In what should be filed under the category “Are You Freaking Kidding Me?” it appears that Disney is under the impression that Johnny Depp’s new film, The Rum Diary, will overshadow the multi-billion dollar franchise known as the Pirates of the Caribbean.
The studio that Mickey Mouse built has banned ABC affiliates from speaking with and videotaping Johnny Depp concerning his new film, The Rum Diary (opening in theatres on 10/28).
This news is a little disconcerting for ABC affiliates who no doubt were looking forward to spotlight the actor’s upcoming release, just on the fact of his visibility and sustaining viewer interest in its news broadcasts before airing a package or satellite interview with Capt. Jack Sparrow.
Instead, if you want to see Depp promote The Rum Diary you’ll have to switch over to a local NBC, CBS or FOX affiliate.
While Disney is disseminating what can and what can’t be covered by ABC affiliates (note: The Walt Disney Co. owns ABC Inc. and several ABC owned and operated stations), it’s understandable why they would want to prevent Depp from promoting a film that it was not distributing.
As part of Johnny Depp’s contract agreement with Disney, he has a clause that prevents him from speaking about other projects not associated with Disney on ABC affiliated stations. This also included his appearance recently at the Austin Film Festival, as Houston’s KHOU station was not allowed to speak with him or shoot the actor at the event where he received an award for his “Extraordinary Contribution to Film.”
This logic seems flawed, as The Rum Diary isn’t directly competing against Pirates of the Caribbean. Unless Disney figures the new release will undercut the sales of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which arrived on DVD and Blu-ray on 10/18.
The Rum Diary is based on the novel of the same name by Hunter S. Thompson about a reporter in Puerto Rico during the 1950s. Depp, who previously starred in another Thompson adaptation, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, both produced and stars in the film.