Johnny Depp Will Play 'Pirates,' Indians and Mad Hatter
'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Lone Ranger' roles on tap
Since Depp's first three "Pirates of the Caribbean" films added $2.6 billion in worldwide box office to the Disney coffers, it was no surprise that the company made him its unofficial posterboy at its Wednesday (Sept. 24) presentation in Hollywood.
Perhaps the most predictable piece of Depp-related casting announced at the event was that the Oscar nominated actor will reunite with Tim Burton to play the Mad Hatter in the director's 3-D, performance capture take on "Alice in Wonderland."
A 2010 release date is planned for "Alice," the latest collaboration between the "Sweeney Todd," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Ed Wood" partners.
It's Depp's second commitment to an animated project in less than a month, having signed on for "Rango," to be directed by "Pirates" helmer Gore Verbinski.
The announcement about the development of "Pirates of the Caribbean 4" also wasn't a surprise, since viciously negative reviews and a 168 minute running time couldn't prevent 2007's "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" from taking in over $960 million worldwide.
The Disney event's bigger surprise, according to media reports, was the revelation that Depp will play trusty sidekick Tonto in the studio's in-development "Lone Ranger" project. Disney apparently has no reservations about casting a non-Native American actor in the role. To be fair, Depp is actually 1/4th Native American and previously played a Native American in his unseen directing debut "The Brave."
Depp will next be seen in Terry Gilliam's "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" and in Michael Mann's "Public Enemies."