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Is Tinseltown raiding publishing?

So, Johnny Depp is going to publish books.

The Associate Press reported last Monday that his imprint, Infinitum Nihil, also the name of his production company, is now a part of Harper Collins Publishers.

Supposedly Depp will seek “authentic, outspoken and visionary ideas and voices.”

“I pledge, on behalf of Infinitum Nihil, that we will do our best to deliver publications worthy of peoples’ time, of peoples’ concern, publications that might ordinarily never have breached the parapet,” Depp said in a statement released by HarperCollins. Oh how very poetic, how very Depp-ian.

Already on the list of books is “The Unraveled Tales of Bob Dylan,” which aims to set the record straight on the songwriter’s enigmatic life and career and will be based in part on interviews with Dylan by best-selling historian Douglas Brinkley.

Some people would say this was just the next step, that movie stars have unceremoniously chest-thumped their way into nearly every other industry, Jennifer Aniston and Living Proof, 50 Cent and Vitamin Water, Justin Timberlake and MySpace – the list continues – but do they really have a place in publishing?

Depp I will credit has at least kept up the façade of being an “artist”, aloof when appropriate, humble when appropriate, charmingly disheveled despite his millions with enough sense to live out his life as untouched by the public eye as possible, not to mention the trail of blockbusters in his wake – there’s little doubt the guy can sniff out of a good story.

I suppose I should wish him luck, and if a movie star can shake up publishing for the better finally, I’m on board.

But for the record, Infinitum Nihil means “nothing is forever”, and I haven’t heard a more appropriate name in publishing for quite some time.