiglioli.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • October 21, 2013 11:43 AM
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Lionsgate Pacts with Odd Lot Entertainment on Multipicture Agreement Including 'Mortdecai,' starring Depp

It all started with "Ender's Game." Lionsgate and OddLot Entertainment have formed a multipicture co-producing, co-financing, and distribution agreement, including David Koepp's "Mortdecai," starring Johnny Depp.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 19, 2013 5:56 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Can Runaway Western 'The Lone Ranger' Make Its Money Back? Review and Round-Up

The scuttle from the set of the prodigiously expensive "The Lone Ranger," the latest movie from the producer, writers and director behind the lucrative "Pirates of the Caribbean" series, was that Gore Verbinski was yet another runaway director run amok, not unlike Michael Cimino on "Heaven's Gate," lavishing millions of dollars on building two working 250-ton 19th-century style trains (hydraulic, not steam) to run on a five-mile oval track with a stretch of double tracks, among other things.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 1, 2013 1:46 PM
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  • 3 Comments

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