Johnny Depp Comeback Officially Canceled After “Devastating” Blow to Actor’s Career

Johnny Depp’s career has been turbulent of late, but this latest blow sees one of his biggest comebacks officially canceled.

Johnny Depp waving to fans

Credit: ABC 7 Chicago

Actor Johnny Depp just made his first movie appearance since last year’s explosive defamation trial at the Cannes International Film Festival. Starring as the controversial French monarch King Louis XV in Maïwenn’s Jeanne du Barry (2023), Depp’s newest film received a standing ovation at the celebrated movie event.

It is Depp’s first role since the defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard in Fairfax County, Virginia, last year. The trial, presided over by Judge Penney Azcarate, lasted six weeks and saw testimonies from Depp and Heard themselves, as well as other high-profile individuals such as British model Kate Moss. Elon Musk and James Franco were heavily rumored to be testifying, but neither made an appearance.

Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Mera (Amber Heard) in James Wan's 'Aquaman'

Credit: Warner Bros.

The jury sided largely with Depp, finding Heard guilty on all counts of defamation, counts that arose from her Op-Ed published in The Washington Post in late 2018. Depp was also charged with defamation via his former lawyer Adam Waldman.

The defamation suit came a few years after Depp lost his libel case against News Group Newspapers LTD, more specifically British tabloid The Sun and executive editor Dan Wootton. The libel trial came about after Depp sued the corporation for calling him a wife-beater. Justice Andrew Nicol of the London High Court found multiple claims of domestic violence “substantially true.” Depp subsequently lost his appeal.

Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in the rally in 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald'

Credit: Warner Bros.

It was here that Depp’s career was demolished. Warner Bros. asked the actor to resign from his role as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts franchise, with Mads Mikkelsen taking over for the third installment in the troubled Harry Potter spin-off series.

Then his time ended for his most beloved character, and many Depp fans’ favorite, Captain Jack Sparrow. The Walt Disney Company’s Pirates of the Caribbean movie series is a billion-dollar hit that propelled Johnny Depp into commercial Hollywood blockbuster royalty. Depp starred as the charming pirate in all five of the Pirates movies but will no longer be continuing in his role as Jack Sparrow.

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' franchise

Credit: Disney

At one time, the sixth Pirates movie was going to be led by Academy Award nominee Margot Robbie. However, that version of the film is now also dead, according to the actress herself. This does leave the door open for Depp to return, especially after the jury’s findings and results at the Virginia courts; even producer Jerry Bruckheimer has indicated that conversations could possibly still happen. For now, though, Depp’s interests lay elsewhere.

Johnny Depp’s Career in Turmoil

After Depp’s appearance at Cannes, the actor was due to go on tour with his band, the Hollywood Vampires. Currently consisting of Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, Tom Henrickson, and Johnny Depp, the rock band was set to launch their new tour on May 30, 2023. That is now not happening.

The first three dates of the rock tour have been canceled after the news that Depp has significantly injured his ankle and has been advised by the doctor not to travel. They wrote on Instagram that “He is devastated by this turn of events, but looks forward to resting up so all four Vampires can bring their absolute best to the tour in Europe.”

johnny depp lighting a cigarette backstage at hollywood vampires lisbon, portugal show

Credit: Hollywood Vampires

The dates for these performances, which were to take place in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New York, have been pushed back to July, when the group will hope to take to the stage with a fully-recovered Depp.

The Hollywood Vampires reunion tour was first announced in 2022, shortly after his win against Heard in the courtroom. Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, being lowered to $350,000 per Virginia state law. Heard was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages. Only time will tell what is next for Johnny Depp’s career in Hollywood.

As for Heard, her next appearance is in James Wan’s Aquaman the Lost Kingdom (2023), which arrives this December.

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