JOHNNY DEPP hailed Michael Jackson as a “genius” at the premiere of Public Enemies in Leicester Square last night, but ruled out playing the King of Pop in a movie.

Popular on LondonNet

“Hearing about the sad passing of Michael Jackson, for all of us, is very, very tragic,” said Depp.

“I had great respect for what he’s done, his work over the years, he’s a real genius.”

Depp also addressed rumours he was to make a Jackson bio-pic, one of many fanciful stories doing the rounds in the wake of the singer’s demise.

“As far as playing him in a movie, it’s such an obtuse rumour I never had the pleasure of cultivating,” Depp explained.

Public Enemies, a film about 1930s gangster John Dillenger also starring Christian Bale and Billy Crudup, is already being screened in London, and opens nationally on Friday 1 July. See a trailer and read our review here.