Johnny Depp out for Kusturica’s Pancho Villa film; Gael Garcia Bernal or Benicio Del Toro may step in

GATW Guest Writer

February 21st, 2011

Gael Garcia Bernal and Benicio Del Toro

Johnny Depp has left Emir Kusturica's Pancho Villa film THE SEVEN FRIENDS OF PANCHO VILLA AND THE WOMAN WITH SEVEN FINGERS. This news comes at the worst possible time, as the director was just about to begin filming! Salma Hayek is still attached to star, but now a male lead is in dire need.

The screenplay is based on James Carlos Blake’s fact-and-legend blending The Friends of Pancho Villa. Here is blurb about the book:

"Killers of men and lovers of life, they fought for freedom. For the Revolucion. For Villa. In return, they received a soldier’s highest honor. They shared life–and death–with the mightiest hero in all of Mexico."

Depp can't do every role that he wants to do. This decision makes complete sense, since he already has a full slate of awesome films on the horizon. It is a bit disappointing, because this sounds like a perfect role for him.

The news comes from Blic Online via BleedingCool, who reports that either Gael Garcia Bernal or Benicio Del Toro are likely to step in to fill the role. It's also reported that Kusturica will be meeting both actors soon:

"Kusturica will soon meet the two actors in Cuba, after which he will come to a final decision as to who gets to be Villa in his new production."

Kusturica has epic plans for this  film and has allegedly already compared it to Sergio Leone and Sam Peckinpah films. I think that either actor would be good in this role, I am a fan of both. It is interesting to note that both Del Toro and Bernal have also been linked to Scorsese’s SILENCE.

It will be interesting to see how this shapes up. What are your thoughts on this news?

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