Johnny Depp’s Movie Minamata Is Hitting Streaming, And Soon

Johnny Depp in Minamata
(Image credit: Samuel Goldwyn Films)

Though Johnny Depp is one of Hollywood’s most recognizable actors, the star hasn’t been drawing buzz through his work as of late. He was embroiled in a legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard for some time and, just a few weeks ago, their contentious defamation case wrapped, with the verdict falling largely in Depp’s favor. Now, as Depp prepares for another court case, his last big movie he shot, Minamata, has officially set a streaming release date. And it’s set to arrive sooner than you might expect. 

Minamata, distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films, will make its streaming home at Hulu, per the streamer, and the film will be available to customers starting on July 8th. So subscribers only have a few weeks before they’re able to check out the historical drama. It may not be wild to assume that a sizable number of people may be interested in checking it out, considering that it’s the first motion pictures starring the Pirates of the Caribbean star that’s been dropped in some time. Of course, this notion of its reception on the streamer is purely speculation at this point. 

The movie, which Johnny Depp also produced, is based on Aileen Mioko Smith and W. Eugene Smith’s novel of the same name. Depp portrays the late Smith, a reclusive American photojournalist who travelled to Japan in the ‘70s to investigate the emergence of a mysterious disease. From there, Smith engages in a battle with the corporate entity causing the disease and seeks to make the circumstances behind the tragedy known to the world. And in the process of doing so, he becomes something of an icon within his profession. 

Minamata’s road to the big screen was actually a somewhat complicated ordeal. The movie, which received positive early reviews, was originally set to hit theaters in the U.S. February 2021, though it was ultimately postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, many were apparently unaware of the studio’s decision, as many believed that it bombed due to the miniscule amount of money it took in that weekend. Eventually, the film was released to theaters this past February and finished its run with a meager haul of $1.7 million.

As the Andrew Levitas-directed drama prepares to hit streaming, Johnny Depp is heading back to court for an assault-related case. The actor is being sued by the location manager from his 2018 film City of Lies, who alleges that Depp punched him twice. The star’s legal team will include Camille Vasquez, who was a major figure during his defamation case against Amber Heard. Despite their victory, the lawyer for this latest plaintiff has spoken out and isn’t too phased by the outcome of that trial. 

Outside of the courtroom drama, Johnny Depp is next set to play Louis XV in a film that’s being directed by French filmmaker Maïwenn. He’s also reportedly lined up a project with guitarist Jeff Beck. Time will tell how those projects will pan out but, more immediately, additional reactions to Minamata should be with us early next month. 

If you’re planning to check out Minamata when it hits streaming on July 8th, be sure that you have a Hulu subscription.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.