Even before Johnny Depp abused his wife Amber Heard repeatedly, sicced his pals on her when she tried to get out of the marriage, and pulled a bullshit power play on the divorce settlement, the man couldn’t open a movie. Save for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, the man is in a free-fall the likes of which we haven’t seen since Eddie Murphy seven or eight years ago. He’s cooked. He’s burnt. The prospects of the next Pirates movie are in jeopardy. I’d be surprised if his Invisible Man movie gets off the ground. Same for The Libertine from director Bret Ratner, who hasn’t had a legit hit in nearly a decade. Studios making blockbusters like safe bets, and neither Johnny Depp nor Bret Ratner is a safe bet.
He’s next set for Labyrinth, which is being pitched to sellers at the Toronto Film Festival this week in what is being called a “mouth-watering and rare major pre-sales title.” But for Depp’s involvement, it does sound compelling. Depp will play LA detective Russell Poole, who investigated the Biggie and Tupac murders. While he didn’t solve them, he did uncover corruption in the LAPD “that rocked the institution to its core.”
Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) will direct, and were it not for Depp’s involvement, we’d be much more excited for it. As it is, the once beloved star of Edward Scissorhands and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape is toxic, both as a person and as a box-office entity, and he’s set to take a fine idea for an original movie down with his sullied name.