After making Disney billions of dollars with the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, Johnny Depp has started writing his own ticket through his Infinitum Nihil shingle, evidenced by “The Rum Diary” and the upcoming “Dark Shadows,” which Depp produced and helped develop with director Tim Burton and screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith. Depp is currently shooting “The Lone Ranger,” but has several other projects in the works, one of which is a biopic of Theodore Giesel, aka Dr. Seuss, which Depp set up last year to produce and possibly star in. The film is still in very early stages (i.e. no script, but Depp’s possible participation means it’s being actively developed), but the actor has revealed what he has in mind for the biopic, which could see Seuss interacting with his famous characters.
“A lot of writers I know have a tendency to talk to themselves or talk as the character — and then talk as the other character. You know what I mean? They can have a whole dialogue with themselves,” Depp told EW. “There’s something interesting about bringing these characters to life and maybe even witnessing him have a relationship with them.” No word on what characters Seuss will be interacting with, but the Lorax and the Cat in the Hat are a safe bet, considering Infinitum Nihil will be teaming with Illumination Entertainment for the biopic, and the animated production company recently released “The Lorax” and have a CGI adaptation of “The Cat in the Hat” in the works.
So, a biopic about an author discussing his creative process with his own characters seems like a fine narrative trick to use, but Depp doesn’t want to stop there. The actor is hoping to explore all of Giesel’s life as well. “This is the man who created all these incredible characters that every single one of us grew up with and loved,” Depp explained. “What was going on inside his mind? What was his life all about — all the way up to the end? How did he feel about it, how did he feel about those characters, and how did he live?”
Depp has a penchant for playing writers in movies, particularly the less family-friendly Hunter S. Thompson in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and, most recently, “The Rum Diaries,” and the “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?“-style mix of live-action and animated characters sounds like an interesting take on Seuss’ life. Next will be lining up a screenwriter, so there will be plenty of time before Depp even has to decided whether he wants to play Giesel in the film, which will be released at some point by Universal Pictures.