Pandora: Depp's trip back in time with Gilliam called off

He may boast one of the most prolific big-screen careers in recent history, but it seems that Johnny Depp has been forced to abandon his long-planned project with the former Monty Python star Terry Gilliam.

The colourful director first persuaded Depp to appear in his ambitious film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote in 2000, with the actor cast as a modern-day advertising executive transported back to the 17th century.

Events went on to conspire against Gilliam: amid mounting budgetary pressures, he saw his set in Spain washed away by a freak storm, while his lead actor, Jean Rochefort, had to pull out after suffering a herniated disc.

Gilliam, whose misfortune was chronicled in the documentary Lost In La Mancha, has long been adamant that the project would be revived, with his friend, Depp, back on board.

Unfortunately, this is no longer the case: "I can now honestly say that I'm not working with Johnny on Don Quixote," Gilliam tells us. "He's booked himself up on a lot of other films.

"I wanted to shoot Don Quixote next spring. He said he's not available and we have both agreed that I'm going to die soon, so it would be nice to get this film under my belt."

Hain fumbles about on Facebook

Having only just returned to the Labour front bench as Welsh Secretary, Peter Hain appears overly keen to promote his rebellious credentials. After clashing with the Home Secretary over Gary McKinnon's extradition to the US, the ever-bronzed politician raised eyebrows when a newspaper headline reporting the "Cabinet split" was proudly posted on his Facebook page. Hain's spokesman is keen to explain when I call. "The link was accidentally uploaded without Mr Hain's knowledge and it has been removed," he curiously reveals.

The sick truth about Heigl's acting...

The sight of Hollywood exports trying their luck on the West End stage has become a regular spectacle in recent years, but Katherine Heigl isn't filling her would-be employers with confidence. The actress felt duty-bound to issue the following warning when asked about the chances of her treading the boards.

"I'm a big coward and I'm really afraid of live audiences," she confessed to Pandora at this week's premiere of The Ugly Truth in London's Leicester Square. "I used to really want to do stage some day, but I don't think me on stage for any length of time would work because I would inevitably throw up, and that would be embarrassing."

Should she ever change her mind, that's one theatrical debut that could prove more memorable than most.

Save The Observer, tweets Mitchell

After bosses confirmed that The Observer could be closed, one of its celebrity columnists has issued a call to arms. Comedian David Mitchell, a regular scribe for the world's oldest Sunday newspaper, has been urging fans following his Twitter page to join the Save The Observer campaign, on the social networking site. "If you like me, please follow savetheobserver," he writes. "And don't let hating me stop you either." He adds: "A boost in sales in the next few weeks would be a great demonstration of how it would be sorely missed."

Lette lets rip at kitchen goddesses

Don't expect Kathy Lette to be breaking bread with Nigella Lawson any time soon.

Lette suggests that the "domestic goddess" has a lot to answer for. "The rise of the Domestic Goddess has put feminism back 50 years," she declares. "There's so much pressure to rush home and prepare a dinner party. My preferred recipe is to roast a domestic goddess, slowly, on a spit." It's probably worth adding that Lawson dated Lette's husband, Geoffrey Robertson, before his marriage to the author.

pandora@independent.co.uk

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