Johnny Depp to Produce & Star in Magical 'Mortimer Wintergreen'
Johnny Depp has starred in his fair share of bizarre and quirky roles over the past decade or so, and now the talented producer/actor has added another dash of whimsy to his schedule. THR reports that Depp will produce and may star in Mortimer Wintergreen, a magical adventure film from Warner Bros. based on Myron Levoy's 1987 young adult novel The Magic Hat of Mortimer Wintergreen. Susanna White (Nanny McPhee Returns) will direct from a script by playwright and author Jack Thorne with Depp playing the title character, a travelling magician who meets two young children who have run away from their evil aunt.
Here's the synopsis of Levoy's novel, The Magic Hat of Mortimer Wintergreen, from Amazon:
In 1890s South Dakota, Amy and Joshua escape from their mean Aunt Vootch. They plan to find their grandparents in New York, and manage to team up with a traveling magician, Mortimer Wintergreen, who is also New York bound. Mortimer owns a truly magic hat with a temperamental, mischievous mind of its own. Adventures abound as their way is blocked by outlaws, runaway hot-air balloons, geese, and their persistent Aunt Vootch. But the hat is always ready for action.
It's interesting to note that THR's report says the movie version is only going to be "loosely" based on Levoy's novel, so that leaves room for Depp's magical character to take center stage. Sounds a little like this could match the tone of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, which had tons of style (and some fascinating work from Jim Carrey), so we'll see just how closely the final product sticks to the book's narrative. Either way, I'm excited that Depp is stepping away from his comfort zone (aka Tim Burton) for a project like this, so we'll see if White and Thorne can craft with a vision that's equally iconic as some of Depp and Burton's collaborations.