CNN spoke to six entertainment industry experts about the story, some of whom spoke in the background to protect the professional relationship.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect before he took the position and if anything, I believe it only helped his public image,” the source said.
Another leading Hollywood publicist who did not work with either Depp or Heard said that none of their images performed well.
“Both are extremely dysfunctional. Money is poisonous and greed is destructive. Nobody wins here,” said the publicist.
Naturally, both actors have hurdles to overcome once their legal battle is over.
Depp and Heard met in 2009 on the set of their film The Rum Diary and were married from 2015 to 2016 before divorcing.
entertainment officer Darryl Marshak believes that film studios may — at least initially — be hesitant to engage with actors involved in the controversy that has played out so publicly.
“Robert Downey Jr. got an Oscar and then told the world about his personal business and people recoiled,” said Marshak, who has previously represented stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Hilary Swank. “I think Hollywood is a strange place. When you air out your dirty laundry in front of the car, the executives, all the people who make the parts move, they kind of recoil from the hot flame.
Depp claims that Heard’s 2018 article, in which she called herself “a public figure representing domestic violence,” slandered him. He has appeared in two films since publication that does not mention his name: Waiting for the Barbarians and Minamata, both independent films.
Marshak said he believes Depp’s “incredible talent” will get him back on the screen.
“Hollywood is also forgiving and as it moves forward this thing is off air and Johnny can smoothly get back into the business. I think he will reappear,” he said. “Hollywood is a fickle place.”
Depp and Heard’s lawyers’ courtroom performance — a live-streamed trial followed by millions — could also influence the industry’s attitude towards the two stars.
Ruizi believes that Depp’s representatives were more effective.
“Mr. Depp’s legal and strategic communications team has done an incredible job delivering a consistent message in the courtroom and through the media, which I believe has helped build the support of his fans.”
“It can be frightening – for victims as well, re-traumatizing – for women empathizing with a victim of abuse. will start to worry that they will be next, ”she wrote. “Is it any wonder that so many women come to Depp’s defense? No. Not at all”.
For two working actors, the question after the court closes is will producers send them scripts as reliably as viewers send tweets?
Future franchise in danger?
The essence of Hurd and Depp’s lawsuits is that their careers, especially their futures in their respective film franchises, have suffered.
Over the past few weeks, Depp’s team has been trying to prove that Depp, who played Jack Sparrow in five films, was left out of a potential sixth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise due to Heard’s comment.
The producer said the creative team is “developing two scripts for Pirates – one that could potentially star Margot Robbie, and ‘one without’ Robbie.
The last film was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in 2017.
And when Heard’s lawyer pressed Carino on other issues Depp might have had while working on previous Pirates films, he dismissed them.
“I know he’s late, but he’s been late for everything throughout his life,” Carino said. “I think it’s frustrating for everyone, but everyone has learned how to make films to deal with it.”
Other witnesses considered his behavior more pernicious.
“His star faded as it became harder for him to get a job, given the reputation he had for being late and other things,” Jacobs testified. “People were talking and the question was about his behavior.”
The Hollywood director, who hasn’t worked with Depp but has dated him, told CNN he doesn’t think Depp will ever helm another major franchise.
“I think that Johnny Depp will be able to do various independent films because his name is still of significant value and he has an audience, but the studios will be more careful for insurance reasons and because of the possibility of stopping protection and they will be more concerned public backlash than smaller independent companies,” he said.
As for Heard, the director believes that the attention to the court didn’t help his image.
There is currently a petition to remove Heard from the upcoming Aquaman sequel, which has already been filmed and is in post-production. (CNN and Warner Bros. are part of Warner Bros. Discovery.)
He also said that the studio never planned to portray Heard as a co-host in the second film and that Heard’s role would not be reduced in the upcoming film titled Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
“His testimony, whether true or fiction, sparked a resurgence in fans who missed him,” he said. “In terms of his reputation and career, the studios see that he still has a fan base,” he said.
As for Heard, whose career was less established than Depp’s when their relationship and troubling allegations began, it’s harder to say, according to sources.
Nearly a decade ago, before the Depp drama hit the spotlight, Heard told Vanity Fair she was ready for the ups and downs of her acting career.
“Absolutely,” Hurd replied. “I really like the fight in which you are constantly … you are constantly in a state of fight or flight. It’s a constant struggle. So I don’t know if I can do it any other way.”
Sonia Moge of CNN contributed to this report.