Johnny Depp to return to the big screen after MGM buried his latest film

Johnny Depp resigns from role in Fantastic Beasts

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Pirates of the Caribbean actor Johnny Depp has been absent from the big screen for some time. The last major motion picture he was a part of was in the 2018 Harry Potter spin-off movie Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – a role he has recently been dropped from. He stars in the recently finished film Minamata – a biopic that tells the story of American photographer Eugene Smith who documented the effects of mercury poisoning on the citizens of Minamata, Kumamoto, Japan – but it has yet to be released internationally.

The film was originally released in February 2020 at the Berlin International Film Festival, acquiring rave reviews along the way.

Minamata is due to be released in UK cinemas on August 13, 2021.

However, it does not yet have a US release date, nor a date in any other region.

Director of the film, Andrew Levitas, recently wrote an open letter to Minamata’s distributers, MGM, claiming they “buried” it because of Depp.

Levitas wrote: ” … MGM had decided to ‘bury the film’ (acquisitions head Mr Sam Wollman’s words) because MGM was concerned about the possibility that the personal issues of an actor in the film could reflect negatively upon them…”

The “issues of an actor” refers to accusations Depp was a “wife-beater,” claims made by a British publication in 2020. 

These claims were later backed up by the Hollywood star’s ex-wife Amber Heard.

The court case surrounding these claims ended with the publication being granted access to use the term.

Despite the alleged attempt to bury Minamata, MGM has now responded with the plan for the film’s release.

Johnny Depp discusses Pirates of the Caribbean in 2017

MGM said: “The film was acquired for release via American International Pictures (AIP), a division of MGM which handles day-and-date releases.

“Minamata continues to be among future AIP releases and at this time, the film’s US release date is TBA [to be announced].” (Via Indiewire)

Although MGM did not give a firm release date for Depp’s next movie, it seems they have at least decided on a plan for its release.

When Minamata eventually gets an international release, it will be the Edward Scissorhands star’s first film release in two years.

Before Minamata, Depp appeared in Waiting for the Barbarians, a dramatic military-focussed film based on the 1980 novel of the same name.

No word has yet been given on whether Depp will return to Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

He last starred in the 2017 hit Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Rumours suggest Disney dropped Depp from the iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow after abuse claims were reported.

Since then, Margot Robbie has confirmed she will be starring in the next Pirates of the Caribbean film.

The movie is being penned by Birds of Prey writer Christina Hodson, who is said to be bringing a “girl power” feel to the franchise.

A release date for the new Pirates movie has not yet been announced.

The Pirates of the Caribbean films are available to watch on Disney Plus.

The Fantastic Beasts movies are available on NOW.


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