Reassuring anyone worried that his stand-out performance as Black Mass’s Whitey Bulger might represent some unsettling new shift in Johnny Depp’s cinematic trajectory, Deadline is reporting that the Rango star will soon be voicing an animated garden gnome in the upcoming sequel to 2011’s Gnomeo & Juliet. The Oscar-nominated actor won’t be playing just any old gnome, though, but the greatest gnometective of them all, the master sleuth of riding snails or whatever the hell it is gnomes do: Sherlock Gnomes himself.
Yes, Depp will be taking on the tertiary title role in Gnomeo & Juliet: Sherlock Gnomes, joining the returning James McAvoy and Emily Blunt for some heavily accented cinematic slumming. Spurred on by the original movie’s surprisingly good box office return—it made $194 million back on a $36 million budget—Sherlock Gnomes will see Depp’s character investigating the disappearance of London-based gnomes, easily the second greatest mystery known to gnomekind. (The first—i.e., whether performers as talented as McAvoy, Depp, Blunt, and Elton John—for whom the first movie was apparently a passion project a decade in the making—could collaborate on the world’s least essential sequel—having already been solved by the existence of the movie itself.)