By Séamus Smyth

The trailer for Johnny Depp’s latest film “Dark Shadows” has made it abundantly clear that it is time for him to file for divorce from the twisted, dark world of Tim Burton.

The two have one of the strangest and eeriest bro-mances in Hollywood and Depp’s career is now suffering because of his undying loyalty to the odd filmmaker.

Depp was once one of the most versatile and respected actors in the game, but he has become a static character, always playing the same, predictable, and idiosyncratic role that Burton originally painted for him in their first joint-flick, “Edward Scissorhands.”

The mannerisms, the arched eyebrow, this role that Depp has now revisited in “Alice in Wonderland,” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and now “Dark Shadows” has become painfully exhausting to watch.

Is this not the same actor who starred in the dashing and thrilling, “Blow,” or the heart-warming and enchanting, “Finding Neverland”?

His latest roles feel mailed-in as if he can longer be bothered to re-engineer his performances. Instead he relies on a caricature that he and Burton collaborated on way back in the early 90s and it is beginning to alienate his wavering fan-base.

Is Depp content with playing the same character over and over only in slightly different makeup and costume? It’s odd that someone who appears to be so artistic and suave would allow himself to fall into such a predictable trap of repetition.

If he desires inspiration, he needn’t look far, as his chief competitors, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio alter their character type more than a 6-year-old on career day.

Depp can still dress up like it’s Halloween 365 days a year, but only with Rollin’ Stones guitarist Keith Richards and strictly in a musical setting.   

It is time that Tim Burton discovers a new muse for his gothic, sometimes brilliant concepts and allow Johnny Depp to re-discover his artistic ingenuity.