Johnny Depp Jack Sparrow

Although it has become clear that Johnny Depp desperately needs a hit, we cannot deny the fact that the guy still has plenty of talent left to offer his fans. He may be known for outlandish and cartoonish characters, but he often thrives as a performer when he immerses himself in more subtle and relatable human roles. That's the type of role he needs to take on following his work on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and it appears that he has found that role as a college professor in the upcoming film Richard Says Goodbye.

According to a new report from Variety, Johnny Depp has officially signed on for the lead role in the upcoming movie, Richard Says Goodbye. As you can probably glean from the title, Depp will portray a character named Richard, a college professor who decides to live life to the fullest upon receiving a less than favorable diagnosis from his doctor. From there, Richard proceeds to drink, smoke, bed women and generally do everything that was missing from his life before he received the news about his health. The film will be directed by Wayne Roberts, who will also pen the screenplay.

This sounds like a bit of a mixture between old and new for Johnny Depp. On the one hand, the overall description of Richard Says Goodbye and its titular character sounds like Depp will spend a bit less time chewing scenery than he has in his last few films. The recent years of his career have often been defined by incredibly colorful characters and complex makeup, but Richard Says Goodbye generally sounds like it will be a bit more grounded in nature. That said, it will still feel a bit familiar for Depp, as Richard's newfound sense of adventure and hedonism still falls in line with the types of personalities that we have seen from Depp performances like Jack Sparrow, The Mad Hatter and Willy Wonka.

Moving to a smaller and more personal story like this could be exactly what Johnny Depp needs to win back mainstream audiences. The actor has suffered through some notable bad press over the course of the last year (particularly involving his high-profile divorce from Amber Heard), and his blockbuster efforts have not performed very well -- at least compared to other tentpole blockbusters. If he takes a stripped-down, back to basics approach to acting in Richard Says Goodbye, then it remains entirely possible that we may soon see the old Johnny Depp shine through.

We will bring you more information related to Richard Says Goodbye as new details related to the project become available to us. For now, make sure to check out Johnny Depp in his latest role when Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales hits theaters later this month on May 26. Check out everything we currently know about the upcoming fifth installment in the Pirates franchise.

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