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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Depp, Depp, and More Depp: A Disney Revenue Stream

Johnny Depp as Tonto and Jack Sparrow
Disney's big budget The Lone Ranger opens in a little over month with their one man money making machine - Johnny Depp - in the role of Tonto. The movie, which comes from the producer and director of the original Pirates of the Caribbean, is believed to have cost more than $200 million dollars to make and was briefly shut down when Disney execs needed to send a message about budget excess to the filmmakers. 

Anyway, am I looking forward to seeing The Lone Ranger? The jury is still out on that one as the trailers and sneak peeks have been anything but enticing (for me anyway). The movie actually looks kind of weird with Depp taking his character makeup to new extremes. One of these days, Johnny Depp is going to make a movie for Disney that doesn't make money hand over fist.

But that won't be the next project for Depp and Disney because after the Lone Ranger we can prepare for the return of Captain Jack Sparrow with Pirates of the Caribbean 5. Depp is already committed to the film and Disney, within the last week, has selected the director(s) for the project.

So now comes word that Disney is looking at making Alice in Wonderland 2. No word that Depp will be attached to this project but can you imagine an Alice sequel that doesn't have Depp reprising his role as the Mad Hatter? Neither can I. The last Alice made over a billion dollars at the box office and I hated just about every loathsome minute of it.

The return of my nightmare?  :-(
Who would have thought 2 actors with somewhat checkered pasts as Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr. would become such Disney stalwarts (though, by many sources, Depp is one of the kindest Hollywood stars you will ever want to meet when it comes to contact with fans)? Then again, it seems every female star that turns up on the Disney Channel seems to have a room waiting at a substance abuse facility somewhere.

And as Johnny Depp continues to ride his wave of Disney success, I think about some Ray Davies song lyrics from years ago (Celluloid Heroes):

And to those who are successful,
Be always on your guard,
Success walks hand in hand with failure,
Along Hollywood Boulevard.

PS: I guess The Lone Ranger will have its world premiere at the Hyperion Theater (home of Aladdin) inside Disney California Adventure - a theater that has neither a bathroom or lobby as @fakedisneyparks pointed out on Twitter.

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