Depp discusses Dillinger with Michael Mann

Bloody writers' strike. We're with them all the way of course - well, as long as we're prepared to ignore the missing apostrophe in 'Writers Guild Of America' - but the fallout's really starting to get on our nerves.

Not only has Brad Pitt dropped out of State Of Play because of script issues, but Johnny Depp's Rum Diary has been delayed.

Still, there are positives. It looks like Russell Crowe's going to step into the Play breach - he's no Brad Pitt, but at least the film's going to get made - and Johnny Depp's crossed-out Diary means he has time on his hands to talk to Michael Mann about playing John Dillinger.

Mann is considering bringing Brian Burrough's true-crime tale 'Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34' to the big screen for Universal. And, after Leonardo DiCaprio abandoned ship to swim to Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, the project needs a big name to attach itself, like some sort of handsome limpet.

And are there any limpets or, indeed, men more handsome than Johnny Depp? We love the idea of a boggled-eyed Dillinger sauntering his way through a series of bank heists. Especially considering the fact that Dillinger's nickname was 'Jackrabbit' (after the way he leapt over bank counters, apparently).

Mann and Depp are in talks, so our fingers are collectively crossed. If they get on, Universal is gearing up for a March start.

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