Skip to main content

Amidst Legal Troubles, Johnny Depp Still Landing A Prestigious Acting Award This Fall

Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 2

Johnny Depp hasn't exactly been focused on his career in the last couple of years as he's been involved in multiple prolonged legal battles that have taken his attention. The one movie he's made most recently is sitting in covid-induced release date hell, and the projects he was going to be working on, like the Fantastic Beasts franchise, have been taken over by other actors. Having said that, it's difficult to argue that Depp hasn't had an impressive career to date, which is likely the ultimate reason why he is being honored at this year's San Sebastian Film Festival with the event's highest award.

The San Sebastian Film Festival, held in Spain every year, has announced that this year's event will include Johnny Depp receiving the Donostia Award, the highest accolade the festival has to give. The award dates back to 1986 when it was given to Gregory Peck. Since then, the award has been given every year, often to multiple recipients in a year. Previous winners also include Lauren Bacall, Al Pacino, Julie Andrews, Ian McKellen, and Denzel Washington. Viggo Mortensen was the recipient last year.

On the one hand, it's hard to argue that Johnny Depp hasn't had an award worthy career. He's a three time Academy Award nominee who is responsible for many memorable film roles and iconic characters. From his Oscar-nominated performance as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise to his numerous films with Tim Burton, which have frequently been great and are always memorable, he's certainly built an impressive filmography.

At the same time, the timing of the award will likely be an issue for many, as Johnny Depp's career is not what most people think of when they think of him these days. The actor has been involved in a series of legal battles involving his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard. Late last year a U.K. court found against the actor in a libel case against a newspaper which called Depp a "wife-beater." Shortly thereafter, Warner Bros. and Depp agreed to part ways on the Fantastic Beasts franchise and his role as Grindelwald was recast.

It's also been reported that even seeing Johnny Depp return in a simple cameo in any future Pirates of the Caribbean film is off the table. In addition, the director of Depp's latest film has claimed the movie is being intentionally buried by the studio.

Considering that movie studios appear to be distancing themselves from the actor, seeing a significant film festival do the opposite certainly stands out. Part of it may simply be the actor's connection to the festival. According to Deadline, Depp attended the event last year to promote Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan, and he also attended the festival in the late '90s with Terry Gilliam when Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was released.

Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.