Depp in Talks for a 5th of “Pirates”

How much longer do we let Johnny Depp hold onto his status as a revered actor? At what pint do we just lump him in with the Vin Diesels of the world?

Depp is very close to inking a deal for a fith "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie, reported The Wrap. Knowing it was inevitable doesn't make it hurt any less.

There was a time when Depp would make small films with a little grit and some meat on their bones, movies like "Donnie Brasco," "Arizona Dream," "Dead Man" and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." His films weren't always great, but they were at least interesting, and he'd find a new trick to pull out of his sleeve every time.

Then the first "Pirates" movie came along, and despite all the snobs bewailing their beloved star making a movie based on a Disney ride, it turned out to be a really good movie that happened to make a butt-load of money.

Since then, the frequency with which he's done something other than another "Pirates" or Tim Burton's latest rehashing of an old story ("What if we remake X, but really creepy, Johnny?!?!?" "Let's do it, Timmy!!!"), has diminished greatly. The only film he's made since 2004 that wasn't totally bankable was 2009's "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," and he only did that as a favor to Terry Gilliam after the film's original star, Heath Ledger, died before it could be completed.

If you suffered through "On Stranger Tides," you know that the magic factory is fresh out of ideas for the franchise. It was a film so boring, loud, convoluted, dull and dumb, that the only reason to make another one at this point is money.

Mark Ruffalo, not nearly the star Depp is, earlier this year talked about his "one for you, five for me" ethic, by which he meant he's happy to make a nakedly commercial film to bank enough cash that he can go out and make five films he actually cares about. Depp at this point has enough money in the bank to make 100 films he or his original fans might care about. It's time for him to get back to work.

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