Johnny Depp’s Career Is Over, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Is Only The Beginning; Experts Say

Hollywood star Johnny Depp, just days after losing his libel case against the UK newspaper The Sun, revealed that he was asked to resign from his role ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’. However, experts suggest that this is only the start of Depp’s career downfall.

Last week, Judge Andrew Nicol of the London High Court, dismissed Depp’s libel claim against the newspaper, in a 129-page ruling. In 2018, The Sun published an article that portrayed Depp as a ‘wife-beater’, in relation to domestic abuse allegations leveled by Amber Heard, Johnny Depp’s ex-wife. According to the judge, a significant portion of the article was true.

The high-profile trial went on for 16 days, revealing excruciating details about Depp’s and Heard’s 15-month marriage in depth. Depp’s drug-fueled lifestyle was also laid bare during the trial.

Johnny Depp
Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Disney

Depp first rose to fame from ’21 Jump Street’, an 80s TV show. He then starred alongside Winona Ryder in the 1990 movie ‘Edward Scissorhands’. Over the following decades, he was well recognized in the industry due to his roles in movies such as ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’, ‘Sleepy Hollow’, and ‘Donnie Brasco’.

Depp’s popularity skyrocketed since 2003 with Disney’s ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ film franchise. He was even nominated for an Oscar in 2004, for his work in the first film ‘The Curse of the Black Pearl’. With the fifth installment of the series in 2015, Depp was estimated to earn $55 million per film. Thanks to Depp, the five ‘Pirates’ films made a total of $4.5 billion worldwide.

However, over the past few years, the actor has failed to reach similar peaks. Depp’s latest works like ‘Transcendence’, ‘The Lone Ranger’, and ‘Dark Shadows’ ranked among critics and did not bring the expected box-office results. Considering all such circumstances, experts predict that Depp might have reached the end of his career.

Johnny Depp
Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.” Warner Bros.

According to Neama Rahmani, a former federal prosecutor, Depp’s career may ‘never recover’. She explained that since Disney is no longer interested in Depp for its ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise, it’s impossible to imagine another major studio working with him. She further stated: “He’s going to be the next Harvey Weinstein.”

Warner Bros wanted to part ways with Depp for the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ series even before he lost the trial. According to Stacy Jones, CEO of a branded content marketing agency in LA, the plan to ditch Depp “was in fact a very well-orchestrated plan, built over time with the lead-in to the trial.”

Back in 2016, however, when Heard’s domestic abuse accusations first came to light, David Yates; the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ director, came forward to defend Depp. He stated that despite the ups and downs of a celebrity in the entertainment industry, no one can ‘takes away your pure talent’. In 2017, J.K. Rowling also expressed her content in having Depp perform one of the main characters, stating “The filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies” in her blog.

Johnny Depp
Depp at the High Court in London. Reuters

But in the present, allegations against Depp has become a public matter known by everybody. So the industry which has already suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic would surely make a safe bet with the choice of actors. According to Jones, this is the reason why Warner Bros had no choice but to cut ties with Depp. In addition, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ is also a family film, so it’s unimaginable to think that in such a movie, the main character itself would be played by an actor with physical abuse and drug abuse allegations.

Depp would still receive full compensation for the movie, however, due to a ‘pay-or-play’ clause in his contract, which suggests the much receive the full payment regardless of whether he appears on the screen.

According to Jones, the only for Depp to gain what he lost would be to “admit fault, accept responsibility”, and truly start to reform.

However, Depp’s lawyers have confirmed that he has already filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard, referring to a column written by Heard The Washing Post in 2018, describing her domestic abuse experiences.

According to Rahmani, this second lawsuit is a waste of time for Depp. She explained that Depp should step out of the defamation lawsuit business, stating: “Depp should stick to scripts written by others rather than airing his real-life drama in a courtroom.”

Although this second lawsuit will again reveal many dramatic details like the first, Depp and his team are highly determined to pursue it. The name he made for himself throughout the years, and the reputation he helps in the eyes of the public, however, seems to have ruined to a great extent.

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