Johnny Depp was thrilled to finally meet his Irish hero, author JP DONLEAVY, in anticipation of starring in the movie adaptation of the writer's critically acclaimed novel THE GINGER MAN. Pirates Of The Caribbean star Depp attended a 50th anniversary party for the book in New York recently, and gushed about his encounter with the literary great, whose controversial work was banned in the Republic Of Ireland and the US on publication for obscenity. Depp says, "It was great to meet up with this wonderful, wonderful man and spend a couple of days with him in New York. "It was, you know, magnificent, meeting one of your heroes like that. He's a beautiful guy. "And what he's been through, especially with The Ginger Man, it's miraculous he's still upright." The movie, which is due to start shooting in early 2007, follows the racy adventures of SEBASTIAN DANGERFIELD, a law student in Dublin during the 1950s.