Johnny Depp is directing a movie for the first time in 25 years on the heels of his defamation trial against Amber Heard.
Public relations professionals told Insider that his career appears to be on the upswing.
"Johnny Depp was always likely to emerge from the Heard-Depp legal saga with plenty of opportunities left in his career," one expert said.
Things seem to be looking up for Johnny Depp.
The actor has performed with Jeff Beck, signed a seven-figure deal with Dior, will star as King Louis XV in a new movie, and will now direct for the first time in over 2 decades.
For Hollywood public relations professionals, the recent deals are tell-tale signs that Depp's career is on the upswing just weeks after his defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard came to a close.
The news of Depp's return to the big screen is the latest clue that his career is "fully back in action," Evan Nierman, CEO of Global PR Firm Red Banyan and Author of "Crisis Averted," told Insider, adding that it was "highly unlikely" the Depp ever would have been without work.
"We should expect the floodgates to open now that the trial is behind him," Nierman said. "We are seeing the first signs of it already, with more likely to come."
Depp was embroiled in a legal battle with Heard for months after the pair filed lawsuits against each other alleging defamation. Depp accused Heard of defaming him in a Washington Post op-ed in which she said she was a domestic abuse survivor; Heard sued Depp after his representatives said Heard's accusations against Depp were a "hoax/"
The trial gained international attention, and while a jury found both parties liable of defamation, Depp was handed much more in damages.
"Johnny Depp was always likely to emerge from the Heard-Depp legal saga with plenty of opportunities left in his career," Nierman said. "The lack of conclusive evidence that he committed the abuse alleged by his ex-wife has put him back in the category of Hollywood superstar, from which he was only temporarily sidelined."
Eric Schiffer, the chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, noted that the trial "cemented Depp's ability to have a strong second act."
Schiffer added that Depp's decision to re-enter Hollywood as a director is an "interesting bridge back" but said that he will likely be successful because it "doesn't put direct pressure on him as the star in the spotlight, it allows him to naturally not get as much attention."
Nierman said Depp is still "eternally bankable" despite negative attention in the news.
"Johnny Depp invested a lot in terms of his time, energy, and financial resources to clearing his name and it seems to be paying off in the end," Nierman said, adding that he will soon be "cashing plenty of Hollywood checks" from studios who are eager to work with him now that his reputation has been "revived."
Nierman pointed to a new generation of fans — namely Gen-Z and Millennials — who were introduced to Depp from following the trial on TikTok and other social media platforms as another reason contributing to this new wave of fame.
Schiffer agreed, noting that "many producers will not be able to ignore the global fanbase exuberance that was demonstrated through social and the media post-trial," leading to a new wave of work for Depp.
Schiffer even predicted seeing Depp back on the big screen in the next year.
Meanwhile, Nierman said Heard is "unlikely to find many Hollywood doors open to her" after the trial.
"She made a choice to step out publicly and drape herself in the flag of #metoo, but the jury and the public did not find her credible," Nierman said.
But Schiffer thinks it's foolish to count the star actress out.
"Amber is appealing and has confident counsel and her career will continue and there will be opportunities for her," Schiffer said, adding that if "she is able to win on appeal, then that many more [opportunities] will open up."
But for now, it's Depp who's raking in the opportunities.
Depp is set to return to a behind-the-camera role with "Modigliani," a biopic about the Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani in Paris in 1916, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It will be co-produced by Al Pacino and Barry Navidi.
This will be Depp's first time in the director's chair since his 1997 directorial debut in "The Brave."
Depp's return to directing isn't the only new project he's picked up since the trial.
As his trial came to a close, Depp was performing in the UK with Jeff Beck. He will also be featured in Netflix's "La Favorite" in which he will star as King Louis XV. The movie will only be streamed in France.
Depp's debut art collection sold out within hours at a July 29 exhibition. He made $3.6 million from the show.
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