In this week’s episode of Johnny Depp Gets A New Job, the world’s most repulsive Renaissance man has announced that in addition to raking in millions as the face of Dior; producing thoroughly unremarkable art; releasing a new album; and, of course, returning to acting, he’s now set to restore his directing career! Frankly, we should have predicted this, considering the alleged-abuser-to-director pipeline.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Depp has secured his first directing gig in 25 years. (He first directed The Brave in 1997, which starred Depp opposite Marlon Brando.) This time, the not-so-disgraced actor will helm the production of Modigliani, starring Hollywood legends Al Pacino and Barry Navidi. The film, based on the play by Dennis McIntyre, will follow the story of Italian painter and sculptor over the course of a “turbulent and eventful” 48-hour period. Much like how I imagine Depp fancies himself, Modigliani was the victim of a terribly fraught existence marred by addiction to drugs and alcohol, and was considered a genius only after his untimely death at the age of 35. (I should also note that Modigliani’s partner was just 19 when they met. He was 32.)
“The saga of Mr. Modigliani’s life is one that I’m incredibly honored, and truly humbled, to bring to the screen,” Depp told THR. “It was a life of great hardship, but eventual triumph — a universally human story all viewers can identify with.”
Is Depp projecting? Probably! Lest anyone forget, 6,000 documents just leaked that show the disturbing steps Depp took to ensure his own eventual triumph in his second highly publicized defamation trial against his ex-wife, Amber Heard. (In the first such trial, which took place in the U.K., Depp lost his libel suit, with a judge determining he was, in fact, abusive to Heard.) According to the newly available documents, Depp’s legal team claimed they couldn’t locate crucial text messages that confirmed their client kicked Heard on a private flight; fought to exclude sickening text exchanges between Depp and his longtime pal Marilyn Manson; and sought to have expert testimony omitted from the trial because it affirmed that Depp domestically abused Heard.
Even still, the masses have not been even remotely as cruel to Depp as they’ve been to his ex-wife. After joining TikTok in June, Depp has amassed 16.3 million followers. Earlier this summer, before the verdict was even read, Depp began touring with Jeff Beck and received standing ovations at iconic venues like the Royal Albert Hall, and a resounding embrace from adoring fans while on the road. He also nabbed himself a role as King Louis XV in the buzzy La Favorite, and recently took home $3.6 million for producing some Society 6-worthy art.
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Now, as Depp joins the ranks of directors with profoundly suspect histories—especially regarding their relationships with women—he’s free to enjoy the ultimate privilege of multiple careers, several cash streams, and even more inevitable applause.
Such is the “ruined life” of a man who has demonstrably overcome what should have stained his reputation beyond salvaging.