Rango – 2011 – dir. Gore Verbinski
In preparation to play an exaggerated, though realistic, portrayal of Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, Johnny Depp spent several months living in Thompson’s basement looking through the writings and mementos from the drug filled adventure that became the book “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas“. Depp was also studying his mannerisms, he wanted to bring the whole aura of Thompson, with the guns, the drugs, and more, to life. When the film adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas came out, Depp received a lot of positive reviews for the way that he accurately portrayed the larger than life persona of Thompson. In the years since Fear and Loathing, Depp has found various ways to pay tribute to the man that let him into his home. When Thompson died in 2005, Depp paid for the outlandish funeral party. He also narrated the Alex Gibney 2008 documentary, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Depp has even stated that Thompson was part of his influence for the character of Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. In 2011, Depp ventured into the animated Wild West in the form of a chameleon, in the popular film Rango. Though the character is animated, as well as a reptile, one can see that Depp intended the unnamed chameleon to be a tribute to the author.