It’s been a little over a month since Johnny Depp was found passed out in a Hungarian hotel room, resulting in the cancellation of tour dates with the Hollywood Vampires super-group. Depp, who’s spent much of his time lately on the road touring with the rock band, hasn’t necessarily been in the best of health, and the internet quickly caught fire once news broke that the one-time Pirates of the Caribbean actor was found unconscious. Rumors engulfed chatrooms and social media feeds regarding Johnny Depp’s drinking and drug habits, a significant highlight of the recent Depp v. Heard trial documentary on Netflix, leading many to speculate if there’s any hope at all that the once-golden boy of Hollywood could ever return to Disney. Subsequently, as Depp is not shy about his rumored past addictions, many suggested a worse fate, fearing that the actor may have died due to an overdose. Of course, this isn’t what happened, but that didn’t stop the internet from making an assumption and telling the world that the once-great Captain Jack Sparrow, was dead.
Death Hoaxes Are No Stranger To Hollywood, Even Johnny Depp
It is difficult to fathom how any respectable person would want to start a death hoax based on sheer ignorance, especially regarding a beloved legend like Johnny Depp. However, it happens a lot. The internet is full of misinformation, and there have been many times when even large news organizations have been fooled into thinking someone met a gruesome fate when actually they did not. Cher, Bill Cosby, Paul McCartney, and even Tom Cruise have all fallen victim to non-credible claims suggesting they were no longer with us. Although the internet did the exact same thing to the Edward Scissorhands star last month, this isn’t the first time Johnny Depp has fallen victim to a death hoax either.
In 2012, a fake CNN website falsely published the death of the beloved Sleepy Hollow actor. The baseless information spread like wildfire, convincing many that Depp had left this world and sailed past the horizon. Claims then were made that Johnny Depp had passed away in a fatal car accident near Bordeaux, France. Although it was quickly confirmed that Depp was indeed alive, stories like these create a “cry wolf” syndrome around the internet. A year later, when Paul Walker actually passed away in a car accident, many would not initially believe the reports because they’d gotten so used to people feeding them senseless lies for clicks.
Despite the Hoax, Johnny Depp is Alive, But Maybe Not Well
After the incident in Hungary and despite the death hoax, many started to worry about the health of the Sweeney Todd lead. Despite a seemingly quick recovery from whatever happened in that hotel room, Depp’s first appearance back in the United States left jaws dropped. The one-time heart-throb was barely recognizable and needed the assistance of a cane to get around Boston. Reports suddenly indicated that Depp had left his tour overseas, not due to an alcohol or drug-related incident, but due to an ankle injury that he had sustained. No matter what happened, Johnny Depp did not look like what fans are used to, and his appearance led to further speculation that he may not be fit for a return to Pirates 6 if it ever happens.
Personally, I’m in a camp that does not believe Johnny Depp will ever reprise the role of Jack Sparrow alongside Disney. However, there are recent rumors that Depp would accept a contract if the script is suitable; some information even cites close friend and producer Jerry Bruckheimer as a source. However, a return to Pirates of a Nightmare Before Christmas live-action remake alongside Tim Burton remains to be seen. By the look of Johnny Depp, he’s probably not in a position to be seriously considered by Disney, whose recent box office struggles could absolutely use a boost from Depp’s star power.
Depp’s Reported Lifestyle May Lead to More Death Hoaxes
When Depp took the stand against ex-wife Amber Heard to defend claims of abuse she had made against the Fantastic Beasts, he did not shy away from his personal struggles with drugs and alcohol. In Netflix’s newest documentary highlighting the now infamous courtroom battle, Depp was vocal about his fight with the abuse of opioids and benzodiazepines. Heard’s legal team used recording and photo evidence to suggest that Johnny Depp lives a demanding lifestyle that many other famous actors and musicians have succumbed to. Depp didn’t deny this hard way of living, making a death hoax much more believable as millions worldwide have been privy to his drug and alcohol use through widespread social media coverage of his defamation case.
As the Alice in Wonderland actor now is touring with the likes of Alice Cooper and Joe Perry, living the life of a rock star may lend itself further to Depp’s well-documented substance issues. The now 60-year-old was also noted for drinking heavily and was “constantly late” while filming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017). The reputation that now follows Johnny Depp makes many claims regarding his health extremely believable. For this reason, the latest death hoax will not likely be the last to befall the former Cry Baby darling, and his lifestyle leaves his return to Disney shrouded in doubt.