American actor, John Christopher Depp II better known as Johnny Depp is set to return to the Pirates of the Caribbean sequel and is in talks with Disney about a $301 million deal after the defamation trial win against his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
The 59-year-old was the major lead in five Pirates movies over the past 15 years and was dropped from the franchise in 2018 after the release of Dead Men Tell No Tales.
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A source revealed to an entertainment news portal called Poptopic that the actor has been in talks with Disney about a ‘$300 million deal’ after winning his defamation trial again Amber Heard
The insider revealed that Disney is interested in patching the relationship up with Depp and has recently reached out to him.
They said: ‘They reached out to the actor prior to his defamation trial against Amber Heard and asked whether he would be interested in returning for another pirate film or two.
The source added that another project is in the works for Disney Plus. They said: ‘The deal is reportedly for Johnny Depp to return as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean 6 and a spin-off Disney Plus series about the early life of the Captain of The Black Pearl.
‘What I can tell you is that the studio has already penned up a draft for a film about Jack Sparrow so they are very hopeful that Johnny will forgive them and return as his iconic character.’
The source said that the media house is working on a ‘$301 million deal’ to coax Depp back soon and are also reportedly adding a ‘sizeable donation’ to a charity of Depp’s choice as a gesture of goodwill.
Depp at a point during the trial told the jury he would not work with Disney again after he was scrubbed from the sixth Pirates movie.
His legal team claims Depp lost out on a $22 million payday after Heard published her Washington Post op-ed in 2018 that didn’t identify Depp but branded him as a domestic abuser.
The father of two said he felt as if he was ‘guilty until proven innocent.’
He sued Heard over the op-ed she wrote, describing herself as a public figure representing domestic abuse.’
The jury found in Depp’s favour on all three of his claims relating to specific statements in the 2018 piece.
The jury found Depp should receive $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, but the judge reduced the punitive damages award to $350,000 under a state cap.
Heard has said she plans to appeal the verdict as she teeters on the brink of bankruptcy.
A source close to the Aquaman star claimed the 36-year-old actress was ‘broke’ that she ‘considers her career in Hollywood over’ and ‘has nothing to lose’ following a disastrous few months.
She also admitted through her lawyer that she cannot afford the $8.3 million in damages awarded to Depp.
Lawyers for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have now failed to reach a last-minute agreement that might have seen the damages the actress owed to her ex-husband be reduced, following their six-week defamation trial which ended earlier this month.
Instead, the judge in the trial made the jury’s award official on Friday with a written order for Heard to pay Depp $10.35 million for damaging his reputation by describing herself as a domestic abuse victim in an op-ed piece she wrote.
Judge Penney Azcarate finalized the verdict as she entered a judgment order into the court record after a brief hearing in Fairfax County Circuit Court. Neither Depp nor Heard was present.
She also ordered Depp to pay Heard $2 million, the jury’s award on her counterclaim that Heard was defamed by one of Depp’s lawyers.
Attorneys for both Depp and Heard were unable to reach a last-minute settlement which now means there may be a costly and lengthy appeals process.
In three weeks, the case will move to the Court of Appeals of Virginia during which time both parties will have 30 days to file a notice of appeal.
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