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In the Future: Chocolate Factory Cast & Crew
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Old 06-28-2005, 09:39 PM
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Default In the Future: Chocolate Factory Cast & Crew

In the Future: Chocolate Factory Cast & Crew
Source: Edward Douglas
June 29, 2005

This past weekend, joined a group of journalists down in the Bahamas to talk to director Tim Burton and the stars of his adaptation of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They told us a bit about some of their upcoming projects.

The reason interviews took place on the tropical island was because Burton's Willy Wonka, Johnny Depp, was staying down there while filming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, the sequel to the 2003 hit Disney film, which will film back-to-back with the third part of the trilogy, Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Ironically, they had just started their hiatus on the film a bit earlier than expected, because some of the Grand Bahamas sets weren't ready yet, while Kevin McNally, one of the main actors, got a nasty ear infection which kept him from flying down there.

When asked whether Keith Richards would still be playing Jack Sparrow's father, Depp wasn't definite. "It looks like it's going to happen, but I don't know when," he responded. "It's all going to depend on where we are and where he is, because he has a little thing called the Rolling Stones tour to do."

Although the first movie was a huge hit, Depp told us that he didn't think it was strange returning for the sequel that had a lot of high expectations. "What's weird is that we didn't know quite what to expect before we went back into 'Pirates 2'," he said. "A lot of things have happened with Orlando and Keira doing big movies all over the map, but honestly, we stepped onto the set for the first day, and for me, jumping back into the skin of Captain Jack, it felt like we only had a week off from the first one, and it's been a really great time. I think it's going to be good. I hope. I'll knock wood again."

Depp also mentioned that when growing up, he dreamed of being a rock and roll guitar player and thought that a movie based on the story of Syd Barrett, original frontman for Pink Floyd, would be a great idea. (This writer agrees!)

Depp's young co-star Freddie Highmore, who brought audiences to tears when they worked together on last year's Finding Neverland, plays Charlie in Burton's film. Highmore had just finished working with French director Luc Besson on Arthur and the Minimoys about a boy who has to save his grandmother's house, and will follow that up in September by starring in the second movie from director Francis Lawrence (Constantine), an adaptation of Philip Ardagh's fantasy novel "A House Called Awful End" (simplified to just Awful End). Highmore didn't want to say too much about the project, except one can safely assume he plays the main character, an 11-year-old boy who is put into an orphanage when his parents become ill.

Of course, Burton himself is busy finishing up The Corpse Bride, a stop motion animated film in the vein of The Nightmare Before Christmas Depp and Burton's wife Helena Bonham-Carter, who plays Charlie's mother in Chocolate Factory, provided voices for the characters. "It was good because we could only work with the kids so much during the day," Burton told us. "Sometimes, we'd work during the day and then we'd go to the sound booth and do some voice work on that. It was kind of a chaotic situation, but I'm excited about that one. Since the Corpse Bride is slower, I can have a bit more of an objective feel for it."

"Just as we were about to start 'Charlie', Tim came to me and said that he had this other thing he was thinking of doing," Depp continued. "I read the script and thought that it was amazing, but I had no idea that he was going to be doing them simultaneously. He was literally leaving the set of 'Charlie' and going into the 'Corpse Bride' recording and animation with this incredible energy he has. For me, I would leave the stage playing Wonka, and then suddenly, I would have to find this other character Victor on the walk to the studio. Anything with Tim is always just a blast."

John August, who wrote the screenplay both for "Charlie" and Burton's last film Big Fish, also had written a script based on Edgar Rice Burrough's "Tarzan," which he hopes will get made someday. He didn't have a personal choice on who to play the part, but he said that once they find a director, they'll start looking for an actor to take on the role made famous on film by Johnny Weissmuller, Gordon Scott and Christopher Lambert. "A lesson learned from Charlie was that having an amazing director and an amazing actor on board really gets the ball rolling," he told us. "We have a good script and now we need all those other elements, so I don't know if it's going to happen." In the meantime, August is working with Jerry Bruckheimer's company to produce a big screen adaptation of the popular video game Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, which will be written by the game's creator Jordan Mechner. "It's the first project I've been on board which I haven't written," he said. "It's going to be one of those insanely expensive Pirates of the Caribbean scale movies."

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory opens on July 15, while Tim Burton's Corpse Bride is scheduled to open on September 23. Check back soon for more with Burton and Depp on the movies.

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