Johnny Depp To Play Houdini?

Remember when Johnny Depp — the Johnny Depp of “Edward Scissorhands” and “Gilbert Grape” and “Ed Wood” — was the coolest dude in American movies? That was before he turned into Paycheck Johnny, opting for endless heaps of “Pirates of the Caribbean” and Tim Burton junk like “Alice.” Didn’t he ever learn the Too Cool Rule, which is one paycheck movie followed by one interesting indie? I don’t know if Depp’s just-announced project — to happen after post-production Depp-ics like “London Fields” and “Into the Woods” — will be worthwhile or not. The subject, Harry Houdini, is offbeat enough, but the description of the flick — Houdini as a superhero — makes it seem as if it will be pumped-up just like Hollywood likes to inflate every other folk hero, real and imagined, from a hundred years ago. Sherlock Holmes, etc.

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