Thursday, March 5

Public enemies

2009 is shaping up to be a banner year for blockbuster films including PUBLIC ENEMIES a story about John Dillinger starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale.

Entertainment Weekly had a few exclusive images today from PUBLIC ENEMIES check them out below:

You could say being an outlaw runs in Johnny Depp's blood. After all, his grandfather ran moonshine on the back roads of Kentucky during Prohibition. So it shouldn't come as any surprise that the actor jumped at the chance to play John Dillinger in Public Enemies. ''Dillinger was one of those guys, like Charlie Chaplin and Evel Knievel, that I was fascinated with at a young age,'' says Depp. ''And because of my grandfather, the character was pretty easy for me to connect to. In a way, this movie was a salute to him.''

Based on a book by Bryan Burrough, Enemies is a cat-and-mouse thriller about the early days of the FBI, and one agent's pursuit of the Depression-era bank robber whose dizzy reign of stickups and near escapes ended in a hail of bullets outside of Chicago's Biograph Theater in 1934. Dillinger lived fast, died young, and left not only a handsome corpse but a legacy as one of the most notorious criminals of the 20th century.

Directed by Michael Mann (Heat, The Insider), and costarring Christian Bale as the dashing federal agent Melvin Purvis, Public Enemies might sound like a blood-soaked chapter of ancient history. But the film's themes couldn't be more timely: Dillinger was sticking up banks at a time when people weren't exactly rooting for the banks. As a result, he became something larger than life—a rock star with a tommy gun. ''Some people might disagree, but I think he was a real-life Robin Hood,'' says Depp, who just finished playing the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, due 2010. ''I mean, the guy wasn't completely altruistic, but he went out of his way not to kill anybody. He definitely gave a lot of that money away. I love the guy.''

Still hip-deep in the editing stage of the film, which he's readying for its July 2009 release, Mann remains in awe of his two leading men. ''Johnny has courage and immense power. It's all about the spontaneity of the moment for him. Christian works in a totally different way. He becomes the character so totally that he's that person 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The accent, everything.''

Mann shot on the actual locations where Dillinger and Purvis made headlines, because, he says, ''when your hand touches the same doorknob Dillinger's did, it starts to talk to you.'' The director even managed to get his hands on a still-preserved suitcase left behind by Dillinger after one of his narrow getaways. ''All of the dress shirts were still folded perfectly,'' says Depp. ''It was a real insight into the guy. Because everything was ready to go at a moment's notice. It was just economical and beautiful.''

Depp even got to wear the pair of pants that Dillinger had on when he was finally caught and riddled with bullets. ''It was amazing,'' he says. ''And—get this—we're the same size!'' Like we said, the man was born to play the part.

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