Embattled actor Johnny Depp’s latest movie, Minamata (2020), just released domestically, and his next movie role — King Louis XV of France — was announced only weeks ago. But, it has not been smooth-sailing in career terms for the disgraced Hollywood star. Embroiled in lawsuits amid domestic abuse allegations, Depp’s future is significantly uncertain.
Now, the Captain Jack Sparrow actor has touched on his former roles, and the style in which he is known to deliver, ultimately revealing he needs to change at risk of being “unfair” to audiences.
Following a tumultuous libel trial that saw Johnny Depp go to court against The Sun, editor Dan Wootton, and News Group Newspapers, the actor was officially let go from the Warner Bros. Fantastic Beasts franchise, replaced by Mads Mikkelsen as Gellert Grindelwald. After the British tabloid labeled the once-beloved actor a “wife-beater”, Depp went to court in a highly-publicized libel lawsuit with Justice Andrew Nicol eventually siding with the newspaper and subsequently refusing the Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) star’s appeal request, despite support from former partners, Vanessa Paradis and Edward Scissorhands (1990) co-star, Winona Ryder.
Before the libel case, when the rumblings of domestic abuse within Johnny Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard’s relationship began to emerge, it appeared that the Walt Disney Company would move forward with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise without its leading man. In spite of Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow being, arguably, the main draw for Pirates fans, Disney seems adamant that the future of the swash-buckling series belongs to new characters with both Margot Robbie (The Suicide Squad) and Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy) reportedly attached to upcoming movies within the Pirates world.
There is still love for Depp even with these franchise firings. #JusticeForJohnnyDepp regularly trends online, and just last year, the Sweeney Todd (2008) actor received the prestigious Donostia Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival. It was upon receiving this award that Depp spoke out about cancel culture, ominously stating that “no one is safe” from becoming absorbed by it. He has now weighed in on his future roles, alluding to the fact that his time as franchise favorites like Sparrow and Grindelwald is well and truly over.
Speaking to Variety about his recent feature Minamata with filmmaker Andrew Gravitas, Depp — who plays photographer W. Eugene Smith — spoke about his performances and the need to change in the future. When asked about his acting process and his ongoing learning, he said:
The only reason I did many things are some of the choices that I made were because they were a challenge. I think if you step out the gate and do the same thing every time … well, it would drive me mental. It’s unfair to the audience or the viewer if I come out and I’m the same fella every time.
Depp has a notable history as one of Hollywood’s leading actors. From roles in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) to Sleepy Hollow (1999), Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride (2006) to JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2017), his acting versatility is clear. Depp went on to add:
I think it’s important that you try to find something that you can grab onto that maybe hasn’t been done to death and maybe you can come through a different pathway and find a different angle on the character. I think they’ve all been challenges, but I like that. I don’t know that I’ve stepped into a film that I wasn’t somewhat positive that there was every opportunity that I would fall flat on my face. But it’s important to go there.
While there is no direct reference to any of Depp’s former characters, it would be remiss not to note that Depp does have a particular style of acting and for a time the eccentric, robust characters like Jack Sparrow, Willy Wonka, and the Mad Hatter were big box office draws, Now, as the future of his blockbuster career hangs in the balance due to his tainted past with Amber Heard, these larger-than-life characters are seemingly non-existent as prominent movie studios distance themselves from the once great, billion-dollar titan of the film industry.
As for Depp and Amber Heard’s ongoing controversy, the pair will go before Judge Penney Azcarate in Fairfax, Virginia to contest the multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit following Heard’s 2018 OpEd in The Washington Post of which she described her victimhood of domestic abuse. Depp’s lawyer recently scored a win for the actor when Azcarate ordered Heard to not only reveal her phone records, but also her alleged divorce settlement donation to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Heard’s team repeatedly tried to get Depp’s defamation suit thrown out but the verdict ruled in favor of Depp with all eyes on the latest court case beginning in April.
Heard will next star in the Aquaman (2018) sequel, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom from director James Wan. Jason Momoa will also return as the titular DC superhero.
What has been your favorite role of Johnny Depp’s? Let us know in the comments down below!