Thursday, March 6, 2008

Almost Exclusive: Public Enemies Story Details!

First I'd like to thank all of the IMDb people for stopping by my little blog world. Also it seems the major Johnny Depp forums have linked here - howdy guys. I will say that I might have a SMALL man crush on Johnny Depp but this is about the movie! I think he is one of the TRUE actors or our time.

1000 hits in two days! WOW!! Seriously! They can't ALL be my mom!
I've been looking for tidbits of info on John Dillinger and found this little thing.

"the gang pretended to be part of a film company that was scouting locations for a "bank robbery" scene. Bystanders stood and smiled as a real robbery ensued and Dillinger and friends rode off with the loot."

hmmmmmm - THE JIG IS UP MICHAEL MANN. Won't he be surprised when he finds out they are actually robbing an antique store! OOPS!!

OR - is it Johnny Depp fooling Michael Mann!?? Yea - think about it!!

That is Michael Mann on the right - not John Dillinger.
I was not able to get downtown yesterday but construction continues. Since I left all of my photos in my disk ON MY DESK at home you should go to Hollywood Wisconsin for some photos of the town.

A few other tidbits have have surfaced from the blog - I can not vouch for the authenticity, meaning that I have not had this confirmed by 3 independent sources . . .YET (working on it) so this has to go into the:

Columbus was first contacted as a potential site in November, 2007. The city kept it a secret until late February. After initial contact, the mayor had not heard from the filming company for a while, so it was figured Columbus was passed-up. But reviewing city web site hits revealed that over half of the December 2007 hits were from California, a sign that things might turn out.

Nancy?? I'm waving my finger at you SHAME ON YOU for keeping secrets (Nancy Osterhaus is the mayor of this fine town) .

2. Michael Mann, the director, came through town, and could immediately see the scenes. He told the driver to pull over, at which point he got out, and walked around the four corners several times. He would stop in the middle of the street, and the traffic had to drive around him (no police escorts or anything, just a guy in the street). The story goes that he asked to see the pictures they brought from Ann Arbor, Michigan (another possible filming site) and threw out Ann Arbor on the spot, as well as other cities.

3. Filming may also take place on Prairie Street, one block away and parallel to Harrison Street (where the Tadych’s live).

On a some personal points - I'm going to the casting call on Saturday in Oshkosh and should have some stories on THAT process. I have also been contacted by a local newspaper to be a Freelance writer and will be near (or ON) the set March 17th (or 18th) for the first shoot. The bank robbery. I'll point you to where that story will run (contract obligations forbid me to posting it here - I NEED A NEW CONTRACT . . .wait . . .I need ANY contract).
As for the Script - there are several scripts floating around - this is the synopsis of the one I trust the most and seems to be the most recent by way of

Public Enemies was written by Ronan Bennett with revisions by Michael Mann (Heat, Miami Vice) and Ann Biderman (Smilla’s Sense of Snow). The draft was dated November 2007. Needless to say, things can change since the strike is over, but Universal green light the movie based on this draft.

Johnny Depp is set to star as John Dillinger and, on the opposite side of the coin, Christian Bale as Melvin Purvis. Fresh off the Oscar win, Marion Cotillard is going to raise her status instantly in her turn as Dillinger’s squeeze Billie Frechette. Channing Tatum, Giovanni Ribisi and Stephen Dorff are set to round out the cast and some of Dillinger’s criminal cohorts.


Public Enemies focuses on John Dillinger from around the time he meets Billie Frechette to his death at the hands of law enforcement. This is also the story of the lawman, Melvin Purvis, set to task by J. Edger Hoover to bring him in.


John Dillinger is a gentleman’s bandit. While he’ll rob from a bank, he won’t take the customers’ cash as well. He’s a charmer and quick to sweep coat check girl Billie Frechette off her feet. He’s also a loyal friend and we first see him starting a jail break to bust pals out of the clink. These qualities elevate him to the status of a cult hero which makes Hoover all the more keen on catching him.

Melvin Purvis is a square-jawed lawman who finds himself in the deep end. After nailing Pretty Boy Floyd, he gets assigned to bring down Dillinger for Hoover and the Feds. Dillinger’s craftiness leads to some slip ups which wear down on Purvis. He isn’t out to make a name for himself, but learns early on his role to make a name for Hoover. Ultimately, Purvis sees Hoover for the bag of hot air that he is.

These two men are set on a collision course with bodies left in the wake.

The writing is terse and to the point, but easily conveys the tone and the world of crime-riddled 1930s Chicago. With a couple of robberies, the constant chase and some well-known criminals thrown in, the pace and excitement never slow. I think the weight of the love story will fall on Depp and Cotillard, but they’re up to the challenge. I’m really looking forward to Depp playing more of a standard leading man role after some fantastic, but fantastical, roles.

The thought of Depp vs. Bale has my knees weak in a totally hetero way. Those of you who caught Bale in 3:10 to Yuma know what he can do with a somewhat reticent lawman role.


This cast and story spell good things for Michael Mann. Mann just so happens to know his way around a crime flick and Public Enemies is a love letter to the gangster films of old. The Untouchables comes to mind as its more recent movie kin.
On a side note - truck after truck are bringing props into town. IF you read the above script synopsis it misses the part about when Dillinger meets the aliens (aliens in photo - could this be an exclusive??).

Hope you enjoyed today's blog - more tomorrow - hopefully!

Side note - Gary Indiana is being looked at for possible scenes in the movie!



  1. I just want to thank you so much for writing an interesting blog and keeping up with all of this information. It sounds like you're going to have some great opportunities coming up and I wish you luck. Keep up the good work, so many of us from this corner of the U.S. are clammoring for information! I completely respect your hetero fixation on the men in this movie, I'm not sure how the cast could get much better in that department. I'm just hoping some info comes out on the shooting in Crown Point, IN. I live less than an hour away and to have J.D. that close to me is just a dream come true. Lord knows what would happen if I actually saw the guy. Again, keep it up, great blog.

  2. 1000 hits - prepare for more! I've shared your site with many friends and the word gets around. :) Can't wait to hear the report from the casting call.
    Congrats on getting work for the local paper (hope it involves some $$$) and am looking forward to your blog updates. I love Bale's Batman, and his performances in 3:10 to Yuma, Rescue Dawn, and a quirky little piece entitled Reign of Fire. Depp's acting abilities are incredible. To see the two of them together - yes, I truly hope to get down to Columbus to be among the crowd watching the filming! Where's the best place to park? LOL! Wonder if David Wenham will be on hand - he did that little stint in LOTR...

    Grins and giggles ~~


  3. Well - local meaning Madison - so . . . local by 25 miles I guess.

    Working in Madison and living in Columbus I have two "locals".

  4. GRINDER: Thanks for leaving the comment and dropping a link to my blog. Yours is wicked, so much info keep it up man. Real good. If you're downtown on filming day or if you get in the flick let me know and we can shoot some pics!

  5. Hey, got to say I'm loving the blog. It's nice to hear about all the updates in between meetings at work. Very exciting! I'm one of the many who found you over IMDB. I was just wondering if you knew what part of Prairie Street they will be filming on. I'm from Columbus and grew up on W. Prairie at the bottom of the hill. Actually going back to visit my family this weekend and possibly stop by some bars downtown. Anyways, I've been fanticizing about having my house in the background of that scene, and myself in my bedroom window eating a bucket of popcorn while watching them film. Also, I hope they keep Sam the Barber's shop a barber shop for the movie. Look forward to hearing more from you.

  6. demon - you know know as much as I do about Prairie Street - I have a few new tidbits for tomorrow on other areas - nothing super exciting but things are moving along with construction.

    I swear as many people live in Columbus as saw the Ice Bowl LOL

  7. I'm surprised more people aren't comparing this film to Mann's "Heat." A great film about a gang of thieves and the gang of cops who chase them down. Mann seems to like to look at the tensions within and between these kinds of groups. Also sounds like this movie covers the same ground as 1973's "Dillinger." See any similarities in the script? Thanks for your excellent blog.

  8. Dang dude, now I really DO gotta keep up on my end, friggin Isthmus watchdog on the job. Funny how word spreads, keep it up!

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