Since Disney has decided to invest heavily in an Oscar campaign for "Alice in Wonderland," that will probably mean loud tub-thumping ahead for Johnny Depp, who has never won an Oscar. He was nominated for three lead performances: "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" (2003), "Finding Neverland" (2004), "Sweeney Todd" (2007).
Now he'd be nommed for a comedic, cartoonish role, a type seldom appreciated by Oscar voters. But, alas, Al Pacino got nommed as Big Boy Caprice in "Dick Tracy" (1990) and Heath Ledger even won, as the Joker in "The Dark Knight" (2008). Right now Depp competes as the Mad Hatter in the lead race where he'll certainly be nommed at the Golden Globes where there are separate categories for comedy/musical roles, but Disney may be wise to push him down to supporting at the Oscars -- that's where Pacino and Ledger did well. Meantime, Depp doesn't even appear as a possibility on the current lists of potential rivals at AwardsDaily or InContention. But I think he could be a serious contender if placed in supporting.