Now that parents are most afraid their kids will emulate the pineapple Fanta–sizzurp-swigging, drag-racing, Segway-speeding, stripper-nipple-biting, weed plane antics of Justin Bieber, doesn’t the era of Marilyn Manson feel very long ago and quaint? Maybe it’s because Marilyn Manson fans are now parents. But let’s check in with Satan’s stepson, who has recently traded in his Alice Cooper stage-blood theatrics to walk the boards as an actor instead.
Manson, born Brian Warner, had a brief cameo in the last season of Eastbound & Down as a roller rink employee, and recently voiced the Shadow on ABC’s fairy-tale drama Once Upon a Time. Manson has long been preoccupied with classic children’s literature. His next pursuit is finally making his passion project Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll, which he has been talking about directing and starring in since at least 2004. The only details we know are that it’s filming now, he cowrote the script with Anthony Silva based on Carroll’s diaries, and Manson is starring as Carroll himself. At one point, Tilda Swinton, Evan Rachel Wood, and Lily Cole were attached, but it’s unlikely they still are. (Wood, in particular, because she is no longer Manson’s girlfriend, but who knows, maybe they’re still friends?) Manson tweeted, “Happy that my PHANTASMAGORIA screenplay, with me portraying Lewis Carroll, is in production. His diaries inspired the best horror film ever.” There have been plenty of dark adaptations of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, including Tim Burton’s film from a few years back, and the best-selling creepy video game American McGee’s Alice. Wes Craven was attached to adapt the video game into a movie, but the project died in turnaround. A sequel called Alice: Madness Returns dropped in 2011.
Speaking of Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter of fedoras himself, Johnny Depp, has been palling around with Manson. Depp sits in on Manson’s gigs sometimes as a guitarist, and they recorded a cover of Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” as a bonus track for Manson’s last record, Born Villain. Isn’t that cute? Manson and Depp ramble the ruins of the Sunset Strip like a couple of former hair-metal stars. Manson told an interviewer an anecdote about hoarding absinthe for Y2K in Prague with Depp, and their group-hangs with Hunter S. Thompson. “It was just the burgeoning of our bromance, of our brotherly love for each other.” Manson and Depp are BFFs from way back! They both met movie stars, partied, and mingled. They were spotted yesterday taking some kind of nature walk together, with Depp openly holding a glass marijuana pipe in one hand, but looking very annoyed he’s being photographed. He wears a fedora and a peacoat, while Manson wears aviators and a baseball cap. They seem like a couple of teenage goths skipping class, after a few decades of rock-star living that make them look like tintypes. I’m mildly surprised they aren’t using a steampunk vaporizer or smoking out of a human skull.