Step on it, Johnny! The coppers are coming!
Here’s a photo from the set of Michael Mann’s Public Enemies, starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale (picture courtesy of TheBadandtheUgly. As you can see, this is Depp decked out in 1930s fedora (and that’s pretty much all we can see of what he’s wearing) in what is presumably a period car.
Depp is playing John Dillinger in this adaptation of Bryan Burrough’s nonfiction book Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34. Filming recently began in Columbus, Wisconsin (most of the crimes recounted in the book take place in the Midwest).
One interesting point–in May, 1934, Dillinger had plastic surgery, making enough of a change in his appearance that he was able to, for the first time in months, venture out freely without fear of being recognized and caught. He even settled in Chicago, the heart of the FBI operation in charge of tracking him down, where he went out to Cubs games, amusement parks, and dance clubs with a new girlfriend. So what’s the movie going to do about this? Are they going to change Depp’s appearance in the middle of the film? They can’t ignore it, can they? This is too well-known a fact about Dillinger (especially for those, like me, who have their own copies of Public Enemies!). I’m interested in how they plan to handle this. I don’t doubt that Depp would be up for any kind of heavy makeup or prosthetics; I guess it’s just a matter of how far they’ll go (and btw, if you’re wondering what plastic surgery was like for criminals on the run, well, let’s just say that surgery done in someone’s house by a doctor with a shady reputation can get ugly pretty quickly, with lots of blood and vomit factoring in. Yuck. Don’t try this at home, kids.)