UPDATE: Author Derek Landy himself updated his blog today and said that no movie deal has been made for Skulduggery Pleasant. Here's the author's post:

"Sorry for the title of this post, I just wanted to make sure that none of you start believing a story that's been reported in the papers saying that Johnny Depp is going to play Skulduggery. This is, to say the least, not true. The movie rights are back with me for the moment- meaning they aren't attached to any studio. Basically, I'm far too busy with Book 6 to even consider a Skulduggery movie right now. But who knows when I'll have news for you?

(And just to make sure, that was NOT a sly way of hinting at upcoming news, because there IS no news! None!)"

Both Contact Music and The Sun are reporting that Johnny Depp is set to star in Skulduggery Pleasant, an adaptation of the popular Derek Landy fantasy novel series of the same name.

We're not sure how accurate this news is though, as Depp is already committed to shoot both Dark Shadows and The Lone Ranger, which will take up most of his schedule in 2011. And there is much speculation that he will then shoot Pirates of the Caribbean 5 and Pirates of the Caribbean 6 back-to-back in 2012. That doesn't leave the actor much room to get this project finished by its purported release date of 2013.

That is, or course, if he were playing the character in the flesh. Skulduggery Pleasant is actually a skeleton detective and a powerful magician. We're hearing this morning that Depp will actually only be proving the voice for what will be a CGI-rendered character in a live action setting. The plot will be based on the first book in the nine-novel series, which finds Skulduggery and his fourteen year old mentor Valkryie Cain (aka Stephanie Edgley) trying to solve a rash of murders within a week of The Faceless Ones bringing about the apocalypse.

Derek Landy has written the screenplay, adapting from his own book The Faceless Ones. Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin are producing for Warner Bros. No director is attached at this time, but shooting will likely begin in late 2011.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange