10. Finding Neverland
Finding Neverland is a 2004 semi-biographical film about playwright J. M. Barrie, directed by Marc Forster. The screenplay by David Magee is based on the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee. The film was nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Depp’s portrayal of J.M. Barrie, and won one for Jan A. P. Kaczmarek’s musical score. The story focuses on Scottish writer J. M. Barrie, his platonic relationship with Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, and his close friendship with her sons, who inspire the classic play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.
Following the dismal reception of his latest play, Little Mary, Barrie meets the widowed Sylvia and her four young sons in Kensington Gardens, and a strong friendship develops between them. He proves to be a great playmate and surrogate father figure for the boys, and their imaginative antics give him ideas which he incorporates into a play about boys who do not want to grow up, especially one named after troubled young Peter Llewelyn Davies. His wife Mary, who eventually divorces him, and Sylvia’s mother Emma du Maurier, object to the amount of time Barrie spends with the Llewelyn Davies family. Emma also seeks to control her daughter and grandsons, especially as Sylvia becomes increasingly weak from an unidentified illness. -Wikipedia.org
9. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape is a 1993 film directed by Lasse Hallström and starring Johnny Depp, Juliette Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio. Peter Hedges wrote the screenplay adapted from his 1991 novel of the same name. It was filmed in the Texas cities of Manor, Elgin, and Lockhart. The film opens in the small fictional town of Endora, Iowa, where Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp) is busy caring for Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio), his brother with a developmental disability as they wait for the many tourists’ trailers to pass through town during their “yearly ritual” of camping at a nearby recreational area. His mother, Bonnie (Darlene Cates) is morbidly overweight, after years of depression following her husband’s suicide.
With Bonnie unable to care for the children by herself, Gilbert has taken responsibility for repairing their old farmhouse and looking after Arnie, who has a habit of climbing the town water tower if he is left unsupervised for too long, while his sisters Amy (Laura Harrington) and Ellen (Mary Kate Schellhardt) do the chores and the cooking. The relationship between the brothers is of both care and protection, as Gilbert continually enforces the “Nobody touches Arnie” policy. A new “FoodLand” supermarket has opened, threatening the small Lamson’s Grocery store where Gilbert works. In addition, Gilbert is having an affair with a married woman, Betty Carver (Mary Steenburgen). -Wikipedia.org
8. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a 2005 film adaptation of the 1964 book of the same name by Roald Dahl. The film was directed by Tim Burton. The film stars Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket and Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. The storyline concerns Charlie, who takes a tour he has won, through the most magnificent chocolate factory in the world, led by Wonka. Development for another adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory began in 1991, which resulted in Warner Bros. providing the Dahl Estate with total artistic control.
Prior to Burton’s involvement, directors such as Gary Ross, Rob Minkoff, Martin Scorsese and Tom Shadyac had been involved, while Warner Bros. either considered or discussed the role of Willy Wonka with Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, Michael Keaton, Brad Pitt, Will Smith and Adam Sandler. Charlie Bucket is an adopted boy who lives near the Wonka Candy Company, and who’s not rich. He lives with his mother, his father (who works in a toothpaste factory), and his four bedridden grandparents in the same town as the famous factory.
The company’s owner, Willy Wonka, has long closed access to his factory due to problems concerning industrial espionage that ultimately led him to fire all his employees, among them Charlie’s Grandpa Joe. One day, Wonka informs the world of a contest, in which five Golden Tickets have been placed in five random Wonka Bars worldwide, and the winners will be given a full tour of the factory as well as a lifetime supply of chocolate, while one ticket holder will be given a special prize at the end of the tour. -Wikipedia.org
7. Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow is a 1999 American period horror film directed by Tim Burton. Based on the Washington Irving story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the film stars Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Marc Pickering, Michael Gambon, Jeffrey Jones, Casper Van Dien, Ian McDiarmid, Michael Gough, and Christopher Walken. The plot follows police constable Ichabod Crane (Depp) sent from New York City to investigate a series of murders in the village Sleepy Hollow by a mysterious Headless Horseman.
Development for Sleepy Hollow began in 1993 at Paramount Pictures with Kevin Yagher originally set to direct Andrew Kevin Walker’s script as a low-budget slasher film. Disagreements with Paramount resulted in Yagher being demoted to prosthetic makeup designer, and Burton was hired to direct in June 1998. Filming took place from November 1998 to May 1999, and Sleepy Hollow was released to generally favorable reviews from critics, and grossed approximately $207 million worldwide. Production designer Rick Heinrichs and set decorator Peter Young won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction. -Wikipedia.org
6. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a 1998 fantasy-drama film adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s 1971 novel of the same name. The film, directed by Terry Gilliam, stars Johnny Depp as Raoul Duke and Benicio del Toro as Dr. Gonzo. Previous attempts to adapt the book into a film included Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando as Duke and Gonzo. At one point, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi were considered for the duo; John Cusack was also almost cast. Animator/filmmaker Ralph Bakshi, Martin Scorsese, and Oliver Stone all tried unsuccessfully to direct an adaptation. Thompson met Depp and was convinced no one else could play him. Filmmaker Alex Cox was eventually hired to direct with Depp and Del Toro committed to starring in the film, but the filmmaker had “creative differences” with Thompson over the script treatment as documented in the documentary Breakfast with Hunter. Gilliam was subsequently hired and made the film with the writer’s approval. -Wikipedia.org
5. Donnie Brasco
Donnie Brasco is a 1997 crime drama film directed by Mike Newell, starring Al Pacino, Johnny Depp and Michael Madsen. It is based on the real-life events of Joseph D. Pistone, an FBI agent who infiltrated the Bonanno crime family, one of the Mafia’s Five Families based in New York City during the 1970s, under the alias “Donnie Brasco”. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Starting in 1975, FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone is assigned to infiltrate the New York City–based Bonanno crime family. Calling himself Donnie Brasco and posing as a jewel thief expert from Vero Beach, Florida, he befriends Benjamin “Lefty” Ruggiero, a low-level mob hit man whose personal life is in tatters, and Dominick “Sonny Black” Napolitano, the boss of Lefty’s crew. Lefty can’t seem to make enough money, his son is a drug addict and he is continually passed over for promotion to a higher position within the crime family. He continually reminds Brasco of his growing disillusionment about having spent 30 years in the Mafia (and killing 26 people), with little to show for it. -Wikipedia.org
4. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a 2007 musical film directed by Tim Burton. It is an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s Tony Award-winning 1979 musical. It re-tells the Victorian melodramatic tale of Sweeney Todd, an English barber who murders his customers with a straight razor and, with the help of his accomplice, Mrs. Lovett, processes their corpses into meat pies. Having been struck by the cinematic qualities of Sondheim’s musical while still a student, Burton had entertained the notion of a film version since the early 1980s.
However, it was not until 2006 that he had the opportunity to realize this ambition, when DreamWorks announced his appointment as replacement for director Sam Mendes, who had been working on such an adaptation. Sondheim, although not directly involved, was extensively consulted during the film’s production. It stars Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd and Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett. Depp, not known for his singing, took lessons in preparation for his role, which producer Richard D. Zanuck acknowledged was something of a gamble. However, Depp’s vocal performance, despite being criticized as lacking certain musical qualities, was generally thought by critics to suit the part (see Music section below). -Wikipedia.org
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a 2003 adventure fantasy film based on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney theme parks. It was directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. The story follows blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) as they rescue the kidnapped Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) from the cursed crew of the Black Pearl, captained by Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). Jay Wolpert developed a script based on the theme park ride in 2001 and Stuart Beattie rewrote it in early 2002.
Around that time, producer Jerry Bruckheimer became involved in the project; he had Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio work on the script, adding the supernatural curse to the storyline. Filming took place from October 2002 to March 2003 in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and on sets constructed around Los Angeles, California. As Governor Weatherby Swann (Jonathan Pryce) and his 12-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, sail to Port Royal, Jamaica, their vessel encounters a shipwreck with a sole survivor, the young Will Turner. Elizabeth hides a gold medallion that the unconscious Will is wearing, fearing it will identify him as a pirate. She glimpses a ghostly pirate ship, the Black Pearl. -Wikipedia.org
2. Ed Wood
Ed Wood is a 1994 American comedy-drama biopic directed and produced by Tim Burton, and starring Johnny Depp as cult filmmaker Edward D. Wood, Jr. The film concerns the period in Wood’s life when he made his best-known films as well as his relationship with actor Béla Lugosi, played by Martin Landau. Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette, Jeffrey Jones, Lisa Marie Smith, and Bill Murray are among the supporting cast. The film was conceived by writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski when they were students at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Irritated at being thought of solely as writers for family films with their work on Problem Child and its sequel, Alexander and Karaszewski struck a deal with Burton and Denise Di Novi to produce the Ed Wood biopic, and Michael Lehmann as director. Due to scheduling conflicts with Airheads, Lehmann had to vacate the director’s position, which was taken over by Burton.
Edward D. Wood, Jr. is struggling to join the film industry. Upon hearing of an announcement in Variety that producer George Weiss is trying to purchase Christine Jorgensen’s life story, Ed is inspired to meet Weiss in person. Weiss explains that Variety’s announcement was a news leak, and it is impossible to purchase Jorgensen’s rights. The producer decides to ‘fictionalize’ the film titled I Changed My Sex!, and “do it without the shemale”. One day, Ed meets his longtime idol Béla Lugosi, after spotting him trying out a coffin. Ed drives Béla home and the two become friends. Later, Ed decides to star Béla in the film and convinces Weiss that he is perfect to direct I Changed My Sex! because he is a transvestite. -Wikipedia.org
1. Edward Scissorhands
Edward Scissorhands is a 1990 romantic fantasy film directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp. The film shows the story of an artificial man named Edward, an unfinished creation, who has scissors for hands. Edward is taken in by a suburban family and falls in love with their teenage daughter Kim. Supporting roles are portrayed by Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall, Kathy Baker, Vincent Price, and Alan Arkin.
Burton conceived the idea for Edward Scissorhands from his childhood upbringing in suburban Burbank, California. During pre-production of Beetlejuice, Caroline Thompson was hired to adapt Burton’s story into a screenplay, and the film began development at 20th Century Fox, after Warner Bros. passed on the project. Edward Scissorhands was then fast tracked after Burton’s success with Batman. Before Depp’s casting, the leading role of Edward had been connected to Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Robert Downey, Jr., and William Hurt, while the role of The Inventor was written specifically for Vincent Price in his final performance. -Wikipedia.org