First Look: Johnny Depp as John Dillinger in Public Enemies
I've always been a huge Johnny Depp fan; though over the last few years I've felt compelled to keep that to myself what with the Pirates of the Caribbean drivel. Thankfully, that period of distraction is over and Depp is now assuming more compelling roles, like Sweeney Todd - Depp and Burton are always great together - and the under-production Michael Mann project - Public Enemies. Depp portrays Jon Dillinger of 1930s bank robbing fame. AICN brings us early photos of the pursed-cheeked gangster, complete with Tommygun and a bag full of fresh takings.
Depp and crew are presently filming in Columbus, Wisconsin. While I'm not exactly sure who the older gentleman is with the red tie, the other fellow looks to be Channing Tatum, who plays Dillinger's associate Pretty Boy Floyd; you have to admit, Tatum is pretty. Other public enemies (as they were called at the time) include: Giovanni Ribisi as Alivn Karpis; Jason Clarke as John "Red" Hamilton; Stephen Graham as Baby Face Nelson; Stephen Dorff as Homer Van Meter; and John Ortiz as Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti.
Not all of these folks run with Dillinger, however. Karpis was part of the infamous Baker Gang during that time, and Nitti was with Al Capone. I'm not quite sure how all these folks come together, but it should certainly be interesting.
What we do know is that Christian Bale plays famed FBI agent Melvin Purvis, who is most known for capturing more of these "public enemies" than anyone in history. Purvis' distinction is largely tied to Dillinger. I doubt this is much of a spoiler, since we are talking about actual history here, but Purvis lead the team that confronted Dillinger on July 22, 1934 outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago. That confrontation ultimately ended in Dillinger's death.
Pitting Bale against Depp is just delicious. The two are certainly cast well - Bale, stiff-jawed, stoic and a man's man; and Depp, slick, cunning and quietly mad. I'm really looking forward to Depp's portrayal of the "Jackrabbit" - Dillinger got this nickname because of the way he leaped over counters and such during robberies - and how he battles the FBI and rival gangsters.