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By Nathan Kamal | 4 seconds ago

Johnny Depp Amber heard

Johnny Depp seems ready for a full career rehabilitation. After several years in the proverbial Hollywood wilderness, Disney has brought Captain Jack Sparrow back into the Pirates of the Caribbean cruise and he has begun production on a film starring one of France’s more terrifying kings. While case after case seems to be disappearing for Johnny Depp, things finally seem to be going right for the notoriously troubled superstar. However, one of his earlier films has the unique quirk of involving three different main characters who were canceled over the course of their careers. This movie is The Ninth Gatea 1999 supernatural thriller starring Johnny Depp and disgraced actor Frank Langella and directed by notorious European director Roman Polanski.

Johnny Depp

The Ninth Gate Stars Johnny Depp as Dean Corso, a somewhat unscrupulous rare book dealer hired by Boris Balkan (Frank Langella), an even more unscrupulous, mysteriously wealthy collector. Frank Langella has come into possession of a mysterious book entitled The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows that apparently has the power to summon satan himself, but there’s a catch (aside from the satan thing). It appears that three copies of the book exist, only one of which is authentic. While there seem to be a lot of dangers inherent in a book that gives the Prince of Darkness access to the mortal world, the counterfeit books pose a risk to anyone attempting to use them.

Johnny Depp embarks on an exciting journey through Europe to find out which of the books is real. In the course of The Ninth Gate, he slowly loses his belief that the whole thing is a farce and begins to believe more and more in the power of occult knowledge. Along the way, he meets up with the widow (legendary Swedish actress Lena Olin) of a recent owner of Frank Langella’s copy of the book, and repeatedly encounters a mysterious blonde woman referred to only as The Girl (Roman Polanski’s wife, Emmanuelle Seigner). Of course, as Johnny Depp, he has sex with both of them. Eventually, the film unveils a darker and darker world filled with murder and satanic rituals, and Johnny Depp’s sanity is called into question.

The Ninth Gate is a strange tri-force of controversial figures. Over the decades, Johnny Depp’s very odd career transformed him from Tiger Beat heartthrob to Tim Burton star, critical indie film darling, Disney clown, alleged domestic abuser and what he is now is. While Johnny Depp was once one of the most famous actors in the world for his acclaimed and popular role as Captain Jack Sparrow (and Rango to a lesser extent), he became far more famous for his legal battles with his estranged former wife, Amber Heard.

Co-star Frank Langella has been an acclaimed star of stage, television and film for decades. He has won four Tony Awards, been nominated for an Oscar for the film version of Frost/Nixonand starred in FX’s acclaimed Cold War drama The American. He also played Skeletor in masters of the universe, a role he has consistently referred to as a personal favorite for decades. In early 2022, he was fired from a film adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher for allegations of misconduct; He doubled down with an infamous column in Deadline, in which he proactively called himself “cancelled,” seemingly as a form of self-defense and denial of the allegations. While it didn’t make headlines on the scale of a Johnny Depp-Amber Heard libel case, it was a quick fall from grace for a legendary actor.

Perhaps most notoriously, director Roman Polanski went from being one of the most famous filmmakers of his time to a controversial figure after he was accused of sexually assaulting a minor in 1977. He fled the United States during the course of his trial and has officially done so ever since on the run. His career (much like Johnny Depp’s) has risen and fallen and risen again in the years since, but in many ways his films have become a footnote to the allegations against him.

The Ninth Gate is a decent, albeit very slow-moving, neo-noir thriller that trades in the same vaguely satanic imagery as The Devil’s Advocate, stigmataand The Prophecy that became fashionable in the late 1990s. It did fairly well at the box office and was largely dismissed by critics as inferior to Roman Polanski’s earlier satanic-themed masterpiece. Rosemary’s baby. But if you’re dying to see three controversial, canceled men work together, you know where to find it.

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