To say the last several years have been rough on Johnny Depp would be an understatement, as his continuing legal battles with ex-wife Amber Heard have affected both his professional and personal lives. However, it wasn’t that long ago that Depp still had cachet in the Hollywood realm, such as when he returned to play Jack Sparrow for the fifth time in 2017’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Though that’s not to say that things were calm behind the scenes with the actor, as it’s been reported that Depp’s indulgence in drugs ended up costing that production millions of dollars.
During the trial covering Johnny Depp’s libel case in the United Kingdom, testimony revealed that during the making of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in Australia, the actor swallowed eight ecstasy pills at once. This led to Depp going on, as described by THR, a “campaign of terror” aimed at Amber Heard that ended with the tip of his finger being sliced off. Depp claimed that Heard threw a bottle of alcohol at him, which injured his finger.
However the incident happened, Johnny Depp subsequently had to be flown to Los Angeles for surgery, requiring Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales to shut down production for two weeks. This move cost $350,000 per day, so over 14 days, that adds up to $4.9 million. It’s also worth noting that the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie was made off a budget somewhere between $230-$320 million, so an already-expensive production having to dedicate financial resources to deal with this drug-fueled injury is… not great, to put it mildly.
This certainly isn’t the first we’ve heard about Johnny Depp’s drug use. Back in June, as part of the aforementioned libel case, a series of texts were disclosed revealing exchanges between Depp and his assistant where the former attempted to procure drugs. And ecstasy isn’t the only illicit substance Depp has consumed, as THR’s article noted how during the U.K. trial, it was noted that Depp has also taken controlled substances like cocaine, Xanax, Adderall, Roxicodone and magic mushrooms, as well as partook of alcohol.
Unfortunately for Disney, Johnny Depp’s accident did not happen on one of the more commercially successful Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Dead Men Tell No Tales made close to $794 million worldwide, making it the second lowest-grossing movie of the franchise, only coming ahead of the movie that kicked off this saga, 2003’s Curse of the Black Pearl. Dead Men Tell No Tales filmed in Australia from February to July of 2015.
Fast-forwarding to now, it looks like Johnny Depp’s time as the swashbuckling Jack Sparrow is over, despite many fans wanting him to return to the role. A sixth Pirates of the Caribbean movie is in development, but it’s expected to star a new protagonist. There’s also a spinoff in the works that will star Margot Robbie. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer reportedly was interested in having Depp’s Sparrow appear briefly in Pirates 6, but Disney “balked” at the idea.
Along with Pirates of the Caribbean, Johnny Depp’s time on the Fantastic Beasts franchise is also over. Depp agreed to Warner Bros’ request for him to step away from the role of Gellert Grindelwald, and Mads Mikkelsen will take over as the character. Depp will still be paid his full Fantastic Beasts 3 salary (reportedly $16 million) despite having only shot one scene.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates about Johnny Depp, and keep track of movies set to arrive in the near future with our 2021 release schedule.