Depp to play Pancho Villa
It was back in February of last year that we heard Emir Kusturica, a winner of no less than two Palme d'Or's, was set to make a film about Pancho Villa, but the details of the casting and the film come as a little bit of a surprise.
José Doroteo Arango Arámbula, aka Pancho Villa, was one of the first Mexican Revolutionary generals who commanded the División del Norte (Division of the North), he was the leader of the Northern Mexican state of Chihuahua and was provisional Governor of Chihuahua in 1913 and 1914. After his death it was some twenty years before he was accepted as a national hero of Mexico.
Emir Kusturica is set to bring his story to life on the big screen along with his regular writing partner Gordan Mihic from the novel The Friends of Pancho Villa by James Carlos Blake (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com).
You can read more about Pancho Villa on Wikipedia, but the story itself is not the most interesting part, it's the casting.
It sounds a strange role for Depp considering his lighter and more blockbuster fare lately in his career, but there are a few smaller titles appearing on his horizon which may well mark the return to richer and more independent roles.
There's an additional challenge for the actor for the film, now called Wild Roses, Tender Roses from the previous title of Seven Friends of Pancho Villa and the Woman with Six Fingers , will be shot in Spanish. Kusturica is convinced that this is going to be his biggest film yet, and from the accounts so far it certainly will be.
"This is going to be my biggest movie. I will be doing it without compromise"
The film is, according to the article, being billed as an epic in the style of Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns and Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch. Now that is indeed aiming high, but it's perfectly feasible budget wise, although one might think that the casting of both Depp and Hayek has already pushed the budget straight up considering their profile.