Almost as soon as the judge reached a verdict in Johnny Depp‘s libel trial against a British tabloid for running a headline labeling him as a wife beater that wasn’t in the actor’s favor, industry insiders were fearing the worst for his immediate career prospects. Having already been dropped from the money-spinning Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, the 57 year-old was also forced to resign from Fantastic Beasts 3, and with no other movies on the horizon besides upcoming biographical drama Minamata, there could be a lean few years ahead for the former highest-paid star in the business.
Depp’s fans have continued to support him throughout his continued legal battles, of course, but having the public on your side isn’t going to pay the bills. The fallout from being dropped from a second blockbuster series could follow the three-time Academy Award nominee wherever he goes, especially when recent reports have indicated that his personal brand may now be permanently tainted.
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However, we’ve heard from our sources this week – the same ones that told us Ben Affleck would be back as Batman in The Flash and that the Fast & Furious franchise is headed into space, both of which were correct – that Depp’s representatives are already putting the feelers out across Hollywood to see if anyone would be interested in taking a chance on the struggling actor, but so far, Universal are the only ones to have shown any enthusiasm and willingness to work with him. Out of the major studios, at least.
Most of Depp’s high profile work over the last two decades has been at either Warner Bros. or Disney, and he hasn’t appeared in a project for Universal since Michael Mann’s Public Enemies in 2009. The studio likely won’t be able to restore him to former glories given that Jurassic World and Fast and Furious are their only major in-house franchises, but at this stage, any work at all would surely be welcomed and we’ll just have to wait and see if they can find a project for him.