Tubi announced today that it’s launching a new project in its endless quest to sift through the garbage dump of our collective unconscious, trawling for “treasure”: Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial, a narrative film in which actors Mark Hapka and Megan Davis will play Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, respectively, play-acting their high-profile relationship, and its even higher-profile dissolution.
This particular gutter expedition is being written by Guy Nicolucci, who’s got a pretty long and impressive comedy writing resumé: His credits include long stints on Conan O’Brien’s various late night shows and a long association with the Craig Kilborn-era Daily Show, before falling in with Jeff Ross to help him write a whole bunch of Comedy Central’s Roast content. We’re not entirely sure how that qualifies him to turn Depp and Heard’s relationship and divorce, and its subsequent defamation trial over allegations of abuse against Depp, into a movie. But, then, it’s not like tossing a more qualified writer at this particular project would probably help. Meanwhile, directing duties will be handled by Sara Lohman, whose credits include writing a few episodes of Grace & Frankie and directing the 2012 film Good Satan.
We’re especially fascinated, though, by Hapka and Davis, who’ve signed on to what sounds, from the outside, like the very definition of a no-win project. Hapka, who’s best known for his starring role on a Ghost Whisperer web-only spin-off, and a long-ish stint on Days Of Our Lives, obviously has the more absurd job: Given that Johnny Depp already comes off as a parody of himself 99 percent of the time, we’re really not sure how you portray the man in a way that’s not going to read like “theme park Jack Sparrow impersonator.” And we can only imagine how much weird psychic damage Davis is setting herself up for as a fake version of Heard, the subject of some of the internet’s most vitriolic spurts of hatred since the moment she and Depp split up.
At least it’s easier to understand why Tubi itself is involved, with executive Adam Lewinson explaining that the Fox-owned streamer’s goal is “to capture a timely take on a story that became part of the cultural zeitgeist, painting a unique picture of what millions watched play out in the headlines over the summer.” Translation: There’s money to be made in sticking an industrial waste hose into the internet’s collective sewage, slamming on the pumps, and sending a steady stream fountaining back into your waiting mouths. (We’re paraphrasing.)