Were Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s movie careers hurt because of the trial?

With the bitter libel trial now over, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are left to pick up parts of their careers. But exactly how they will choose to move forward – and how much appetite Hollywood will have to employ them – remains to be seen.

Six weeks of testimonies about sensational allegations of domestic violence and emotional abuse caused undeniable harm to the public images of Depp, 58, and Heard, 36, as millions around the world followed every step of the trial and their bias on social media. On Wednesday, the Virginia jury Much to Deb’s favour, by awarding him $10 million in damages and $5 million in punitive damages for what it considered defamation lawsuits against him. (The latter was reduced by a judge to Virginia’s legal maximum of $350,000.) The jury also awarded $2 million in compensatory damages to Heard in her counterclaim.

As the date of the audition approaches, Depp has boasted far more about the career biggest of the two previous ones, racking up more than $8 billion in gross box office revenue worldwide thanks to blockbuster films including “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Alice and Wonderland,” “Charlie,” and the Chocolate Factory.” In his lawsuit against Heard, in which he sought $50 million in damages, Depp claimed he lost tens of millions of dollars in professional earnings because of her allegations against him.

However, the truth is that Depp’s career was heading downhill even before Heard wrote a 2018 op-ed that sparked litigation. During the trial, both Depp’s former agent and his manager testified that his unprofessional behavior – showing up late, relying on an earpiece for dialogue – plus his reputation on substantive issues made major studios reluctant to work with the actor. In 2020, Warner Bros. Depp from ‘Fantastic Beasts’ series after losing his 2020 defamation trial in the UK

“I was very honest with him and said, ‘You have to stop doing this. Depp’s former agent, Tracy Jacobs, testified about his off-screen problems, “It hurts you,” adding, “His star was fading.”

In fact, even before Heard’s allegations surfaced, Depp had suffered a number of notable failures in the past decade, including films like “Dark Shadows,” “Mortdecai,” “Transcendence” and “Black Mass.” Since 2018’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, he’s appeared in only three low-budget films, none of which have received significant domestic releases, the most recent being, “Minamata,” which grossed just $1.2 million worldwide.

A man in a beret and glasses reclines at a printed table

Johnny Depp in the 2020 drama Minamata.

(Samuel Goldwyn films)

Although Hollywood has held him from a distance, Depp still has a very loyal fan base. At this year’s Academy Awards, “Minamata” — in which he played a cameraman who documented the effects of mercury poisoning on the citizens of a Japanese city — ranked third in the Fans’ Favorite Oscar Contest After die-hard fans voted for Depp in droves via Twitter to show their support for the star.

Data collected by insurance and finance group Spotted Media in recent weeks through surveys with a representative sample of hundreds of American adults has found that, regardless of the outcome of the experiment, many still want to see Depp go on to star in films. Of those respondents who were aware of the lawsuit, more than 86% felt that Johnny Depp should not be excluded from future productions.

For Heard, the results of the survey were more straightforward. Among those who had been following the trial, more than half of the respondents said they were less interested in seeing the actress in future films, with nearly two-thirds saying they believed Heard should be excluded from future productions.

Janet Cominos, chief executive of Spotted Media, said film producers were interested to see what the data showed about public sentiment toward Depp and Heard as they measured the risks of hiring actors.

“It has come up in many of our conversations with the producers; they are curious to see if there is a discrepancy between the actions the studios are taking and the audience’s opinion,” says Cominos. “I think the results clearly show that Johnny Depp is very rentable and that it would be dangerous for a production company to hire Amber Heard because of the rapid decline in the appeal she’s had since the start of the trial.”

At the moment, neither Depp nor Heard have many projects on the immediate horizon. While Depp has nearly two dozen projects listed as being in development on the industry site IMDb Pro, including Dr. Seuss Untitled and Paul Revere Untitled Project It’s not clear how many projects are active.

Depp is currently voicing a puffin cartoon in an international animated series called “Puffins Impossible” and is set to play King Louis XV in the French drama “Jeanne du Barry,” which is being marketed to potential distributors at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

In his lawsuit against Heard, Depp claimed he lost $22.5 million in potential payday that he would have earned by starring in his planned sixth “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Although it is uncertain what part Depp’s public controversies played in the decision, Sean Bailey, Walt Disney Studios chief production officer, said Depp’s Jack Sparrow would not be part of the film, telling The Hollywood Reporter in 2018 that the studio wanted to “bring “New energy and vitality” for the series.

For her part, Heard – who most recently appeared in the Paramount + limited series “The Stand” – is set to return as the love interest Mera in the superhero sequel “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” currently slated for release in March. 2023. During the trial, Heard testified that her role had been “cut back” due to the controversy over allegations of domestic violence against Depp. But, in separate testimony, DC Films president Walter Hamada said Heard’s role was never considered central to the film, reducing her role to a notable lack of chemistry with co-star Jason Momoa, who plays Aquaman.

As a testament to the hostility many Depp fans feel toward Heard — and their eagerness to band together online to support the actor — a petition on Change.org to remove the actress from the sequel “Aquaman” has nearly 4.5 million signatures.

During the trial, Heard’s agent, Jesica Kovacevic, cited the actress’ lost role on Amazon Studios with Gael García Bernal as evidence of the damage the controversy had done to her career, though she admitted she couldn’t say for sure that Heard lost the job due to backlash. .

“No one can say out loud, ‘We are taking this away from her because of this bad press,'” said Kovashevich. “But there is no other reason.”

Shortly before the trial began in April, Heard finished filming a standalone thriller “In the Fire,” about a late 19th-century psychiatrist who has to take care of a boy who appears to have special abilities.

There is no release date for the movie. But after the agonizing trial between Depp and Heard, her title now has a whole new meaning.