It looks like—fingers crossed—after his return to glory in Black Mass, Johnny Depp, personal issues aside, is ready to knock our socks off again. The controversial actor has at least 3 and 1/2 movies in the works, all based on books.
1) Murder on the Orient Express already has a release date. November 22, 2017. Kenneth Branagh, not Depp, plays Hercule Poirot—thank God because Depp can not be trusted with a crazy mustache—while Depp plays the murderous Ratchett. Branagh, who also directs, has assembled what has to be called a stellar cast: Daisy Ridley, Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, Derek Jacobi, Josh Gad and Michael Peña. IF Branagh plays it straight, this could be amazing.
2) LAbyrinth sees Johnny playing Russell Poole, the LAPD detective investigating the murders of Tupac Shakur & Notorious B.I.G. in the movie based on the 2003 nonfiction book by Randall Sullivan.
“Poole was a highly decorated LAPD detective who in 1997 was called to investigate a controversial cop-on-cop shooting, eventually to discover that the officer killed was tied to Marion “Suge” Knight’s notorious gangsta rap label, Death Row Records. During his investigation, Poole came to realize that a growing cadre of black officers were allied not only with Death Row, but with the murderous Bloods street gang. And incredibly, Poole began to uncover evidence that at least some of these “gangsta cops” may have been involved in the murders of rap superstars Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.
Igniting a firestorm of controversy in the music industry and the Los Angeles media, the hardcover publication of LAbyrinth helped to prompt two lawsuits against the LAPD (one brought by the widow and mother of Notorious B.I.G., the other brought by Poole himself) that may finally bring this story completely out of the shadows.’’
Holy S@#t! LAbyrinth is slated to come out sometime in 2017.
3) Also on the horizon, The Invisible Man based on the H.G. Wells classic. It’s from Universal, looking to reestablish the studio’s name in the classic “monster movie’’ franchise. Claude Rains starred in the original movie in 1933 with Gloria Stuart. [Remember Stuart from Titanic? Stuart, who went to my high school in Santa Monica, was the oldest actress—almost 88 years old—when she was nominated for the playing the older Rose. No, we didn’t go to dear old Samohi at the same time. I am not that old.]
‘‘THE INVISIBLE MAN tells the story of Griffin, a brilliant and obsessed scientist dedicated to achieving invisibility. Taking whatever action is necessary to keep his incredible discovery safe, he terrorizes the local village where he has sought refuge. Wells skilfully weaves the themes of science, terror and pride as the invisible Griffin gradually loses his sanity and, ultimately, his humanity.Don’t know anything else about this one, other than that Ed Solomon who wrote Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Men in Black and Charlie’s Angels scripted the project. Plenty more info to come, the movie doesn’t hit until 2018.
1/2) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2. I’m calling this 1/2 because it’s not a Johnny Depp movie per se,and while the original is based on J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter prequel, chances are this one won’t be. While Depp is going to have some sort of role in the sequel to Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, it’s still Eddie Redmayne’s movie. No one will argue with that.
How about you all? Do any of these films strike a chord?