2020 was a bad year for Johnny Depp. The Hollywood star saw his dirty laundry aired in public during a vicious libel trial in the British High Court, which dramatically (and controversially) ended in defeat. This quickly led to him being removed from Fantastic Beasts 3, while industry insiders say he’s now effectively blacklisted in Hollywood and he’s on the hook for some hefty legal fees.
2021, meanwhile, could go either way. Depp has lodged an application for permission to appeal in London and there are defamation lawsuits underway in Virginia. If he succeeds in those legal battles, the tide could begin to turn for him and the Depp train may get back on the tracks. Still, until that happens, it seems unlikely that he’ll be cast in any major roles.
“Rumour has it Burton will finally make Beetlejuice 2 with a juicy role for Depp, perhaps even the title role,” says the outlet.
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Of course, Depp and Burton have a relationship stretching all the way back to 1990’s Edward Scissorhands. Since then, they’ve teamed up seven times, including on smash hits like Sleepy Hollow, Sweeney Todd and the billion-dollar grossing Alice in Wonderland. If Depp was cast in Beetlejuice 2, he’d likely appear opposite his former partner Winona Ryder as well, who’s very likely to reprise the role of Lydia Deetz. But could this actually happen? Well, I have my doubts.
For one, Depp’s casting would be seen as substantially upstaging lead actor Michael Keaton. In addition, it would immediately overshadow everything else about the movie, inevitably leading to arguments about whether someone who a judge found to be an abusive husband should receive a role in a major production. Would the studio really want to invite that much bad publicity?
Perhaps not, but Depp and Burton have remained fast friends and were spotted drinking together on nights out in London over the last year. If Johnny Depp really is to get a lifeline role in a major movie in 2021, Tim Burton’s the most likely director to offer him one.