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Director of Pirates Trilogy Visits Jacob Burns

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Gore Verbinski, director of the Pirate of the Caribbean trilogy, screened his latest film Rango at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville Thursday night and afterwards took questions from fans about the movie.

The film is an animated western about a pet chameleon named Rango, voiced by Johnny Depp, who is stranded in the desert surrounded by wild animals and is forced to discover his identity in a fictitious town by the name of ‘Dirt’.  The film is Verbinski’s first animated feature film as a director.

In casting Depp for the lead role, who also starred in the Pirates trilogy, Verbinski said the choice was an easy one.

“I basically went up to him while we were filming the second Pirates movie and told him ‘hey I’ve got this idea for an animated film that stars a lizard in an identity crisis and it’s going to be a western’,” Verbinski said.  “And as soon as I told him that he just said ‘I’m in, let’s do it’, and just like that he was on board,”

The film also stars Isla Fisher, best known in Wedding Crashers , and Abigail Breslin, known for her role in Little Miss Sunshine .

Verbinski said he enjoyed the opportunity to make an animated film, but missed some aspects of a traditional film.

“I’m a big fan of those awkward instances that aren’t planned in filming and sort of just happen,” Verbinski said.  “With animation you can’t have that because every shot and everything in the movie is manufactured,”

In the production process, Verbinski said he and his crew made the decision early to not make a 3D version of the film, as many animated films today are doing.

“I just thought that since it was our first animated film I thought that that alone was enough for us to bite off,”

Earlier this week, Rango was nominated for nine Annie Awards including Best Animated Feature Film.  The film, which was released in March, grossed over $123 million nationwide.

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