This came in a few weeks ago from Johnny Depp. I made reference to it in a comment buried deep in the last post. It struck me recently that it deserved its own page. These are Johnny’s words, written in response to a request from the producers to comment about his participation in the film.

“DiCillo’s When You’re Strange is a meticulously crafted, exhilarating ode to one of music’s greatest, most exciting ensembles; The Doors.  Watching the hypnotic, hitherto, unreleased footage of Jim, John, Ray and Robby, both on and off the stage, I felt like I was there, with them, living and experiencing what they were experiencing, seeing it all through their eyes. Ultimately, Jim has been resurrected here to remind us that he is to this very day, one of the most significant frontmen/poets/shaman to ever grace a stage and that the band behind him, kept the music alive every step of the way, adding fuel to an already raging fire, all along their wild and electrifying ride into history.  The raw material entrances throughout.  In terms of a rock n’ roll documentary, or any kind of documentary for that matter, it simply doesn’t get any better than this.  What an honor to have been involved.  I am as proud of this as anything I have ever done.”

I, too am immensely proud of the film, and everyone who worked on it–including Johnny. His narration adds an eloquence and intimacy that lift the film into an entirely different dimension. His words above are extremely meaningful.

For everyone who has been asking about the US theatrical release I have been assured by the film’s producers that, “A theatrical release WILL happen.” It may not be a massive commercial release but I know a theatrical release is important to the producers and they are making every effort to ignite one. When it happens it will be within the next few months.

A definite fact is the film will air on TV in May on PBS. The goal would be to have the theatrical release just before then. There will of course be a huge DVD release soon afterwards. A soundtrack album is also happening. I’ve seen the artwork for it. Both it and the list of included Door’s songs are very impressive.

Sales continue strong in Europe. Most of the countries who have bought the film are working on setting up major theatrical releases. Several of the larger territories like France, Germany and Britain are planning theatrical premieres in late Spring of 2010.

So, that’s it. That’s what I know. When it comes time for the US theatrical release I will be asking all of you Doors fans out there to help us; spread the word, tell everyone you know. We’re going to need your help. All of you. Get ready.

Posted by:Tom

47 thoughts on “ 64. FROM MR. D ”

  1. Hey Tom,

    Excellent choice to put Johnny Depp’s note in its own post. Glad to hear the producers are supportive of a theatrical release. I still think they could reach additional audiences by doing ads or mini-graphics at the bottom of the screen during “Law & Order” episodes.

    We’re here and ready to spread the word when it happens. Congrats again on completing and getting this project out there. Been a great journey to read about it start to finish on the blog 🙂 I discovered this blog when you first posted about starting the Doors project…kinda cool to see it come full circle.

    My hat’s off to ya-

  2. Mad anticipation rambles across the far shore –

    A City Growls w/sleek aplomb, incessantly awaiting the arrival…

  3. I totally agree Tom. Mr. Depp’s comments did need their own entry. Powerful words. You must be very proud. Rightfully so. Rumors are flying it will hit the big screen in March. I’m not sure anybody asked you and if they did forgive me please. My question is, what is your favorite part of the film? Is there one scene for you which says yeah that F-in nailed it.? Thanks Man.

  4. Tom,
    have you secured a theatrical release in Ireland? Any chance you could post a complete list of those territories that have signed up?

    All the best,

  5. Tom,
    Anything about theatrical release in Spain? I couldn’t see the documentary at San Sebastian Festival.
    Many thanks,

  6. A heartfelt thank you to you, Tom, and to Johnny Depp. I’ve read his statement several times now–and used up most of a box of Kleenex in the process.

    Believe it or not, there was a time in the 70s when I was afraid The Doors were going to be nothing more than a footnote in rock history, and Jim remembered mostly for what he didn’t do in Miami.

    I couldn’t have been more wrong, nor could I be any happier to have been proven wrong.

    Thanks again.

  7. I love what Johnny Depp said. It really touched me that he praised both you and the project. From what i’ve heard Johnny doesn’t always do that.

    However, I can’t say often enough that without your script and your work as a director, without the cooperation of the Doors, and most importantly without Jim Morrison there would have been no songs, no words, no music and no spirit from which to weave this film and ignite the words on the screen.

    I love Elain’s idea about marketing it with the “Law & Order” franchise 🙂

  8. No worries Salli. People leave the ‘e’ off the end of my name all the time 🙂

    Tom–something else I realized–you said you worked hard to capture those soulful, intimate moments in the Doors film. And from what I’ve seen/read about Depp, he has that reverent, soulful quality about him–making the choice to hire him as narrator even more fitting.

    Am happy for you, Tom 🙂


  9. This is off topic of all of your current blog posts. I couldn’t find a way to private message you (please correct me if I’ve totally looked over the link, that scotch was very good) so I’m going to publicly humiliate myself instead (I find I do better in these situations anyway–keeps me in therapy).

    I just wanted to make sure it’s okay if I post some screencaps of “Delirious” to a Steve Buscemi fansite. I realize that by all rights this movie is your domain, and I don’t want to infringe on that in the least. No profit will be made from this picture sharing. They’ll simply be posted for anyone curious about that particular movie to look at or for those who’ve already seen that movie to reminisce. The pictures might also be used as wallpaper or icons at some point.

    So I just wanted the okay from you for this. It’s a beautiful movie.

    (Please let this be reviewed before published.)


  10. Hey Elaine,
    Yeah, it’s come around–I don’t know if it’s full circle but it has come around. The truly amazing thing through all of this has been the incredible support from people like you and Salli and Janet and David and Baron. It is really what has kept me going.
    I agree with you about Johnny Depp and the soulfullness. I knew from the beginning the narrator needed first and foremost needed to be someone you believed. Not just someone mouthing the words. This is a very emotional story. Johnny brought a huge part of himself to this and you can feel the intimacy in every word.
    I don’t know what the plans are for promotion. In order to do as you suggested on Law and Order time would have to be purchased from NBC; not cheap. I’ll mention it though. I know all people from Law and Order (Dick Wolf) are really pleased with the film and would want to find some way to support it.
    We shall see.

  11. Hey Baron,
    Good to hear from you. I can’t speak to those rumors about a March release except to say, it better fokkin happen!
    I like your question about my favorite part of the film. It really made me think. I was looking at it again today and I was struck by how much there is in it; performance, each member being highlighted, behind the scenes footage.
    But, maybe for me the most rewarding is the usage of the footage of Jim from his own film HWY. I took a chance early on in the writing and decided to use these images of Jim wandering through the desert as a kind of motif; an emotional thread that holds the narrative together.
    Jim’s presence in this footage is so immediate and intimate it is like having an amazing actor in a lead role. The fact that it is Jim, and it is from his own film only gives it more resonance to me.
    The film has soul.
    No question about it.

  12. Dear Janet,
    Thank you so much for your words. There was no way for me to tell this story without getting emotionally involved in it. And so I did. Not only do I care about these 4 guys, their talent and their music but I deeply care about this film.
    It deserves to be seen. Unfortunately these tough financial times are making it difficult–it is a music documentary after all. It’s funny but I don’t see it that way. I see it as an intense drama, a real feature film.
    It will get seen. Depp’s words cannot go unnoticed. But, like I said, we will need all the help we can get.

  13. Hey Salli,
    Thanks for writing when you were sick. Most important was what you said and I thank you for it.
    I couldn’t agree more: without Jim, the Doors and their music there would be no film. I’m extremely grateful to have been able to experience some part of that.
    It has changed me permanently.

  14. Hey Green,
    By all means go ahead and use the screen grabs. I’m actually amazed you asked. But, pleased. Really, thank you for your consideration.
    I’m glad you liked the film. Buscemi is incredible in it.
    Anything you can do to draw attention to his performance and the film is fine by me.

  15. Thx for the kind reply, Tom 🙂

    Hmm…guess I didn’t know how the NBC or airtime of promotion worked. My first thought was when the “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” series first began, the regular “Law & Order” episodes (along w/other shows on the same channel) had **constant** mini-graphics in the bottom right of the screen with the name of new series and premiere date. I figure if Wolf Films is one of the producers, wouldn’t they want to promote something they were part of on their own show time slot? Maybe in my mind I thought it might be less expensive that way. Dunno.

    At any rate, we’re ready to spread the word when it comes…


  16. Hey Tom and fellow Doors fans –

    Well, with every cloud, there is a silver lining. My laptop died this past week, but in my quest to update the Favorites and Bookmarked sites this weekend on the newer machine, I discovered the following:

    1. The Doors Soundtrack will be available March 16, 2010. You can pre-order it on Amazon here:
    (courtesy of idafan’s brilliant site…

    2. There’s a new trailer for WYS on the movie website. At the end of it, it says “Coming March 2010” so I hope that means we’ll see it in theatres then! For the trailer, they basically updated the beginning to add Depp to the credits, removed the song at the end, and kept the middle but added a few new images.
    Click on the trailer link and click the play icon.

    Exciting news about March 2010…I will keep an eye on our Indie cinemas here to see when it arrives. Then, of course, invite 500 of my closest friends to attend 🙂

    Hope life is treating you well, Tom!


  17. Hi Tom,

    Not only will i round up as many Doors fans as possible, but you will also have the support of many of my friends who i have converted into DiCillo fans ever since turning them onto your films at regular screenings in my house to attend When You’re Strange as soon as it appears over here in Ireland. And i will be mentioning you and your films in my reviews and column in the paper whenever possible.

    You have my undying support man!


  18. Thanks elaine!

    There will never be
    Another one like you
    There will never be
    Another one who can
    Do the things you do, oh.

  19. Very exciting! Always a good year when a DiCillo film hits the theaters. I’m in CT so I imagine I’ll have to hop the train to NYC to see this on the big screen but as with ALL of TD’s work it’ll be worth it!

  20. Hey Baron,
    I’m a little out of the loop on this stuff for some reason. If you heard April 2 then maybe that is true. And yes, it is great news.

  21. Hey Ewrann,
    Yes, I think you will have to hop the train. From what I understand the initial release will be in about 8 major cities, New York and LA among them.

    So, make sure you grab a couple folks and throw ’em into the train with you.

    More to come, I’m sure.

  22. Well….
    What is the next project you want to do Tom ? What is next on your horizon ? Is there a film you have always wanted to make but never had a chance ?

    – McKeever

  23. Hey Tom,

    I was wondering if you knew if one of those eight cities would include Detroit? I’ve been continueously checking your blog ever since I heard you had a Doors movie in the works and it only makes scense for me to go see it on the big screen! If not Detroit where do I have to go? Should I be planning a road trip soon?


  24. I was wondering the same thing about Atlanta. We *are* the hub for airlines and Southeastern activities, after all 🙂 Even got a hockey team down here after so many people from New York and New Jersey relocated here for the milder winters.

    Read an article in the Doors Examiner magazine that said according to Doors manager Jeff Jampol, the theatre release is scheduled for March or April, with the definitive PBS TV debut date listed.

    *attempts to wait patiently*


  25. Brendan,

    A fellow Irish DiCillo fan! 🙂 This is awesome news, i can’t wait!

    What do you say Tom…a personal appearance? 🙂

  26. Hey Mike,
    That’s another good question and dammnit will take another hour to answer. That’s a compliment. Let me think on it and get back to you. Right now I have two very different scripts I’ve written that are in various stages of development. One is a contemporary sex comedy (a truly under-appreciated genre) and the other is a darker crime movie with some rather intense sexual themes.
    So, you can see what’s on my mind.
    I mean, besides the Tea Party morons.

  27. Hey Rex,
    I know there will be 8 cities to start. It will most likely go to more as the release expands. Of course much depends on early attendance and word of mouth.
    I know this much; three of the first eight will be NY, LA, probably Boston. As soon as I know anything certain I’ll post it here.

  28. Hey Elaine,
    I know it will get down there near enough to you that you can see it. The release dates are for end of March, early April. As we get closer (within the next 2 weeks) I’m fairly confident there will be an official announcement and we’ll all know what’s what.
    Stay patient.

  29. Hey Brendan,
    Thanks for writing. You should hook up with Wayne and raise a few pints together after the film. I hope you enjoy it. I think it may even be a real 35mm print. Not sure. Up til now everything has been hi-def video so you may be in for a treat.

  30. Hey Wayne,
    Thanks for both your comments. I sincerely appreciate your support. And listen, you are a journalist now. That means your sole responsibility is to be completely objective. So, I insist that you feel free to write your honest opinion of the film if you’re going to review it.
    I haven’t heard anything yet about coming over. I’d sure like to. I was in Dublin over-night once, doing publicity for Living In Oblivion. It was there, in the hotel bar, that I had the great, mind-blowing experience of drinking my first real Guinness draft. Like I said, it was like drinking a fresh loaf of bread.
    Mighty nice.

  31. Hi Tom,

    Great news to hear that WYS will finally be widely seen. I can’t wait for the blu-ray. Meanwhile I’ll continue to do what I can to spread the word when it gets it’s theatrical release. I just wonder what PBS is going to do about the nudity? Also, the soundtrack. I’ll buy it just on principle but hopefully it’ll be more interesting than just another greatest hits collection. It’d be cool if it’s Johnny Depp singing the Doors songs. 🙂 He didn’t do bad in “Sweeney Todd”.
    Speaking of which, “Variety” reports Johnny is directing a documentary on Keith Richards. I think it’s fair to say that you didn’t sour him on rock docs. Actually, perhaps WYS helped inspire him to dive in?
    Take care and thanks for all the good times here.

  32. Hey Jeff,
    PBs is going to run the film as is and put the sex photos of Sarah Palin and Pat Robertson over any sexually oriented body parts.

    Or they may “tastefully” blur the offending appendages.

    The soundtrack cuts are still being assembled. Depp may be involved in some other ways.

    Looks like the end of the 1st week of April for the theatrical release. Like I said, 8 cities at first then…who the fu__ knows?

  33. Hi Tom, Densmore was heard saying Depp will do some Morrison poetry on the soundtrack. Can you provide any additional info on this? Thanks. Great to see everything is falling into place Tom. Best of luck. My signed WYS poster of Ray, John and Robby hangs proudly in the film room. I’d break the glass to get your sig on there.

  34. Hey Tom,

    Great news – end of first week of April, huh? I will be keeping my eyes open at our theaters here–and within driving distance.

    Looking forward to it!


  35. Tom,

    Thank you so much for replying. I knew there was a 99.9 chance of you giving your okay. But since you’re so available online it was convenient to ask if, for no other reason, than to share my respect for your work. (notice me! notice me! notice me!)

    Hey, and don’t discount Dicillo fans. Doors fans are great, but the Dicillo fan basket is available for eggs as well. …scrambled that idiom.

    If you’re interested in seeing the screencaps, don’t hesitate to ask.


  36. “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.”
    Aldous Huxley 1954

    Love the introduction (or at least on the trailer.)

    It is getting exciting!

    I believe the youngsters around the world will really embrace your film!

  37. Hey Tom,

    Glad to hear Boston is likely to be one of the opening cities. Sex comedy, eh? What the world needs is another Russ Meyer (a personal favorite in my family) and I believe it could be you!

    Your pal,


  38. Hey Baron,
    There is some possibility the Johnny Depp will be reading some of Jim’s poetry on the film’s soundtrack cd. Not absolutely definite yet but moving forward.
    You keep that Sundance poster under glass. I think it’s going to be a Collector’s Item.
    Strong showing for the film at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. They added another screening. I think that is very, very encouraging.
    Come on April.

  39. Hey Rai,
    I love Russ Meyer but my new film is actually more along the lines of the classic European sex comedies of the mid-60’s. From directors like Eric Roehmer, Roger Vadim etc.

  40. Hi Tom,

    I got my ticket for When You’re Strange at the Dublin Film Festival. I am so excited, as a film fan first and a critic second, it is extremely exciting for me to be seeing my first DiCillo movie in a theatre and I will be 100 per cent obejective and honest when reviewing it. Earlier in the day I will also have the privilege to see Hal Hartley’s The Unbelievable Truth on the big screen for the first time, a favourite of mine and also part of the festival…a duet of pleasures 🙂

    Brendan, we should indeed have a post-When You’re Strange pint!

  41. Hey Wayne,
    When is the film screening? Also, do you know how many screenings it will have there?
    Also, make sure you drink 4.7 beers before the screening.
    The Unbelievable Truth is actually my favorite Hartley film.

  42. Hi Tom

    Yeah the screening is on the 22nd of this month at Cineworld in Parnell Street, Dublin. There is only one screening, at 6.30 in the evening…plenty of time for a pre-screening beer haha. Hope the info helps.

    I also agree strongly, The Unbelievable Truth captures everything what was great about Hartley’s early output.


  43. Hi Tom,

    “Variety” just had an announcement about the film. It must be official now. It exists! Says the soundtrack hits on March 30th, then the film will be released April 9th in New York, Los Angeles, Philedelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle and San Francisco (and then I guess maybe more places if there’s an audience response). It also says the DVD will be released 3 months later.
    You probably know all this but I thought it would be a good FYI for the folks here. Johnny Depp’s got a big 3D “Alice in Wonderland” being released in March directed by Tim Burton, so during all the hype for that maybe he’ll put in a few words for WYS. That could raise awareness.
    Sounds like a lot a fun the next few months. We could use it. Best, Jeff

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