Happy 50th birthday, Johnny Depp! It feels like only yesterday we were crushing on you as a kid cop in 21 Jump Street and sobbing after Freddy turned you into a bloody mess in A Nightmare on Elm Street. In celebration of this momentous occasion (that makes Depp fans feel ancient), The Playlist dug up some info on the actor's first and only directorial project, cowritten with his brother, D.P. Depp (worst name ever?).
Website IMDb offers this synopsis for The Brave, which makes us wonder why we waited so long to find out that Johnny Depp made a movie, and it involves snuff: "A down-on-his-luck American Indian recently released from jail is offered the chance to 'star' as the victim of a snuff film, the resulting pay of which could greatly help his poverty-stricken family."
Sounds intense, but the movie was critically panned after screening at Cannes and TIFF. "Depp's ignominious directorial debut crawls across the screen for two hours like a snail. Narratively inept and dramatically empty… " Screen International wrote. Friend and Don Juan DeMarco costar Marlon Brando has a lead role in the film, which puts a neo-Western twist on the Doctor Faustus story and is adapted from the novel of the same name by Gregory McDonald. Iggy Pop performed the soundtrack, which has a great vibe to it. The two men appeared in Jim Jarmusch's incredible film Dead Man — another avant-garde neo-Western.
Before the days of Kickstarter, when artists were forced to use their own money for everything, Depp sunk $2 million into the movie and never saw a profit. "I couldn't care less [about the reviews]… I didn't make this film to entertain people. I'm not an entertainer… I hope people really love it or really hate it," Depp told the LA Times in a 1997 interview. Judge for yourself by watching the first part of the film, then head to the Playlist for more (or follow the YouTube links).