Actor Johnny Depp had it all: An A-List movie career peppered by huge box-office hits such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Murder on the Orient Express, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Beasts. Along with that, the actor had a strong and loyal fan-base and he was revered by many for his philanthropy, bringing some little light into what can be a dark world. Of course there always seemed to be two Johnny Depp’s: The aforementioned blockbuster cash cow and the man and actor that preceded his more larger than life persona. His true strength always seemed to be in the more out of the way films where he could exorcise his considerable acting chops away from studio fare such as 21 Jump Street, The Tourist and The Lone Ranger. The films A Nightmare on Elm Street (his debut role), Platoon, Cry Baby, Arizona Dream, Ed Wood, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and Edward Scissorhands offered up a more nuanced Depp with range and skill to spare. But the Kentucky native always felt just an arm’s length away from scandal and controversy: The suspicious death of rising star and actor River Phoenix in his West Hollywood nightclub The Viper Room, the mysterious disappearance of a business partner (also connected to that infamous club), arrests for trashing hotel rooms and assaulting security guards, rumors of excessive drinking and drugging and more stood as dark shadows and gave credence to the old bromide of still waters running quite deep indeed. And if Depp’s star hasn’t completely fallen as of yet, it certainly could do with a good polish and buffing, certainly after accusations from his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard (Aquaman) of domestic abuse. It’s all sorted and scandalous and a big bummer; I’m a tremendous admirer of Johnny Depp the actor (specifically his earlier work) if not entirely of Depp the man. It’s separation of State and Church for this fan, as it is with me for many artists whose work I admire even as I eschew some of their questionable behavior off-set. I’m always up for a great Johnny Depp film, and I can separate the actor from the messy personal life quite fine, thank you very much.
Other people aren’t quite as live and let live as ye olde pop culture pundit: According to our Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas aficionados over at The Hollywood Reporter, Johnny Depp is about to get the docuseries treatment courtesy of Discovery+, who has commissioned a two-part examination into the tumultuous and toxic relationship between Depp and former wife Amber Heard.
The upcoming Discovery+ docuseries (salaciously) entitled Johnny vs Amber will purportedly detail how things went so wrong so fast for the Hollywood power couple. Intriguingly – perhaps in the interest of balance, one would hope and assume – the two part doc will be told from both Heard’s and Depp’s perspectives.
In a press release, Discovery+ said that “Johnny’s film will portray that he found himself married to a Machiavellian liar who would stop at nothing to protect her image. While Amber’s film explores how she married the man of her dreams only to see him turn into a violent drug-fueled monster.”
Obviously, Depp and Heard will not be participating in this two-parter, but lawyers for both parties will be duly interviewed on-camera, along with people who are supposedly close to both actors. Footage and audio recordings of the two – in best E-True Hollywood Story form – will also be presented over the course of the docuseries.
No word about a release for this, but here’s hoping that both Johnny Depp and Amber Heard can pick themselves up and brush themselves off after living in an extended tabloid headline for the last several years. Redemption should never be taken off the table; almost everyone is capable of it – sometimes it need only be offered.