Netflix continues to add more movies to its extensive catalog this week. Along with timeless blockbusters like Ghost, Gladiator, Malcolm X, and Titanic, and Leon: The Professional, the streamer will also feature Once Upon a Time in Mexico starring Johnny Depp.
Released in 2003, the western action film was written, directed, produced, photographed, scored, and edited by Robert Rodriguez. It served as the epic final chapter in Rodriguez’s Mexico Trilogy, which included 1992’s El Mariachi and 1995’s Desperado. It was also the first in the series to feature Johnny Depp.
Once Upon a Time in Mexico saw Antonio Banderas return for his second and final performance as El Mariachi. The story followed the gun-slinging, guitar-toting hero who is recruited by CIA agent Sheldon Sands (Johnny Depp) to kill a corrupt general responsible for the death of his wife, Carolina (Salma Hayek).
The first big-budget film to be shot in digital HD, Once Upon a Time in Mexico showcased a stellar cast starring Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, and Johnny Depp. This included the talents of Mickey Rourke, Eva Mendes, Enrique Iglesias, and Willem Dafoe.
The movie received mostly positive reviews but was maligned for its plot which reduced its protagonist to an almost secondary character. However, Robert Rodriguez said this was intentional because he wanted this to be his The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the trilogy. His explanation can be found in the special features section of the film’s DVD.
Johnny Depp appeared in Once Upon a Time in Mexico at the height of his career. The actor made his big-screen debut in the 1984 cult horror classic A Nightmare on Elm Street, before rising to prominence as a teen idol on the 21 Jump Street television series.
In the 1990s, Johnny Depp gravitated toward independent films, often playing eccentric characters in movies like What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Benny and Joon, Dead Man, and Donnie Brasco. This was also the beginning of his long working relationship with Tim Burton. He collaborated with the director for several films which featured him in starring roles such as Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, and Sleepy Hollow.
In the 2000s Johnny Depp became one of the world’s biggest movie stars after landing the leading role as Captain Sparrow in the massive blockbusters series Pirates of the Caribbean. The fantasy swashbuckler films were produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and based on Walt Disney’s theme park attraction of the same name. The stories followed the adventures of pirate Jack Sparrow and his crew throughout five films.
As he continued his commercially successful run of films, Johnny Depp received critical praise for 2004’s Finding Neverland. In 2012, the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory star was listed by the Guinness World Records as the world’s highest-paid actor, with earnings of US$75 million. During the 2010s, Depp began producing films through his company, Infinitum Nihil, and formed the rock supergroup Hollywood Vampires with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry.
In 2016, Johnny Depp was cast as Gellert Grindelwald, in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The fantasy film directed by David Yates served as a spin-off of and prequel to the Harry Potter film series. He reprised the role for the second film in the series, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald in 2018. Unfortunately, his impressive body of work was marred by controversy when Warner Bros has asked Depp to leave the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
The studio’s decision follows a U.K court ruling against the actor in his libel case with The Sun, which says the tabloid was justified in using the phrase “wife-beater” in a 2018 article about his relationship with ex-wife Amber Heard. However, throughout the court hearings, Johnny Depp has repeatedly denied physically assaulting Heard during their four-year relationship.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore will go on without Johnny Depp as Mads with Mikkelsen steps into the role of Gellert Grindelwald. Mikkelsen is the perfect choice to play Grindelwald as he is known for playing intelligent villains. As conceived by author J.K. Rowling, Grindelwald is a brilliant and ruthless dark wizard who, in his youth, maintained a complicated romantic relationship with famed wizard Albus Dumbledore.
Meanwhile, Johnny Depp’s latest offering Minamata received positive reviews with critics praising the actor’s performance as one of his best. The film was directed by Andrew Levitas from a screenplay by David Kessler. It is based on the book of the same name by Aileen Mioko Smith and Eugene Smith. The film premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival on February 21, 2020.