2015 may have been a great year for Taylor Swift, but it hasn't been a great year for Johnny Depp. Forbes just named Johnny Depp the most overpaid actor of 2015, saying, "His recent movies returned just $1.20 for every $1 he was paid on them. That return on investment puts him just ahead of second-ranked Denzel Washington, who returned a dismal $6.50 for every $1." Ouch. That can't be a good feeling for Depp, who has continued to have a high movie output year on year, but has been making more questionable movie choices of late. Can Johnny Depp pull his career back from the brink? Surely the best of him is not behind him, is it?
Black Mass was released in 2015, a film in which Johnny Depp played Whitey Bulger, and was met with more positive reviews. The movie saw Depp transform himself physically to play Bulger and was a reminder of the chameleon that Depp can be in the right role. Now that Depp has landed the somewhat negative accolade of being the most overpaid actor in Hollywood, what's next for him? According to IMDb, Johnny Depp has several movies in production at the moment, and they're all sequels. While this means they are less likely to do as badly at the box office as his more recent offerings have, it also means that Depp is not stretching himself, or attempting to transform himself into the plethora of characters he once did.
With movies including Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Alice Through The Looking Glass, Yoga Hosers (which is a spin-off from horror movie Tusk), and Gnomeo and Juliet: Sherlock Gnomes (which is a voice-only role), Depp isn't taking on any original roles over the next year, and that's a sad thing.
Johnny Depp still has a lot of fans, and any amount of films that don't do well at the box office won't change this. But, if his strength lies in making movies in which he transforms himself into new and unexpected characters, is his only hope making original movies from now on? Or are we in a new era of Depp, in which only surefire hits such as sequels are going to happen from now on? In my opinion, it would certainly be nice to see Johnny Depp tackle more serious, funny, and interesting material. Some of his standout roles have been surprises — the lead in Sweeney Todd, Raoul Duke in Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, and Ed Wood. If Depp could find a way to resist only making big budget movies, despite his superstar status, it'd give a whole new generation of audience members the chance to experience his true talents.
While his box office is sure to be more solvent in 2016, with so many major sequels on his roster, I want to know where the classic Johnny Depp gone, and whether he will ever be coming back? Once he's wrapped the films currently on his roster, it'd be nice to see something surprising from Depp, something like Black Mass, something totally shocking in how he manages to transform himself. Something that reminds us all once more of how he used to make us feel in previous decades.
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