Johnny Depp Confuses Fans With Robert Downey Jr. Photo

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Wait, are we getting some kind of Willy Wonka/Marvel Cinematic Universe crossover? You might be forgiven for thinking so if you saw the image Johnny Depp shared on Instagram with newly-statues Oscar winner Robert Downey Jr. The image was meant to cement what longtime bros the two are, but when fans found out the image was a fake, they began wondering if the Pirates of the Caribbean star was now writing his own What If…? adventures.

Johnny Depp And Robert Downey Jr.

Part of what made this whole incident so surreal is that Johnny Depp really has been friends with Robert Downey Jr. for decades now. Presumably, he would have had some of his own photos memorializing their friendship. When he went to share the image on Instagram, though, he seemingly grabbed an image from the internet, and he ended up just as confused as his fans by the fact it was a complete fake.

A Throwback

The image he shared features a very young Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr. apparently attending a fancy Hollywood party together. So far, so good: as two party-hardy leading men in the prime of their celluloid careers, these two likely attended countless such bashes over the years. However, when some of Depp’s fans traded their pirate hats for a Sherlock Holmes-esque deerstalker, they began to realize a game was afoot…specifically, a game of digital photo manipulation.

Internet Sleuths Took On The Case

robert downey jr

Of course, discovering that the picture of Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr. was a fake was easier than saying “elementary, dear Watson.” Fans who went down the research rabbit hole discovered that Depp’s photo looked a bit too much like one they had seen before. Sure enough, the original photo featured Robert Downey Jr. next to former girlfriend Sarah Jessica Parker at the Young Artists Unite event in Los Angeles in 1988.


johnny depp

Once you see the original image of Downey Jr. and Parker standing next to one another, it’s impossible not to notice how bad the Photoshop job was that put Johnny Depp in her place. Bad photo editing aside, the other big question everyone kept asking was, “Why?” Specifically, why would Johnny Depp share a fake photo of himself and Robert Downey Jr. rather than a real one?

Celebrating Downey’s Big Night

robert downey jr

Some of Depp’s harsher critics thought this was a clumsy PR move…that once Robert Downey Jr. won an Oscar for his performance in Oppenheimer, Depp raced to share an image of the two partying together back in the day in order to earn some cheap clout. If so, that’s rather embarrassing on the face of it. It wasn’t that long ago that Depp was making grandiose claims about no longer needing Hollywood, so it’s a little sad to think he might, in fact, need a bit of borrowed clout from somebody Hollywood just gives its biggest honor to.

An Honest Mistake

The more charitable (and, honestly, more likely) read on this entire thing is that Johnny Depp wanted to excitedly share a picture of himself and Robert Downey Jr. and settled for one that he found via Google. Either way, he deleted the image of himself and the Marvel star after users pointed out that the image was fake. Perhaps more than any other Hollywood celeb, Depp certainly understands the need to get away from controversy as far and as fast as his pirate ship can take him.

The Worst Photoshopper

johnny depp

If we’re being honest, some of us wish that Depp had been behind the Photoshopped image and had admitted it to the world. Then, we could sit back and enjoy the online discourse battle between the critics saying Depp is the worst Photoshopper they have ever heard of and the defenders who cheekily point out “But you have heard of him.”