Thursday, April 18, 2024

Johnny Depp’s Recent Failures Won’t Hurt Him Says Blockbuster Producer Jerry Bruckheimer


Big party at the Monkey Bar on Wednesday night– swanky, I’d say– for beloved producer Jerry Bruckheimer and his 800 page coffee table book about his many successes. Many. From “Top Gun” to “Flashdance” to “CSI” on TV and the new possible “CSI Cyber” set in Washington DC starring Patricia Arquette. (Editor’s note: count me in on that, we are big PA fans.)

None other than Michael Douglas hosted, and toasted, with Blaine Trump, organized by Peggy Siegal. Among the guests: Bruckheimer’s equally popular wife Linda, plus actors Sigourney Weaver, Cuba Gooding Jr, Hugh Dancy and Clare Danes, Josh Lucas, director Paul Schrader, Sony Pictures Classics’ Tom Bernard, plus Hoda Kotb, Deborah Norville, super book agent Lynn Nesbitt, and huge star of the moment, the shockingly beautiful Gugu Mbatha-Raw from the hit indie movie “Belle.”

Wait– and yes, Shep Gordon, star of Mike Myers’ documentary “SuperMensch,” whom we’ve been lucky to have hang around New York for a few weeks. Wait til you see “SuperMensch.”

And wait til you see Jerry’s mammoth book, a great Christmas present for next winter, a must-have for film buffs right now. This is the man who invented Tom Cruise, let’s not forget that. “Top Gun” and “Days of Thunder” put Cruise on the map forever.

Bruckheimer told me he’s starting to think about a new “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie. Why not? The first 4 have made $3.7 BILLION dollars. But will Johnny Depp’s recent box office failures (Lone Ranger, Transcendence) affect him now?

“No,” insisted Bruckheimer, who knows his business better than I. “Before Pirates, Johnny did a lot of small movies. He even said, as the box office was coming in on the second Pirates, that all his previous movies hadn’t added up to that one at the box office. That’s not what he’s about. He’ll be fine.”

Michael Douglas was brave to make the scene. He was limping. After everything he’s been through, he either has a hernia or a pulled muscle in his groin. Jeez Louise. Tomorrow he goes to the doctor.

But Douglas was otherwise in fine form. He even read an email (used to be it was a telegram) from basketball legend Miami Heat coach Pat Riley. The trio are old pals.

Meantime, Bruckheimer told me casting is under way for the new “Beverly Hills Cop” with Eddie Murphy. Brett Ratner directs. No names are official yet. I did ask whether we will see Judge Rheinhold back on the job as Billy Rosewood. The answer is cloudy still, apparently. But how can you have “Beverly Hills Cop” without him?

At any rate, Bruckheimer’s book is called “When Lightning Strikes,” which sounds a little humble since the producer’s long list of hits is not just from luck. You can buy it on amazon at

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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