VMA production sources tell TMZ ... Depp's been in talks with show producers to dress up as the network's famous Moonman -- recently dubbed the Moonperson -- and show face at some point during the award show's broadcast on August 28.
Depp's won 5 MTV Movie Awards over the years, including Best Male Performance, Best Villain, Global Superstar and the Generation Award in 2012.
The surprise appearance comes on the heels of both the recent announcement of Johnny's return to film as well as his new deal with Dior. TMZ broke the story, the brand signed Depp to a multi-year, 7-figure extension to continue to be the face of the Sauvage fragrance line.
Unclear if he'll also take home some hardware from the show a week from Sunday, but based on what we've seen surrounding public opinion ... he's sure to get massive applause.