Johnny Depp’s Phobia is Why Fans Demanding James Gunn Cast Him as a DC Villain Will Never Happen

Despite playing several clown-like characters, Johnny Depp may never agree to play the Joker in the DCU.

Johnny Depp's Phobia is Why Fans Demanding James Gunn Cast Him as a DC Villain Will Never Happen


  • Johnny Depp is one of the fan-favorites to play DC's Clown Prince of Crime.
  • However, Depp's one debilitating fear might get the better of him.
  • He might not become the Joker even if James Gunn wanted him to play the role.
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If there ever was a list of the most talented actors in Hollywood who have never won an Oscar, Johnny Depp’s name would probably be pretty high on it. The 60-year-old actor and musician is known for his versatile roles, and has gone from being Tinseltown’s heartthrob to playing the quirkiest characters. However, there is one DC role fans are dying to see him play.

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow
A still from Pirates of the Caribbean

The chaotic and cunning Clown Prince of Crime, Batman’s yin for yang, the Joker, is one of the toughest characters to master on-screen due to its complexity. You either get lauded with the greatest honors (like Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix) or be criticized to oblivion (like Jared Leto). Interestingly, Depp remains on fans’ wishlist to play the murderous clown.

Ever since the conception of DCU, fans have been pitching their own ideas for new actors as the rebooted versions of their beloved characters. But Depp’s own fear might get in the way of his casting.


Johnny Depp and his fear of clowns

Johnny Depp in Alice in Wonderland
Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland

For those who have experienced it, phobias can be pretty debilitating. One of the most common but also weird phobias is that of clowns, known as Coulrophobia. And that might be a big factor behind Johnny Depp never playing the Joker, as he’s terrified of them.

Depp once told The Guardian:

“There always seemed to be a darkness lurking just under the surface, a potential for real evil. I guess I am afraid of them because it’s impossible (thanks to their painted-on smiles) to distinguish if they are happy or if they’re about to bite your face off.”

Having played clownish characters on-screen (The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland is pretty close to one), Depp’s fear might seem very impractical. But when it comes to phobias, they are not usually in one’s control. And that means fans might have to give up on their demand to cast him as the Joker.


James Gunn debunks Batman villain’s casting

Robert Pattinson
Robert Pattinson starred as Bruce Wayne in Matt Reeves’ The Batman

Despite being pretty busy with his schedule filming Superman (formerly Superman: Legacy), DCU’s co-pilot James Gunn has been very active on social media. And he feels pretty pleased whenever he gets to debunk rumors spread about his upcoming DC Universe.

Quite recently, there were rumors of The Sandman star Boyd Holbrook being cast as Harvey Dent a.k.a Two-Face in Matt Reeves’ The Batman: Part II. It began to spread like wildfire until Gunn decided to take matters into his own hands.

Attaching the Medium article that had spread the fake news in the first place, Gunn took to Threads to debunk the rumor. The filmmaker called the article “fake“, leaving millions of Boyd Holbrook fans disappointed.


Gunn has yet to reveal the casting for DCU’s Batman, and his antagonists, including the Joker.

Sayantan Choudhary

Written by Sayantan Choudhary

Articles Published: 69

Sayantan is an editor for FandomWire/Animated Times. He has previously worked with reputed websites like Wiki Of Thrones and Collider over the past 4 years, and is deeply passionate about TV shows, films, anime, gaming, and everything pop culture.