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Some began to wonder about the status of Johnny Depp's relationship at Disney after the $250 million western Lone Ranger bombed at the box office, but it turns out that their bond is just as strong as never. Not only is Depp set to star in the studio's adaptation of the Broadway musical Into The Woods for 2014 and another Pirates of the Caribbean sequel in 2015, now we are learning that Depp is both close to signing on to do a sequel to a different one of his Disney hits and has moved his production company to be a part of the House of Mouse.
Deadline has the news that the international star is now working out a deal that will see him star in the sequel to Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. Talk about a follow-up began to gain steam when it was rumored that The Muppets director James Bobin could take the helm of the feature; now that report has been confirmed and it appears that the franchise will be continuing with its biggest star. Unless there are some big changes in the works, Depp will presumably return as the Mad Hatter. The article doesn't mention if any of his co-stars from the first movie, such as Mia Wasikowska or Helena Bonaham Carter, will be joining him in part two. Linda Woolverton, who wrote the Burton film, is handling the script.
It has also been discovered by Variety that Depp has moved his production company, Infinitum Nihil, over to Disney from Warner Bros. Deadline says that this deal was actually struck back in March, but is only being discovered now. The studio has given the actor a multi-year first-look deal that will allow him to produce titles under the studio brand. Infinitum Nihil was founded back in 2004 but didn't release a film until the 2011 Hunter S. Thompson adaptation The Rum Diary. He also produced Martin Scorsese's Hugo, Tim Burton's Dark Shadows, and Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger.
This is the second potential project that Depp has lined up this week. He is also in talks to reunite with Secret Window director David Koepp on Mortdecai, which will see him star as an art dealer/rogue named Charlies Mortdeai who goes on a globetrotting mission to try and recover a stolen painting so that he can get a code that will lead to a safe fill with Nazi gold. Depp will be trying to squeeze the project in before he has to start production on Pirates of the Caribbean 5, which means that the Alice in Wonderland sequel might not be happening all that soon.
Depp will next be seen in Oscar winning cinematographer/first-time director Wally Pfister's sci-fi thriller Transcendence, in which he will play a man who has become one with a computer. The movie co-stars Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Cole Hauser, and Clifton Collins Jr. and will be in theaters April 18, 2014.