Not much is known about Gore Verbinski’s latest collaboration with Johnny Depp, a CG animation/motion-capture hybrid movie about household pets on a dangerous cowboy adventure. Turns out that lack of knowledge extends to the title itself, which MTV News has learned might not even be called “Rango,” as had been previously reported.
So, new title—check! But Nighy also kicked us some other news about the project: he’ll be playing the villain who does battle with Depp’s animated lizard. “I play the bad guy,” he revealed. “I play a very, very bad guy. I’m a rattlesnake and I am a gun-slinging assassin. I literally have a Gatling gun—I have a machine gun in my tail—so I can just spray the whole town. I can kill everybody whenever I wish. I’m brought in by the corrupt sheriff to sort things out. It’s quite cool.”
While the movie will be an Industrial Light & Magic-supervised animated film, Verbinski is using motion-capture technology to aid in the animation process—though the cast didn’t have to don those ultra-tight leotards often used in the capture process. “We didn’t have to wear anything,” Nighy said. “It’s somewhere between [animation and motion-capture].”
Joining Nighy and Depp in the cast will be Isla Fisher as another lizard, Ned Beatty and Harry Dean Stanton. The script was penned by John Logan (“The Aviator”) and the drawings for the animation, we have learned, are being done by Verbinski’s collaborator from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films.
“Crash, the artist who did all the drawings for ‘Pirates,’ he’s done the creatures and he’s worked with Gore before, obviously on ‘Pirates,’ but on other things as well,” Nighy said. “He’s brilliant. He’s done the drawings for the animation. I think it will be a very cool thing.”