The Movie Executive Who Fired Johnny Depp Is Officially Stepping Down

in Movies & TV

johnny depp dior

Credit: Dior

Yesterday, Johnny Depp — and his legion of loyal fans — emerged victorious as a seven-person jury ruled in his favor in the actor’s highly publicized defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard (Aquaman, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom).

johnny depp wearing sunglasses
Credit: ABC

Related: Johnny Depp Fans Go Wild For FINAL Sponsored Product, Sells Out Worldwide

Although Heard has issued a statement and is expected to appeal the decision, nothing can dampen the spirts of Depp and his supporters right now. The Pirates of the Caribbean star also shared an official statement thanking his fans and noting that, “The truth will never perish.”

The high-profile $50 million civil lawsuit in Fairfax, Virginia saw a number of explosive accusations, from leaked text messages in which Depp and a close friend referred to Heard’s “rotting corpse” to psychological evaluations that allegedly exposed Heard’s multiple mental disorders. Public opinion is divided, with some believing Heard’s allegations of domestic violence and others fully supporting Depp’s continued — and vehement — denial of the claims against him.

johnny depp (right) and amber heard (left) on red carpet
Credit: ABC

Related: Fans Suspect Amber Heard Is Using Cocaine While On Stand in Courtroom

As a result of the former couple’s legal proceedings, which began in the United Kingdom in 2020, Depp has struggled to find work and was fired from his two most high-profile roles — Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and Gellert Grindelwald in Warner Bros. Fantastic Beasts Harry Potter spinoff series.

Mads Mikkelsen as Gellert Gindelwald
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: Johnny Depp Spent Over $60K to Keep ‘Pirates’ Crew Safe

Now, Toby Emmerich, the Warner Bros. executive who fired Depp, has made the decision to step away from his post. Deadline reported:

…the chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group is segueing to a lucrative five-year production deal on the lot, so he’s not going far. He apparently was offered to stay, but would have had to cede oversee on Warner Bros. Animation and DC, an option the former New Line President didn’t want.

toby emmerich with warner bros water tower
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: Johnny Depp Becomes Real-Life Jack Sparrow, Owns ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Island

Emmerich’s studio came under fire for allowing Heard to keep her role as Mera in the DC Comics’ Aquaman franchise after firing Depp — some movie fans even began boycotting Warner Bros. for the controversial decision.

While it seems that Emmerich’s departure from his post isn’t directly related to the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard trial, the executive did take heat for his choice to let Depp go two years ago.

johnny depp smiling in court
Credit: ABC

In addition to Emmerich stepping down, Warner Bros. is considering an entire overhaul of its DC division, per an April 2022 report from Variety. The article noted:

The new owners of all things Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are exploring an overhaul of DC Entertainment, multiple sources close to the situation told Variety.

It’s been less than a week since Discovery closed its $43 billion deal for WarnerMedia, joining one of the largest producers of reality programming with one of the most venerable entertainment brands under the new moniker of Warner Bros. Discovery. David Zaslav, the CEO of the combined companies, and top leadership have been toying with the idea of turning DC into its own solidified content vertical, the sources said.

At this time, the exact trajectory of Warner Bros. upcoming movies — and whether or not Depp or Heard will have roles in them — remains unclear.

More on Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard

amber heard (left) and johnny depp (right) in formalwear on bighorn red carpet
Credit: ABC

Related: Johnny Depp Shocks Fans With Surprise Appearance 4,000 Miles From Courthouse

If you haven’t been following the ongoing Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard case, in November 2020, Hollywood actor Depp lost his libel lawsuit against U.K. News Group Newspaper publication, The Sun, for their report that he had allegedly engaged in domestic violence — including a reported “hostage” situation during a Pirates of the Caribbean shoot in Australia — against the Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom actress on multiple occasions.

British Judge Andrew Nicol presided over the original proceedings, and Depp later lost his right to appeal the original ruling in the United Kingdom. The Jack Sparrow actor, for his part, has denied the domestic violence allegations, with even his ex-partners, Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder, speaking out in his defense at various points in time.

amber heard and johnny depp
Credit: Milani Cosmetics

As previously noted, Depp has been fired from his two most high-profile parts — his iconic role as Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney’s Pirates franchise and as Gellert Grindelwald in Warner Bros. Fantastic Beasts series — as a result of the ongoing situation.

At this time, as noted, Depp recently won the duo’s $50 million U.S. defamation lawsuit. stemming from a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which Heard alleged that the actor had committed acts of domestic violence against her.

What do you think about Toby Emmerich officially stepping down after firing Johnny Depp in 2020?

View Comments (67)