EXCLUSIVE: Clearly Johnny Depp‘s reps are in publicity overdrive following a week of bruising bad press when The Lone Ranger bombed and his star status was questioned. The purpose, of course, is to demonstrate that Johnny is very much in demand. And he should be despite the public rejecting both his Tonto and Barnabas Collins roles recently. On Monday, Depp was tipped in negotiations for the lead in Lionsgate’s Mortdecai, an adaptation of the 1970s mystery novels. Today comes news that Depp has a ‘new’ multi-year first look deal at Disney to develop film projects he can produce there. Just one problem: my insiders say that deal (which used to be based at Warner Bros) was set and signed back with Disney in March, not recently, and just never announced. What is new is that Depp is in final discussions at Disney for the much anticipated Alice In Wonderland sequel with James Bobin (of the recent Muppets reboots) subbing for Tim Burton as director. Johnny’s turn as the Mad Hatter in that 3D modern classic, of course, made over $1B worldwide grosses for the studio in 2010. Old news is that Depp will reprise Capt Jack Sparrow in Disney’s Pirates Of The Caribbean 5 dated for Summer 2015 and directed by Kon-Tiki filmmakers Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg.
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