Johnny Depp Was to Receive $22.5 Million for ‘pirates 6' Disney Cancelled the Movie

Johnny Depp Was to Receive $22.5 Million for ‘pirates 6′ Disney Cancelled the Movie

Celebrity

Before an op-ed from Amber Heard claiming herself as a victim of domestic abuse led Disney to kill the project, Depp’s talent manager testified Monday that Depp had lined up a large payday for a sixth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film.

In Depp’s defamation trial against his ex-wife, Jack Whigham claimed that Disney’s movie boss Sean Bailey and ”

Before an op-ed from Amber Heard claiming herself as a victim of domestic abuse led Disney to kill the project, Depp’s talent manager testified Monday that Depp had lined up a large payday for a sixth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film.

In Depp’s defamation trial against his ex-wife, Jack Whigham claimed that Disney’s movie boss Sean Bailey and “Pirates of the Caribbean” producer Jerry Bruckheimer orally agreed to pay Depp $22.5 million for the sixth film in the series in early 2016.

Depp, on the other hand, was never allowed to see those millions. The sixth “Pirates” film was never made, and Depp never got to play Captain Jack Sparrow again.

Depp filed a lawsuit against Heard in Virginia’s Fairfax County court, where Whigham testified via videoconference on Monday. Depp claimed that Heard’s December 2018 op-ed defamed him. Heard didn’t mention Depp in the op-ed, which he co-wrote with ACLU lawyers, but Depp said it was an obvious allusion to their 2016 divorce, which occurred amid Heard’s allegations of domestic abuse, which Depp has denied.

Johnny Depp Was to Receive $22.5 Million for ‘pirates 6' Disney Cancelled the Movie

The op-ed, according to Whigham, had a “catastrophic” effect on Depp’s career.

“It was devastating in the case of Johnny because it was a first-person account,” Whigham said. “It wasn’t from a reporter or an observer; it was from someone who said, ‘This occurred to me.'”

Bailey informed the Hollywood Reporter shortly after the op-ed was published that Disney would not continue with Depp in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. He was also replaced by Mads Mikkelsen in the “Harry Potter” spinoff film franchise “Fantastic Beasts.”

Also Read: Amber Heard Fires Her PR Team Amid Negative Headlines Over Johnny Depp Defamation Trial?

“It was impossible to get Johnny a studio film after the op-ed,” Whigham testified on Monday, arguing that the essay had harmed Depp’s career. “It was a victim’s first-hand report.” It was a death knell for Mr. Depp in the Hollywood community.”

Depp’s lawyers are attempting to show that it was the op-ed, not Heard’s past abuse allegations in 2016, which resulted in a divorce settlement, that harmed Depp’s career prospects.

Whigham testified Monday that he began working with Depp in October 2016 and that Depp continued to work steadily throughout 2017. According to him, Depp received $8 million for “City of Lies,” $10 million for “Murder on the Orient Express,” and $13.5 million for “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” all of which were filmed in 2017.

In the fall of 2018, he received $1 million for an independent film called “Waiting for the Barbarians,” and he was slated to receive $3 million for another independent film called “Minamata,” which was set to shoot in early 2019.

Whigham claimed that Depp’s career success was halted as a result of the op-ed.

“It was a first-hand account from the victim,” he explained. “It was a death knell for Mr. Depp in the Hollywood community.”

Johnny Depp Was to Receive $22.5 Million for ‘pirates 6' Disney Cancelled the Movie

He claimed that once it was published, “Minamata’s” financing became uncertain, and Depp had to give up some of his remunerations to save the production. Since then, Depp has not appeared in a picture.

Whigham revealed in early 2019 that Depp would not appear in the sixth “Pirates” film.

He stated, “It became evident they were headed in a different way.”

Also Read: Johnny Depp Laughs in Court when Asked About Actor’s Genitals

Elaine Bredehoft, Heard’s lawyer, pointed out during cross-examination that Depp never had a contract for $22.5 million for the picture, and that the figure was never committed to writing. Prior testimony, according to Bredehoft, indicated that Disney was unlikely to cast Depp in the film before the fall of 2018. While Disney was apprehensive at the time, Whigham said that producer Jerry Bruckheimer was advocating on Depp’s side.

“It was trending negatively on behalf of Disney in the late fall,” Whigham stated. “However, Jerry Bruckheimer and I were advocating for it to happen, so we had hope.” And in early 2019, it became evident to me that it was over.”

Depp’s lawyers called transactional attorney Richard Marks, who testified that Heard’s op-ed intended to put Hollywood on notice about Depp’s career. Heard said in the post that she had firsthand knowledge of how “institutions defend guys accused of violence.”

“Amber Heard was slamming Hollywood for backing… her abuser, and she felt Hollywood’s fury,” Marks added.

He also mentioned that the work was timed to coincide with the release of “Aquaman,” in which Heard stars. “This was the pinnacle of her celebrity.” She used it at the time to chastise Hollywood… That was clearly heard.”

Marks said that, in the #MeToo age, Hollywood had “drawn a line” on domestic and sexual violence. Depp has been notorious for years for alcohol and drug use, as well as showing up late to set. He indicated that if Depp could clear his identity, his career may be revived.

“I think Disney will do everything they can to get him back in ‘Pirates,’ but not under this cloud,” Marks said.

Johnny Depp Was to Receive $22.5 Million for ‘pirates 6' Disney Cancelled the Movie

Depp’s lawyers also consulted Douglas Bania, an intellectual property specialist who had looked at Depp’s Google results and Q Scores. Bania testified that Depp’s image was largely good before Heard’s allegations in 2016, but that “the public impression of Mr. Depp has been tarnished” after that — and after the 2018 opinion post.

Also Read: An Agent for Johnny Depp Claims Disney Dropped Him from The ‘pirates of The Caribbean’ Franchise Over Amber Heard’s Abuse Allegations

Adam Nadelhaft, Heard’s lawyer, responded that Bania’s study was unable to isolate the losses caused by the December 2018 op-ed, and that Depp’s reputation had been hurt both before and after that by other incidents. Nadelhaft also mentioned spikes in attention surrounding Depp’s defamation case in the United Kingdom, during which his violent text messages were published.

In marketing, Q Scores are used to quantify a performer’s renown and popularity. Depp’s Q Score had fallen since Heard initially aired her allegations in May 2016, according to Bania. He got a positive Q Score of 35 in February 2016 and a negative Q Score of 11. In August 2018, the score was 31 for good and 16 for bad.

Bania testified, “They like him less and despise him more.”

Depp’s score was 29 favorable and 15 negative in February 2019, two months following the op-ed.

Nadelhaft claimed that small dips in Q Scores had little statistical significance, but Bania testified that the industry takes even minor drops into account when making recruiting decisions.

On Tuesday, Johnny  Depp’s side is anticipated to wrap up its case, and Amber Heard’s side will start presenting defense testimony. On Wednesday, Heard is due to testify. The New York Post claimed on Sunday that Heard had fired her public relations staff because she was fed up with the case’s “poor headlines” so far.