On Monday, May 2, Johnny Depp's talent manager Jack Whigham was deposed in the courtroom following the actor's security officer Travis McGivern.
In the second deposition of the day in the trial of Depp's defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard, Whigham spoke about Depp's salary negotiations amid the allegations against the actor.
The talent agent told the court that Heard's 2018 op-ed about "se*ual violence" was 'catastrophic' for Depp's career. While the actress never called out Depp by name in her op-ed, there were serious claims made by her that insinuated that Heard's former husband had abused her.
Following the allegations, Depp lost out on many popular roles like that of Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean. He was also infamously replaced in Warner Bros' (now, Warner Bros. Discovery) Fantastic Beasts series as Grindelwald.
What did Johnny Depp's talent agent Jack Whigham say about the actor’s salary negotiations?
In his testimony, Whigham revealed that there had been a negotiation (circa 2017) for Johnny Depp to be paid $22.5 million. The negotiation was for his potential return as Captain Sparrow in the sixth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean.
The discussion of the payment to Depp by Disney studio was done when producer Jerry Bruckheimer was involved with the project.
However, as per reports from numerous publications, Heard’s op-ed in 2018 might have made the studio deem Depp’s involvement risky for the franchise.
Jack Whigham admitted that he had learned about Disney’s decision to drop Johnny Depp from the role in around 2019. The talent manager further spoke about rumors of Disney developing a role for Margot Robbie to take over Depp’s lead role in the franchise.
During cross-examination from Heard’s lawyers, Whigham revealed that he had reached out to the producers of the series, Jerry Bruckheimer and Sean Bailey, multiple times.
“I was not successful in rescuing Pirates for Johnny.”
According to the talent manager, Depp was paid $10 million for Disney’s Murder on the Orient Express, while the actor was paid around $13.5 million for Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald.
He was also paid around $8 million for his role in 2018’s City of Lies. For the actor’s last prominent film, Minamata (2020), Depp was paid just $3 million for his role.
However, these salaries may not include the box-office cut the actor would have received for some of the aforementioned roles. From the wages of Depp’s films, it is clear that he has not had significant studio films for around two years since Amber Heard’s op-ed.
What is known about Johnny Depp’s talent manager, Jack Whigham?
Jack Whigham is best known for his work as a talent agent in Hollywood and a managing partner of the Range Media talent agency. The talent manager is also the younger brother of actor Shea Whigham, who has appeared alongside Depp in 2018’s City of Lies.
As per reports, Whigham also helped manage Chris Hemsworth during his tenure at Creative Artists Agency (CAA). The talent agent shifted to Range Media after the firm was founded in 2020.