'The Tourist' Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need To Know

We followed bewitching A-listers Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp as far as the City of Light to compile the dossier on this thriller.

Angelina Jolie has had a strange way of, in a sense, following Tom Cruise around Hollywood in recent years. First, Cruise parted with "Edwin A. Salt" and Jolie swooped in, switching up the gender of the duplicitous secret agent at the center of the action and prompting filmmakers to rename the flick simply "Salt."

Not long after the duo played a game of cinematic musical chairs, they embarked on another. Cruise had been eyeing a starring role opposite Charlize Theron in "The Tourist," which would have marked his first role after 2008's "Valkyrie." But whaddya know? Cruise passed on the film, and in came Jolie to play the lead female role, roping in Johnny Depp to take over Cruise's part.

As you can tell, we've been keeping a close eye on this project — an adaptation of a 2005 French thriller — watching as it orbited so many Hollywood stars. And with the film opening in theaters on Friday (December 10), we've compiled all of our information for another MTV News cheat sheet: everything you need to know about "The Tourist."

Making Travel Plans

The Jolie/Depp coupling took a little while to develop. After Cruise jumped ship in late 2008, Sam Worthington ("Avatar") was reportedly in line to star alongside Theron. It wasn't until a year later that Jolie's name surfaced as a replacement for Theron. Finally, in November '09, Depp came aboard the project. There was some speculation that directorial duties would go to "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" helmer Alfonso Cuaron, but the job ultimately went to "The Lives of Others" writer/director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.

With the key pieces in place, filming kicked off in Paris early this year. We got our first look at Jolie in character in February. She plays a mysterious — and seriously alluring — woman who ropes Depp's innocent American tourist into the middle of a tussle with Interpol agents hunting for Angie's fugitive ex-flame.

A Family Vacation

Our first opportunity to chat with the cast came this summer, when we caught up with Paul Bettany, who plays one of the agents chasing after Jolie and Depp and who had nothing but kind words to say about his co-star.

"I sort of fell massively in love with Johnny Depp, who's just one of the sweetest, funniest human beings you can possibly imagine," he told us. "It's so nice when you meet one of those people who make that much f---ing cash, that you kind of go, 'I'm really glad it happened to you.' It's awesome."

Bettany wasn't the only one who met Depp for the first time on "Tourist." Turns out, Depp and Jolie had never met before, either.

"Through all the years that they've been king and queen of Hollywood, they had never actually physically met, so I was the first person to ever bring them together," von Donnersmarck told us. "They just got along so well from the first moment they met that I knew it was going to be a lot of fun making this film. I probably have hours worth of bloopers where they were just laughing because they had so much fun inventing stuff on the fly and letting their incredible creativity run free."

Come Along for the Ride

With the film's debut approaching, MTV News shipped off to Paris to chat with the film's stars. Thanks for the invite, Angie! Good to see ya, Johnny!

While relaxing in the French capital, talk with Depp turned to Jolie's rather raw sense of humor. "It can go in many directions," Depp revealed. "There's a degree of certainly sophomoric kind of humor, but that always leads up to some sort of, unfortunately, some degree of scatological kind of interpretation."

Back in the States this week, we met up again with the two stars during the New York premiere. "It was wonderful," Jolie said of working with Depp. "He's as wonderful as you expect him to be. He feels like he's of a different decade. He's extraordinarily creative and extraordinarily kind. There's no one else like him."

Check out everything we've got on "The Tourist."

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