A bug-eyed green lizard wearing a red Hawaiian shirt is bound to be um, conspicuous looking. Especially when the words JOHNNY DEPP is emblazoned above it. One commenter suggested in youtube, the shirt seems to be an homage to his role in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. The Kentucky-born mega star is no stranger to doing VO work for animated feature (his last major VO work was for Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride). This time he plays a chameleon with an identity crisis. Ha! That alone sounds amusing. The plot per IMDb:
A chameleon that aspires to be a swashbuckling hero finds himself in a Western town plagued by bandits and is forced to literally play the role in order to protect it.
The chameleon-like actor is definitely a fitting choice to ‘play’ a chameleon. He re-teams with his Pirates of the Carribean‘s director, Gore Verbinski, and is surrounded by an eclectic cast: Bill Nighy, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Ray Winstone, Ned Beatty, Harry Dean Stanton, and Alfred Molina. Acclaimed screenwriter John Logan, who’s also just recently wrapped Coriolanus co-wrote the script.
According to EW’s Popwatch, Verbinski also used a novelty process of ‘shooting’ a CG-animated feature. So instead of having the actors ‘act out’ their lines in a recording studio, the director had the entire cast gather in a studio stage during the course of the 20-day shoot. They even use a limited amount of props, sets and costumes, and video cameras recorded their performances as they performed their scenes. “It’s not motion capture — we call it emotion-capture,” says Verbinski. “I didn’t want to give up the techniques that were developed in shooting live action, where you try to optimize the possibility of capturing the awkward moment — the moment where things aren’t cerebral or manufactured.” The animation itself is done by George Lucas’ Industrial Light Magic (ILM), which also supplied the CGI effects for the Pirates movies.
Anyway, I think the trailer looks funny. Weird of course, but hey, it’s Johnny Depp’s, peculiarity is his specialty. I LOVE the scene where the big rock creature tells Rango “try not to look conspicuous” in the vast Mojave desert, and the dazed & confused lizard pretends to be a cactus with all the cactus needles sticking out of him.
I’m up for this one. Too bad it won’t be released until next year: March 4, 2011.