RELATED: 2012 Sundance: Q&A With ‘West Of Memphis’ Producers Peter Jackson And Fran Walsh
BREAKING: West of Memphis, the Amy Berg-directed documentary that was one of the highlights of the last Sundance Film Festival, will join the Mavericks section of the 2012 Toronto Film Festival. The film, which is largely based on private investigators and forensic testing financed by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh (they produce with West Memphis 3 member Damien Echols and his wife Lorri Davis), will get a premiere. There to help the filmmakers launch the film and participate in the press conference and Q&A will be Johnny Depp and Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines. Both have been longtime supporters of a retrial for Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr, who were convicted of triple homicide even though there was not a shred of physical evidence. Depp also acquired the upcoming memoir by Echols for a feature. The sham of that original trial was captured in the HBO docu Paradise Lost, which became a trilogy and which sparked Jackson and Walsh’s interest in the case years ago. The defendants were finally let out of prison after nearly two decades in Arkansas after prosecutors granted them an Alford plea (technically pleading “guilty” while vehemently denying they committed the crime). All parties are still pressing for an outright exoneration, but the state has refused to consider it because of the milllions of dollars in costs it would incur in civil suits for wrongly imprisoning the three men. Some of the evidence presented in West of Memphis paints an overwhelming picture that the trio was railroaded while the killer of three 8-year old boys remains free. The trio just celebrated the one year anniversary of their freedom, but how does one get back nearly two lost decades of a life? Sony Pictures Classics will release the doc, which has to be seen to be believed.
Peter Jackson issued this statement on his Facebook page, commemorating the anniversary of when the West Memphis 3 got let out of prison:
“It has been a year to the day since Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie
Misskelley were released from prison…. nothing has changed and everything has
changed. We got to watch Damien dip his fruit into tomato ketchup, because he
wanted to; we got to watch him make Lorri laugh and then wrap his arms around
her, because he could; we got to watch others read his work and realise he is a
hugely, talented writer. We got to witness the new chapter in a life that
thousands of people around the world prayed for, fought for and believed in -
and it has been, and will always be, worth every single second of hope we ever
held on to.
I feel incredible joy that Damien, Jason and Jessie are now free, and sorrow for
the loss of the innocent lives of Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael
Moore. It is disgusting that Arkansas politicians continue to put their self
serving political interests ahead of justice for the victims and their families
in this case. Unfortunately, there can be no happy anniversaries when three men
continue to suffer the many effects of being wrongfully convicted and the real
killer of these children is allowed to walk free.”
EXCLUSIVE: Johnny Depp will star in The Grand Budapest Hotel, the next film that Wes Anderson wrote and will direct.
Anderson is going right back into business with his collaborators on Moonrise Kingdom, which is … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: I’m hearing that Warner Bros is pumping the brakes on The Thin Man, the remake that Johnny Depp plans to star in for director Rob Marshall. The film hadn’t been green lit yet, and they hadn’t got to the point … Read More »
The Weinstein Company will show Paul McCartney’s directorial debut short film My Valentine on prints of The Intouchables, the runaway hit French film that makes its U.S. debut Friday. The three-minute short, based on an idea by the director’s daughter Stella, stars Johnny Depp and Natalie Portman. They translate the … Read More »
Disney has hired D.V. DeVincentis to script The Night Stalker as a vehicle for Johnny Depp. The film is based on the classic TV series that starred Darren McGavin as the tabloid reporter who finds his way to a series … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures will change the opening date of its Sacha Baron Cohen-starrer The Dictator forward five days, moving from May 11 to its new date on Wednesday May 16. That is being done to avoid a head to … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Rob Marshall next week begins meetings to find who’ll play Nora in the Billy Ray-scripted Warner Bros remake of The Thin Man. Here are the named I’m hearing who are interested in cavorting with Johnny Depp, who’ll play the tipsy socialite-turned-sleuth Nick Charles: Eva Green, Amy … Read More »
Warner Bros and Village Roadshow have released the first full trailer for the May 11 release, Dark Shadows, directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Chloe Grace Moretz and Jonny Lee Miller. As the trailer makes clear, Burton is playing for laughs the gothic story … Read More »
Jerry Bruckheimer tweeted this photo this morning of Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the masked man, along with the intro “Tonto and The Lone Ranger Ride Again!” Disney’s Gore Verbinski-directed … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Disney is setting Edgar Wright to direct The Night Stalker, the remake of the ABC telepic and series that the studio is developing as a potential star vehicle for Johnny Depp to play intrepid tabloid reporter Carl Kolchak. Depp … Read More »
Craig Modderno is an AwardsLine contributor
When Gore Verbinski met with Johnny Depp to discuss “The Lizard Project,” neither of them had any fantasy or idea that three years later the reptile would transform into the hit film Rango ($245 million in worldwide box office) and become an Oscar nominee in the Feature Animation category. “I had met over breakfast in the Valley with producer John Carls and children’s book designer David Shannon around the time I was directing Pirates Of The Caribbean,” recalls Verbinski, the director of both films. “We decided to make an animated Western with creatures in the desert. I then wrote a 12-page outline, got Johnny to commit to be the lead, then made two more films. I discovered after directing Pirates 3 that I wanted a break from the series, so I got John Logan to work on the script for Rango.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Even though Disney scrapped a fall start date for The Lone Ranger, and then green lit the film for a mid-February start date once director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer brought a $250 million + budget down to … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Johnny Depp and his producing partner Christi Dembrowski and their Infinitum Nihil production shingle have yet another interesting project in development. They’ve optioned film rights to the soon-to-be-published and as-yet-untitled book by Damien Echols which reveals his experiences on death row after his wrongful conviction and subsequent wrongful 18-year imprisonment for the 1993 murder of three 8-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. The memoir will be published in September 2012 by Blue Rider Press, an imprint of Penguin Books. The injustice of the West Memphis Three story drew badly needed support from the entertainment community’s Peter Jackson, Eddie Vedder, Natalie Maines, Henry Rollins, and of course Depp. The actor and his producing partner have long been wanting and waiting to explore this story and will develop the narrative as a feature film with Echols and his wife Lorri Davis, who will be executive producers. Their collective take is to spotlight the controversial conviction and imprisonment of the then 18-year-old who’s now in his mid-30s and to present his life before conviction as well its twists and turns leading to release. Read More »
IMDb has revealed the site’s top 10 most-viewed actors, movies and TV shows during the past decade as part of a 10th anniversary celebration of its industry database IMBb Pro. The subscription side of IMDb.com is also getting a face-lift for its birthday. Here are the lists:
… Read More »
Here’s some fodder for water-cooler chatter from a brand-name pollster that has been measuring the public’s feelings about movie stars since 1994. Interesting tidbits: Johnny Depp wins among women, Republicans and Independents, conservatives and liberals, and all age groups except those 66+. But Denzel Washington is favored by Democrats and moderates, Clint Eastwood gets the male vote, and George Clooney takes the AARP crowd.
NEW YORK, Jan. 19, 2012 — In 2011 he was the voice of Rango, he was Captain Jack Sparrow (again) and he was also a journalist. And, again this year, Johnny Depp has the distinction of being America’s Favorite Actor. Next on the list are two actors who haven’t actually acted in a movie this past year. Tied for number two are Denzel Washington, who was in the second spot last year, and Clint Eastwood who was number 9 on the list last year.
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,237 adults surveyed online between December 5 and 12, 2011 by Harris Interactive®.
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Looks like there were a lot of Black Swan fans doing actor searches on IMDb this year. The film’s star Natalie Portman, who won an Oscar for the part, and … Read More »
Talking to MTV after the Britannia Awards, the actress describes her role as Dr. Julia Hoffman: “She’s an alcoholic psychiatrist, so I hadn’t played that before. And she’s got a secret. They all have secrets. It’s all about people who have secrets.” The movie as a whole? “It’s very original … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Amber Heard has been chosen for the female lead opposite Dominic Cooper in Motor City, the Chad St. John-scripted revenge tale that Albert Hughes will direct for Joel Silver’s Dark Castle. Heard tested among several young actresses and got … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In a match that seems ideal, Tim Burton is in early talks to come aboard Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, the Ransom Riggs novel that 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment acquired last spring. Burton is in talks to develop the book as a potential directing project, and he would be involved in setting a writer to adapt the tale.
It involves Jacob, a 16-year-old whose childhood was filled with stories his grandfather told him about an orphanage for unusual children. Among the residents: a girl who could hold fire in her hands, another whose feet never touched the ground, and twins who communicated without speaking. When his beloved grandfather dies unexpectedly but leaves a message behind for his grandson, the teen heads off to his grandfather’s home on an isolated island off Wales. There he discovers the abandoned remains of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It is in great disrepair and as Jacob explores its bedrooms and hallways, he can see the children were more than peculiar, they might have been there because they were dangerous. And he can’t shake the feeling they are still lurking around. Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark and Jenno Topping are producing. Read More »