Yes and no.
The thing with Johnny Depp is— since the 1980s, he has excelled in the very offbeat lead roles in great films. Prior to Pirates, he developed this reputation as an iconoclastic actor, shunning the mainstream for smaller film gems.
Robert, on the other hand, was the eccentric scene-stealer with the occasional lead role, and more known for his drug habits. I’d honestly be hard-pressed to consider they were in the same league back then.
Unlike Depp, he was never really in the position to go "Ok, I just want to do small films to further my craft as a serious actor". Even in his older interviews in the 80s and early 90s, what he wanted was his name above the marquee. He didn’t have the pretense to consciously choose indie roles; it just happened to work out that way for him. His early roles are littered with attempts to break through the mainstream as a leading man — Chances Are, Air America (which was the film that he really thought was going to do it), Heart and Souls, Only You. And when those didn’t work out, he fell back to the indie supporting roles. He always did.
Robert’s well-aware that a good chunk of his fandom right now are all about Tony Stark; he’s alluded to as much in recent interviews. I would even say that it’s mostly Sherlock Holmes that’s responsible for his fandom, particularly with young women (hell, that’s how I came on board). And it’s inevitable that a lot of the folks who are going nuts for him right now will leave once he’s not Stark anymore. That’s gonna happen. But— you also have to consider that the MCU fandom is quite a bit different from the Pirates one. Robert is associated (and in most cases, the cornerstone) of this unprecedented, ever-expanding cinematic universe, the majority of which is well-received (whereas in Pirates, it stopped being “cool” after the first film). So it’s the same, and yet different. Very different.
Plus, for better or worse, it has pretty much come to a point where the Tony Stark character is inextricably intertwined with the public’s perception of Robert — when he shows up in a premiere, in interviews, his interactions, even his Twitter, etc., people think he’s Tony Stark. Which is a little bit different with the way the public views Jack Sparrow and Johnny.
Oh, lest we forget, Robert struck it gold twice, the other being Sherlock Holmes (which is generally well-received by the public).
So yeah, there are definitely similarities between Johnny and Robert’s trajectories. And given how Johnny’s path has been in the last couple of years (which I never would’ve imagined back in 2008), I am (very) concerned as to how Robert’s path will be.
He’s aware, and I’m almost certain he’s watching Johnny’s track very closely. The idea has always been Robert needs to do smaller films in between the Marvel ones, which he’s beginning to do now. He knows The Judge won’t make bank, they’re not marketing it to make bank at all. Chef is largely a cameo. He’s cooling off a little bit with the franchises — ex. no concrete Sherlock Holmes development, his other potential franchises (Pinocchio, Perry Mason) are on ice, etc.
Also of note, Team Downey’s goal is to make good, small films but that’ll appeal to the general public, so the days of Robert suddenly appearing in a $50K-budgeted film are long gone. Take that as you will. Do I wish he’s making better film selections? Oh yes. But I’m anything if not patient, so I’m thinking that’ll happen. Hopefully.
So again, yes and no.
(P.S. — please message me using your actual account and not this bogey “bilbaat” one. I’d like to at least get an idea of who I’m responding to. Plus, it’s kind of chicken-y. This is a good discussion; follow up with it.)
(P.P.S. — I guess the difference is Johnny’s last four films are big-budgeted misfires, both critically and financially. With Robert, the issue with him is he hasn’t made anything but blockbusters.)
(P.P.P.S — It’s Sherlock Holmes that truly did it for Robert, not Iron Man. If it weren’t for that second franchise, he’d only be a smidge above the likes Evans, Hemsworth, or the other superhero franchise guys.)
(P.P.P.P.S— Robert is also more meme-friendly (for lack of a better word) than Johnny with the way he carries himself and his personality. Not that that necessarily has weight but fandom nowadays is a different entity than it had been back as recently as mid 2000s. You can sustain a very loyal fanbase just by being that.)
I agree with all the above - and yes, I’m one of the ones who discovered him through Sherlock Holmes, not Tony Stark (although I now love Tony, too…). Headlining TWO major box-office smash franchises shows he has legs and is not a Marvel flash in the pan. And that definitely differentiates him from Depp.
You know, I’m all for Robert doing the smaller, Oscar-bait movies, and he should (although not all Oscar-bait movies ARE small, any more — there are still epics like Titanic, Avatar, Saving Private Ryan, Gravity, etc., which he could be headlining easily…ahem, almost did with Gravity…even though the male role in that was small and overshadowed by the female lead, so as a whole I think he didn’t do too awfully badly to let it go…). But I also think he can be a go-to action-adventure leading man for quite some time yet, as long as he doesn’t descend to Stallone/Schwarzenegger levels (those guys have seemed desperate for a while now…) and takes roles — like Tony and Holmes — that are smartly written and fit his style.
He also has never really been in a truly great comedy outside of “Tropic Thunder” (well, “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” if you count that as a comedy…), and that’s also a genre where he could shine for years.
When I talked to him about “Sherlock Holmes” in 2012, he indicated that he could well be interested in playing the role for a long time, as long as audiences welcomed the movies and the writing was good. He said when he took the role, he was very aware they’d been looking for a “younger” Holmes (the original script was a kind-of-crappy comic-booky action thing stuffed with magic and goofiness - more akin to “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” or “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” or something of that ilk — so thank God he and Jude and Guy undertook some on-the-spot re-writing, made it smart and gave it heart…). When they retooled it after Robert and Jude were aboard, it was a slightly older Holmes, and he told me that he could see himself playing the role “until Jude and I are running around with canes and gray hair.” So, although things may have changed a bit now (what with Joel Silver off the WB lot now and all that upheaval), I think we may see a few more Holmes movies.
Will he/can he give up Tony Stark after “Avengers 3”? I don’t know. I have the feeling that if there happened to be a great “Iron Man 4” script and something more to say and do with the character, he could be lured (does anyone have that kind of $$, though? Would stingy Marvel pony up again? If there’s profit to be made, my bet is they would…).
There’s no concrete news IN the news about the next “Sherlock Holmes,” but they are working on it and the script (by Justin Haythe) is underway. All the legal/producer credits stuff I am sure they will work out, because, again, big money is at stake and they want to strike while the iron man is hot.
It’s been a year now and I still can’t believe I actually took those pictures. I have no idea how I was even capable of doing anything sensible, let alone ask the man for a picture! I mean he was right there, and I remember looking at him and I vaguely remember speaking, but it’s all such a big blur. And I know I can count myself incredibly luckily for having seen him at all and I do, but I also do wish I would remember more and somehow it seems so far away. I was remember standing there watching him slowly approach, and I was completely on edge and nervous but couldn’t feel a thing at the same time, and all I was thinking was “this is happening, this is real, it’s him, this is real!” over and over again in a desperate attempt of trying to somehow realize and grasp this. Didn’t really work.
But he was so sweet, I mean obviously it was HIS big movie, but he really made his way along the whole line of people and not just popping in and signing something here and there and then skipping large blocks. Everyone else did that and he easily could have, but he didn’t. I had camped out the night before on Leceister Square for this, I was no. 6 in the queue, I had my front row barrier spot and he was the only one who actually got to me. Everyone else like Ben Kingsley or Rebecca Hall didn’t even pop over to where I was standing. And it doesn’t matter because I was there for him and he did, but had he not bothered to systematically make his away along the whole barrier bit, how easily that could have not happened. So I am really ever so grateful he did this, and agreed to a pic. I never even asked for an autograph after because I figured with that many people it’ll take too long, and I am still glad I decided to go for the pic. Because even though I hate how I look in it (possibly the worst pic of me ever taken), he just looks lovely and wonderful and it makes it at least that bit more real, which I think an autograph wouldn’t do for me.
And I don’t even know why I just posted and bored you with this, it’s just that it means a lot to me and I feel a need to share it and no one around me even remotely understands this. My apologies.
While I am currently switching between super high and totally depressed and my brain is struggling to find an answer to the question “how I am going to survive this???” it occurred to me: I won’t. I give up. I’m not gonna fight the pain and get all angry and jealous, I’ll just let it hit me and see what’s gonna happen. I don’t like my angry, upset self, and there’s no way to win anyway. This will be a very emotional time for me either way, that’s just what it is. Yes I am emotionally way too involved for my own good and no I don’t have any illusions but I also don’t see a point in pretending otherwise.
Do you all realize that he came over here exactly the same day last year? Does anyone care? No? Ok