After the hammering that The Lone Ranger got almost universally from critics, Johnny Depp made the announcement that he was thinking seriously of retiring from the film business. He friend and co-star in a number of films, Sir Christopher Lee has said that the idea of Depp retiring saddens him.
The announcement of Depp’s possible retirement came before the news that he has been officially cast in Disney’s next big-screen adaptation of Into the Woods. Depp will be the Big Bad Wolf, who must coerce, or seduce as at least one paper has put it, a young ten year-old girl. Sounds a bit like a very twisted Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. A film that coincidentally featured Lee as Depp’s long lost dentist father.
Disney’s Sean Bailey made the announcement about Depp portraying the Big Bad Wolf at the Anaheim D23 Expo. He also confirmed that Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine and Emily Blunt will be in the film as well.
Earlier in the week, it was announced that ten-year-old Sophia Grace would be appearing as the object of Depp’s coercion, or seduction, Little Red Riding Hood. So apparently the 50 year-old actor isn’t hanging up his grease paint just yet.
Sir Christopher Lee said Johnny Depp’s declaration that he was “probably not too far away” from retiring out of the “insane” business of making films made him very sad and somewhat dismayed. Lee has worked with Johnny Depp on four films, the most recent being the poorly received Dark Shadows film.
The 91 year-old acting legend said, “He is one of the major talents in the industry, and, God knows, we need them. Johnny is a star – and that’s not a term I ever use lightly. There are not a lot of them around today. It makes me sad that such a genuinely talented person is considering giving it all up.”
Lee, who was knighted by Prince Charles in 2009, said that he has never thought about retiring from the business. He said, “There are frustrations – people who lie to you, people who don’t know what they are doing, films that don’t turn out the way you had wanted them to – so, yes, I do understand.”
“I always ask myself ‘well, what else could I do?’. Making films has never just been a job to me, it is my life. I have some interests outside of acting – I sing and I’ve written books, for instance – but acting is what keeps me going, it’s what I do, it gives life purpose,” he added.
While Johnny Depp is no doubt preparing himself for his role as the Big Bad Wolf, Sir Christopher Lee will be appearing in The Desolation of Smaug, which is the second of the Hobbit films. The film will premiere December this year. The iconic actor says that he is also waiting for the UK release date for Night Train to Lisbon. Sir Christopher says that somewhat “mystifyingly,” the film “appears to have disappeared without trace.”
Sir Christopher Lee may be saddened by the thought of his friend and frequent co-star’s talk of retirement, but he himself plans to continue working. He said, “I’m realistic about the amount of work I can get at my age, but I take what I can, even voice-overs and narration”.
By Michael Smith