Earlier this year, the world watched as Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for $50 million for defamation. After Depp filed his lawsuit, Heard countersued — also for defamation — for $100 million. The trial lasted for six weeks and, in the end, the jury decided that, while both Depp and Heard had defamed each other, Depp was more of a victim. Depp was awarded more than $10 million, while Heard was awarded only $2 million. Heard is currently appealing the judgment.
The basis of the defamation claim was a Washington Post OpEd that Heard wrote in 2018, in which she claimed to be a victim of domestic abuse. She never named Depp, but the years she claimed the abuse occurred were years when she was married to the actor. Shortly after the OpEd was published, Depp claimed that Disney dropped him from a conversation that had been in the works about Pirates of the Caribbean 6 — which cost him an estimated $22 million.
However, after the jury ruled in Depp’s favor, speculation started to abound as to whether Disney would apologize to Depp and try to bring him back into the Pirates fold. Many felt that Disney had found Depp guilty without doing their due diligence. Many were also outspoken in saying that Depp is the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and that the films can’t succeed without him. There have also been more and more rumors that Depp will indeed return to Disney, but neither Depp nor Disney has commented.
With fans keeping these rumors alive and pushing for Disney to apologize to the actor, Depp shocked fans by making a surprise appearance at a popular awards show. On August 28, MTV had its annual Video Music Awards. The winner of each award receives a Moon Person statue — the symbol of MTV. During the show, the MTV Moon Person descended from the ceiling, with Depp’s face superimposed on the helmet. Depp can then be heard saying, “And you know what? I needed the work.”
Twitter user @Angeleyes_Dream shared a video of the appearance:
@JohnnyDeppNFT#johnnydepp as the moon man “I needed to work”!
Depp also posted a video of himself as the MTV Moon Person for the 2022 MTV VMAs on his Instagram page, along with the following message:
“I just want you guys to know I’m available for birthdays, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, weddings, wakes…. Any old thing you need.”
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Depp is currently getting back to work in Hollywood and directing his first film in 25 years. Pirates of the Caribbean producer Jerry Bruckheimer confirmed that there were two Pirates scripts in the works, one that has Margot Robbie in the primary role. Some felt that Depp had hinted at a Pirates return when he wore a maroon bandana that represented Captain Jack, but again, no statement has been made by Depp or Disney about bringing Depp back into the fold.