Disney Won’t Welcome Him Back, So Johnny Depp Is Taking Matters Into His Own Hands

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Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow

Credit: Disney

Since The Walt Disney Company reportedly isn’t welcoming Johnny Depp back as Captain Jack Sparrow, the actor has plans of his own.

Johnny Depp, a name synonymous with some of Hollywood’s most iconic roles, is set to make a significant return to the silver screen. After a period of high-profile legal battles and a subsequent lull in his acting career, Depp is stepping back into the limelight.

Jack Sparrow on the helm of the ship in 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl'
Credit: Disney

This return, confirmed by director Terry Gilliam, sees Depp cast in a role that promises to be as complex and intriguing as the actor himself: Satan in Gilliam’s upcoming film, Carnival at the End of Days.

Depp’s life in recent years has been a far cry from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Residing in the tranquil countryside of Somerset, England, Depp found solace in the slower pace of rural life. This retreat came after a tumultuous period marked by legal disputes and personal controversies, which culminated in a high-stakes libel case in London.

Depp had sued The Sun newspaper for calling him a “wife-beater,” a label stemming from allegations made by his ex-wife, Amber Heard. The loss of this case, and his subsequent resignation from the Fantastic Beasts franchise, seemed to signal a dark period in Depp’s career.

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow
Credit: Disney

Despite the setbacks, Depp’s passion for the arts never waned. He toured with his band, Hollywood Vampires, and took on roles in smaller, more introspective films like Jeanne du Barry (2023), which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. These projects, while not blockbusters, allowed Depp to continue working on his craft and maintain a connection with his loyal fan base.

However, the absence of Depp from major Hollywood productions was keenly felt by his supporters, who campaigned fervently for his return.

The narrative of Depp’s career cannot be discussed without mentioning his iconic portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. The role, which brought Depp global fame, became a focal point during his defamation trial against Amber Heard in the United States.

Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman
Credit: DC Studios

Heard’s legal team questioned Depp about the possibility of his return to the franchise, to which he responded emphatically that he would not reprise the role, even for $300 million. Despite this, rumors and comments from producer Jerry Bruckheimer have kept the hope alive for fans that Depp might once again don the tricorn hat and swashbuckling his way back onto the high seas.

In a twist of fate, Depp’s return to a major Hollywood project comes through the lens of Terry Gilliam.

Known for his eclectic and often surreal storytelling, Gilliam has tapped Depp to play Satan in Carnival at the End of Days, which Inside the Magic covered this past December. This film, described as a dark comedy, follows Satan’s attempts to save humanity after God decides to wipe them out.

Gilliam’s choice of Depp for such a pivotal role speaks volumes about the director’s confidence in Depp’s acting prowess and his ability to bring depth to complex characters.

Gilliam provided an intriguing summary of the film’s plot: “God wipes out humanity, and the only character who wants to save them is Satan, and Johnny Depp plays Satan.”

Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) looking contemplatative
Credit: Lucasfilm

The film also boasts a stellar cast, including Jeff Bridges, Adam Driver, and Jason Momoa, adding further excitement to its production.

The casting of Jason Momoa in the same film as Depp adds another layer of intrigue to this Hollywood comeback story. Momoa, who recently wrapped up Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom with Amber Heard, was accused of “tormenting” Heard on set. This accusation adds a fascinating dynamic to the upcoming collaboration between Depp and Momoa, given their shared history with Heard.

Just recently, Gilliam confirmed to have the financial backing for the film.

“We are trying to determine exactly when and where it will be done. For the moment, filming is scheduled for next January,” Gilliam said. “We’ll see. And I have a pretty good cast — And it’s going to be complicated because it has to be realistic. And it’s going to be very expensive! We’ll see what happens, but it’s a good script.”

Johnny Depp's star Hollywood Boulevard
Credit: TK Loren Javier, Flickr

As Depp prepares to step back into the Hollywood spotlight, it’s worth noting the broader context of his career resurgence. His defamation trial against Heard, which resulted in a six-week spectacle that captivated global audiences, ended with a verdict in Depp’s favor. Heard was found guilty of defaming Depp, a decision that many of Depp’s supporters saw as a vindication. Yet, despite this legal victory, the question of his professional future remained.

In the wake of the trial, Depp’s professional engagements were largely outside the Hollywood mainstream. His role in Jeanne du Barry and his directorial effort in Modi (starring Al Pacino) kept him active but did not signal a full-fledged return to Hollywood blockbusters.

The announcement of his role in Carnival at the End of Days, therefore, represents a significant shift. It indicates not just a return to big-budget films but also a willingness from Hollywood’s creative elite to embrace Depp once again.

Johnny Depp at D23
Credit: Disney

Gilliam’s film is slated to begin filming in January 2025, though the schedule could change as production details are finalized. The anticipation surrounding Depp’s role as Satan is palpable, with fans eager to see how he will tackle this new and challenging character. Gilliam’s confidence in the script and the cast suggests that Carnival at the End of Days could be a major success, potentially marking a triumphant return for Depp to the Hollywood A-list.

What do you think of these new Johnny Depp updates? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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