He's an odd one, Johnny Depp.
The handsome, soft-voiced actor has had his choice of parts, and he usually picks a challenge (Ed Wood, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Blow) over mainstream fare (Sleepy Hollow, The Astronaut's Wife). Once again, Depp has chosen the more difficult path; he's accepted the part of 16th-century playwright Christopher Marlowe, who some believe authored many of the works attributed to William Shakespeare.
Marlowe will begin shooting in March, The Hollywood Reporter notes. The Talented Mr. Ripley's Jude Law has also signed on to the drama, which will be directed by John Maybury.
The scholarly film will be co-produced by Law's Natural Nylon banner, which is co-operated by actors Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller.
Depp's next picture is the French romance Chocolat, out Dec. 15.