9 mins ago
There was a lot on the line in Johnny Depp‘s failed libel case against News Group Newspapers. Most immediate are the expensive legal fees Depp is now liable for, but the really expensive consequences look to be coming with the severe reputational damage he’s suffered. A British judge ruling that it’s not libellous to call Depp a “wife beater” and finding Amber Heard’s testimony of abuse credible is disastrous for him, especially coming after days of detailed accounts of his chaotic drug-fuelled lifestyle.
The first big consequence of his loss was Warner Bros dropping him from Fantastic Beasts 3. But Hollywood insiders say they think this will merely be the first in a long list of roles Depp will now miss out on.
Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani is striking a particularly negative tone, comparing Depp to entertainment history’s greatest monster Harvey Weinstein:
“I predict his career may never recover. Disney has lost interest in Depp for its ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise, and I can’t imagine any other major studio wanting to work with him. He’s going to be the next Harvey Weinstein.”
She also warned that continued legal action could see things get much worse for him:
“Depp should get out of the defamation-lawsuit business while he still has a fragment of a movie career. The Virginia case is also a loser, like many celebrity family-law cases that do little to show celebrities in a good light. Depp should stick to scripts written by others rather than airing his real-life drama in a courtroom.”
EW Conjures Up Several New Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald Photos
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Meanwhile, CEO of pop culture marketing agency Hollywood Branded has said that studios simply can’t cast someone like Depp right now, even if they wanted to:
“The reality is Warner Bros. had no choice in the matter to bid farewell to Depp. ‘Fantastic Beasts’ is a family film, and physical abuse alongside drug and alcohol abuse are nonstarters for consideration, even when the role being played is that of a bad guy.”
I think pronouncements of Depp’s career being completely dead are exaggerated. It may be true that the days of Depp as an A-lister who can carry a summer movie on his back are over, but I can still see him being cast in smaller movies in less over-the-top roles.
I’ve always preferred the Depp that did movies like Dead Man and Ed Wood and it’s more likely he’ll win that coveted Academy Award for an indie prestige movie than a hundred million dollar blockbuster. And if you think that Depp might be awards season poison after all this, remember that the Academy awarded Best Director to Roman Polanski in 2003…
Still, it’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out over the next six months, particularly so given the ongoing legal matters still to be ruled upon.