Johnny Depp becomes THE TOURIST with Angelina Jolie?

Alfonso Cuaron to direct the biggest male/female pairing since Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's Mr. and Mrs. Smith?

Another switch-a-roo but this one would indicate that The Tourist, now surely an A-list project,won't have any problems finding a male and female audience come the time of it's release in 2011. In a way it's going to become the ultimate date movie. No guy is going to complain about seeing an Angelina Jolie action vehicle with his woman, and every girl of a certain age will flock to see Johnny Depp in a sexy thriller. Put them together and your box office will explode. It's set to the be the biggest on screen male/female pairing since Jolie and Brad Pitt's Mr. and Mrs. Smith earned nearly $500 million worldwide in 2005. Production is set to begin in February... extra security will be needed on sets to keep the hordes away, I'd say.

Jolie-Depp-060109-480The biggest female star on the planet to team with Hollywood's most popular actor amongst the female demographic. The Tourist is the Hollywood remake of the 2005 French thriller Anthony Zimmer and to say it's had a troubling year of pre-production would be kind, really. Angelina Jolie recently replaced Charlize Theron as the female interpol agent who uses an American tourist (now Depp), so that she can get rid of an elusive criminal with whom she once had an affair. If talks go well, Depp will be the third actor to play the American tourist after Tom Cruise was on board for about a year and came VERY close to making the movie with Theron before a last minute change saw him go rom-com again with Cameron Diaz and then Sam Worthington came on with Theron still attached. Theron and director Bharat Nalluri (Miss. Pettigrew Lives For A Day) bailed, and the new creative team of Angelina Jolie (who right then kind of become the boss of the project) and her choice... German director Florian von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others) signed. Presumably Jolie always wanted Worthington gone from the project and today producer Graham King has come up trumps for her by bringing in Depp to replace him, a guy he has become close whilst making The Rum Diary. Though she won't be too happy that von Dommersmarck is gone but the amazingly gifted Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men) is in "early" talks to step in. alfonso-cuaron-12252006Cuaron's Children of Men was released in Sept. 2006 but the guy, who has been offered SOOOO many projects, hasn't committed to making a film since. According to Nikki Finke, Von Donnersmarck left because he became "difficult and demanding" but then by going out and trying to lure Cuaron, an auteur of the highest rank... they must realise he ain't gonna be a guy to do a paint by numbers job. If you wanted a last minute yes man then you should have hired Brett Ratner. The only stumbling block I can see in the way of Depp starring in this project is if it over-runs into Pirates of the Caribbean 4's shooting schedule. Filming on that one begins in the Spring, so if this one can be wrapped in a short time... he should be fine to do it.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.