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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Johnny Depp to play the Mad Hatter for Tim Burton

In a new Alice in Wonderland movie, that is. Not just, you know, at a party in the backyard or something.

The news got me thinking about all the bizarre and fantastical characters Depp has played, and who else from classic and/or weird literature he could move on to after the Mad Hatter. A couple that spring to mind:
• Merlin in The Once and Future King. The wizard lives backward in this one — could be fun for Depp.

• Van Helsing in Dracula. But only if he played him like he played Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow. That could be funny.

• Mort in any Terry Pratchett book. Like maybe Mort. (Mort is Death, in case you missed it.)

• Ford Prefect, if someone decided to do The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy again, and get it right. Though Depp could be a hilarious Zaphod, too.

• One of the princes in Nine Princes in Amber — maybe Random or Brand. (It’s been ages since I read this, and I don’t recall all the characters clearly.)

Any other ideas?

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  • Martin

    Depp for Ford Prefect if I can have Robert Downey Jr as Zaphod.

  • Pat Mustard

    Many apologies for the pedantic comment, but Mort was actually DEATH’S apprentice in Mort & only appears in that book; DEATH is just, well, DEATH, & appears in most of them…

  • MaSch

    Wow, your headline sounded to me like there was another Batman movie to be made by Burton. Darn, I should have more highbrow reflexes :-(

  • D

    Neil Gaiman’s Dream. Or hell, maybe even Desire or The Corinthian.

  • Bill

    The Scarecrow or Dorothy in a Wizard of Oz remake. Or Doctor Strange (of Marvel Comics).

  • JSW

    Maybe both Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr. could play Zaphod, one as each head.

  • Carey

    How about Doctor Strangelove?

  • bitchen frizzy

    Bill beat me to the Scarecrow, but I was also going to suggest he could play any one of several characters in the Oz series. Depp fits right in to that world.

    Also, Toad from The Wind in the Willows.

    And if anyone ever does a movie based on Drake’s Hammers Slammers, Depp would be good as Joachim von Steuben.

  • Joanne

    He’d be good as anybody in anything!

  • JoshDM

    Depp as Mad Hatter?

    That’s terrible casting. Hatter should be somewhat ugly/deformed. I’ve seen what they can do with makeup (ala Monster), but just cast an ugly person.

    If they HAD-TO, HAD-TO use him, Depp would make an awesome Riddler.

    Oh wait. We’re not talking Mad Hatter the Batman Villain here, are we?

    Nevermind.

  • JoshDM

    And after posting that, I thought about it and realized Depp could make a great Riddler for Batman III. So I googled it.

    Not. An. Original. Idea. At. All.

    Philip Seymour Hoffman for Penguin.

  • misterb

    I’d rather see Johnny as Rincewind than Mort (or Death). In fact, Pratchett movies where Depp played every character probably would be pretty good.
    Based on his performance as Hunter Thompson, how about Sal Paradise in “On the Road”?
    B.O.H.P. in “Willy Wonka”, Mr Norrell in “Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell”

    but more than anything:
    B.O.H.P. in “Pirates of the Caribbean” – Jack Shaftoe in “the System of the World”

  • Kevin Smith inspired the recasting of the classic role, but how about Depp as the shark in Jaws?

  • D

    “how about Depp as the shark in Jaws?”
    That… would… be… AWESOME!!!

  • Henry

    I always thought Johnny Depp would make a great Dr. Faustus (from the Christopher Marlowe play), if somebody ever wanted to make a movie out of it. He could even take on dual roles as the good/bad angels.
    The thing is, though, for the last couple of years he’s been like the Three Mustketeers with Burton and Helena Bonham Charter, and I can’t think of a role for Bonham Charter, so it might not work after all.

  • Jan Willem

    @Henry: Of course Helena might do a silent cameo as Helen of Troy, causing Johhny D. to rhapsodise: ‘Is this the face that launched a thousand ships?’

  • MaryAnn

    Depp would make a great Dr. Faustus

    Has anyone else read Michael Swanwick’s novel *Jack Faust*? I dunno if it would work as a movie, but Depp would be great as Jack.

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