Forget Retirement Talk, Johnny Depp's Next Five Roles
Don't feel bad for Johnny Depp, he's got plenty of opportunities to turn things around.
"I wouldn't say I'm dropping out any second, but I would say it's probably not too far away," were the words of Johnny Depp during an interview with the BBC, as part of promotion for his doomed movie The Lone Ranger.
Gore Verbinski's reboot of the classic television series and movies is one of those projects that Disney would rather forget.
Temporarily halted due to budget concerns - it was looking to cost the studio some $300 million before producer Jerry Bruckheimer got it down to $200 million - the critics were already sharpening their knives.
Once they get their teeth into something, the stateside critics rarely let go and The Lone Ranger felt the full force of their ire. The movie fared better in the UK, dubbed a thrilling if not completely memorable way to spend a couple of hours, though Depp's remarks appeared to be those of a man ready to pack it in. His schedule says otherwise.
In the interview, Depp continued: "When you add up the amount of dialogue that you say per year and you realise that you've said written words more than you've had a chance to say your own words, you start thinking about that as an insane option for a human being," which is fair enough, though it hasn't stopped the actor signing on for multiple new projects.
The three-time best actor nominee will next be seen in Wally Pfister's action-drama Transcendence about two leading computer scientists working toward their goal of Technological Singularity. Meanwhile, a radical anti-technology organization fights to prevent them from creating a situation whereby computers can transcend the abilities of the human brain. Didn't that already happen - with chess?
Anyway, even if the movie bombs, it's going to look brilliant. It's Pfister's directorial debut, though he's worked as a cinematographer on Memento, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, Moneyball, Inception and the Dark Knight Rises. All those movies looked fantastic. The film is written by Jack Paglen, who's already working on Prometheus 2, and is set for an April 2014 release. Chance of the movie turning Depp's fortunes around? 7/10
After that, will be David Koepp's crime-drama Mortdecai, continuing Hollywood's current love affair with the art world. Gambit was awful, The Monuments Men will probably be quite good, as will American Hustle.
But anyway, this movie - starring Depp alongside Ewan McGregor and Gwyneth Paltrow - follows art dealer Charles Mortdecai who searches for a stolen painting rumored to contain a secret code that gains access to hidden Nazi gold. Koepp scored recent success helming the slick Premium Rush with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and it's pleasing to see him turning his hand at something completely different. Of course, he has considerable pedigree as a writer having penned Carlito's Way, Jurassic Park, Secret Window, Mission: Impossible and most recently, Jack Ryan.
There's no release date on this, though they're probably waiting around to figure out how George Clooney's World War II art movie will do. Chance of the movie turning Depp's fortunes around? 6/10
Coming in Christmas 2014 is Into The Woods, the fantasy-musical from Chicago and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides director Rob Marshall. It's about a witch who conspires to teach important lessons to various characters of popular children's stories including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel.
Depp plays The Wolf, while Anna Kendrick plays Cinderella and Emily Blunt plays The Baker's Wife. Meryl Streep drew the short-straw and will play the witch. It's difficult to predict how this one will fare - Marshall has scored hits with the likes of Chicago though also directed Nine, and the less said about that the better. It gets a release on Christmas Day 2014. Chance of the movie turning Depp's fortunes around? 5/10
Pirates of the Caribbean 5. This is the big one. If this fails - which is most definitely will not - Johnny Depp may want to slope away into retirement. There's a line of thought that suggests the Hollywood should have packed in the Jack Sparrow turn a couple of movies ago, though they do big business and the studio simply won't hear it.
Though this could be formulaic, one genuine area of intrigue surrounding the fifth instalment of the Pirates movie that Norwegian directorial team Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg are behind the camera. These guys are slick operators and helmed Kon Tiki (2012), Max Manus: Man of War (2008) and Bandidas (2006). Writing will once again come from Pirates veteran Stuart Beattie and Jerry Bruckheimer will produce. According to the Hollywood Reporter, executives are reassessing the producer's influence on the movie following the disaster that is The Lone Ranger, though he's far too powerful to take a backseat. Chance of the movie turning Depp's fortunes around? 7/10
Alice in Wonderland 2. Urgh. Is this really necessary? Well, to the studio it's an absolute no brainer because the original Tim Burton movie made over $1 billion. So it was always going to happen and Johnny Depp - as the Mad Hatter - was presumably the first team on the team-sheet. He's yet to confirm though all the speculation points towards the actor being on-set for the first day of filming.
It's difficult to get excited about a sequel, though at least they're keeping things fresh by drafting in a new director in the form of James Bobin, best known for The Muppets and Flight of the Conchords. Chance of the movie turning Depp's fortunes around? 4/10
So there it is, Johnny Depp has five movies to turn things around. They're all going to take millions at the box-office, that's for sure, though is there any potential award winners amongst this lot? Transcendence sounds intriguing. And that's it.