Johnny Depp


Johnny Depp is going Gollum.

The Hollywood hunk is reteaming with Pirates of the Caribbean helmer Gore Verbinski for Rango, a feature-length CGI 'toon about household pets. Depp will voice the lead critter, who goes an adventure of self-discovery, according to Variety.

Jeez, our cat just spends the day licking himself.

Paramount will finance and distribute Rango, which is slated to begin production in January for a March 2011 release.

Depp recently wrapped two pictures, Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, for which he filled in for the late Heath Ledger, and Michael Mann's period gangster flick Public Enemies, playing legendary bank heister John Dillinger.

Also in the pipeline is Mira Nair's drama Shantaram and an adaptation of the Dark Shadows TV series with longtime collaborator Tim Burton.

Meanwhile in other casting news:

  • Val Kilmer, Armand Assante, Eric Roberts, Megan Brown and Patrick Muldoon are hot for The Steam Experiment. The film follows six people who are trapped and terrorized in an urban Tukish bathhouse. Kilmer plays the former university professor holding the group hostage as part of an experiment to prove that humanity will devolve into anarchy with the onset of global warming. Ah, a message movie. Cameras are currently rolling in the Turkish bathhouse hotbed of Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Michael Ealy, Steve Harris, Jay Hernandez, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Zoe Saldana and Johnathan Schaech are rounding out Bone Deep, an ensemble crime drama about bank robbers who decide to pull off the proverbial last score. Hmm, what could possibly go wrong? The film also stars Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Chris Brown and T.I. and shooting kicked off this week.
  • Charles S. Dutton of Rock fame will headline From Jail to Yale...Serving Time on Stage, a one-man play based on his life story, as part of a benefit for the Actors Hall of Fame Foundation in Los Angeles. The performance is set for Oct. 7 at the Feud Playhouse at UCLA.
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