Though they are two very different actors with different skill sets and different approaches to embracing new roles, actors Dwayne Johnson and Johnny Depp were tapped for the same iconic film role, but only one could ultimately have the part.
There are perhaps no more talented, more prolific, more sought-after, or higher paid actors in Hollywood than Johnny Depp and Dwayne Johnson. One is a musician who began his acting career as a teenage heartthrob in the mid-1980s, and the other started out as far away from Hollywood as possible–in the ring as a professional wrestler. Both Depp and Johnson are known for the uncanny ways in which they are able to make one blockbuster film after another.
Johnny Depp and Dwayne Johnson both rank among the highest-paid actors in Hollywood history. In 2011, Depp was reportedly paid $55 million for his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and the year before that, Disney paid Depp a whopping $68 million to play the over-eccentric, somewhat crazed, somewhat melancholy Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. In 2022, Dwayne Johnson was ranked as the highest-grossing actor, amassing a $270 million fortune in just twelve months, thanks to some heavy hitters at the box office, including Black Adam and Red Notice.
But that’s not all these two fan-favorite celebrities have in common.
According to an Instagram post by The Rock, Depp and Johnson both made the short list of actors that director Tim Burton considered for his Willy Wonka remake, titled Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
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“Tim Burton had considered me to play Willy Wonka in his remake, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,'” the post reads. “I remember thinking, ‘Holy ****, I’m in!’ But that was many years ago when I was just starting out in Hollywood with no foundation of global box office strength or any real acting experience to even pull it off. The role, of course, went to Johnny Depp, who, at that time, was the biggest star in the world.”
Johnson went on to say in his post that he was thankful just to be considered for the role.
“The fact that Tim [Burton] even considered me sure meant a helluva lot to me as I was just breaking into the business with no idea what the future had in store,” Johnson wrote. “I’ll always raise a glass to the dreams that don’t come true because sometimes they’re the best thing that never happened.”