From Pirate to Revolutionary, Johnny Depp Might Be Pancho Villa
by Ethan Anderton
December 3, 2009
Johnny Depp's experience playing characters of different ethnic backgrounds is mostly limited to different variations of regular English accents. From old English (Sleepy Hollow) to drunk English (Pirates of the Caribbean), there aren't many dialects left in the United Kingdom he hasn't tackled. But now Depp will be sailing into semi-unfamiliar waters as Variety reports that he is in negotiations to star as the titular Mexican revolutionary in Seven Friends of Pancho Villa and the Woman With Six Fingers. Also in talks to co-star is the lovely Selma Hayek who previously worked with Depp in Once Upon a Time in Mexico.
The biopic will be based on the more novel titled The Friends of Pancho Villa, written by James Carlos Blake, which focuses on how Villa, an early 20th-century bandit who became a guerilla fighter and a hero to the poor, and his ragtag team of bandits had a great time fighting and robbing the rich, but also dancing, partying and making love. That's right, Pancho Villa is the Mexican version of Captain Jack Sparrow, sans the high seas. Apparently Depp will act entirely in Spanish, which is a heavy departure from his other Hispanic based role in Don Juan DeMarco, where he merely spoke English with a vaguely Hispanic accent.
Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica, who worked previously with Depp on the 1993 film Arizona Dream, will direct the film, but production will most likely not begin until 2011 due to Depp's previous commitments. Though I have every confidence in Depp's acting abilities, I have no doubt that this will be a challenge for him. Taking on an accent is one thing, but acting entirely in a foreign language is completely different and much more difficult. Count me intrigued for now, but I'll wait to hear more once production gets closer.