The ongoing legal woes of Johnny Depp may have had an impact on some of his more high profile movie appearances, but his fans and supporters will be delighted to hear that he is about to receive the Sam Sebastian Film Festival's Donostia Award, the festival's highest available honor. While Depp has been caught up in endless lawsuits involving his ex-wife Amber Heard, his recent film roles have been far and few between, but as the festival said, Depp is "one of contemporary cinema's most talented and versatile actors", which has led to the award being given to him at this year's event in September.
Johnny Depp will join a list of award recipients that includes Ethan Hawke, Sigourney Weaver, Judy Dench and Viggo Mortensen. Depp himself appeared at the festival last year, when he presented Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane McGowan as well as a very short appearance back in 1998 with Terry Gilliam.
Like the opening of last year's even seeing Woody Allen's movie Rifkin's Festival playing, the inclusion of Depp this year will raise eyebrows among some, particularly those supporting Amber Heard in the couple's legal quarrel, but in the end, there are many who believe that private and professional lives should be kept apart and will welcome the move by the event.
Depp has spent the last thirty years building himself up from an unknown actor to one of the most commanding in Hollywood history. His work with Tim Burton alone could provide its own movie industry, and then you also have the Pirates of The Caribbean franchise which has raked in billions on its own. One of his latest roles was as war photographer W Eugene Smith in Minamata, but due to Depp's personal situation, the movie was pretty much buried by MGM, leading to a dispute between them and director Andrew Levitas.
Depp recently appeared in court as part of a libel case against British tabloid, The Sun, which Depp claimed had defamed him with the use of the term wife-beater in an article. Depp lost that part of his legal war, which ultimately led to him withdrawing from his role of Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3, leading to Doctor Strange actor Mads Mikkelsen taking over that role in the upcoming sequel.
Depp still has upcoming libel cases to come in the US, but their outcome will not be known for some time. While many attempts have been made by fans to have Amber Heard removed from the Aquaman sequel, it has been to no avail, and the question now is whether winning the Donostia Award will be enough to give Johnny Depp back anything close to the big budget blockbusters he has become accustomed to in the past.
The Sam Sebastian Film Festival will run from the 17th to 25th September and will see a number of movies competing including Terence Davies' Benediction, which stars Peter Capaldi and Jack Lowden in a story chronicling the life of Siegfried Sassoon, the soldier and anti-war poet who survived World War I. This news was first reported at Deadline.