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Disney may be re-thinking its past declaration of no Johnny Depp in future ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films

Is there hope?

Johnny Depp
Photo via Disney

At one time, Johnny Depp was the face of Pirates of the Caribbean until he was exiled from his own franchise as if he was actually a pirate being told to walk the plank. Today, Disney doesn’t stand so firm on that decision they made a few years ago when the actor was in heaps of legal troubles, fighting for his life.

The accusations Amber Heard made against her husband at the time led to a restraining order, their divorce, and a settlement payment of $7 million. What resulted was a series of legal cases concerning libel in which he lost against News Group Newspapers and defamation against Heard herself, in which he won. Once the Fairfax, Virginia case was over, Depp has been trying to put his career back together while Heard has decided to take up residence in Spain.

Throughout all this, Disney has been adamant about not having Captain Jack Sparrow back aboard their ship. A cruise might be fine but a Pirates of the Caribbean movie was not going to happen. In 2018, film production chief Sean Bailey was asked by The Hollywood Reporter if the planned Pirates reboot was possible without the star.

“We want to bring in a new energy and vitality. I love the [Pirates] movies, but part of the reason Paul and Rhett are so interesting is that we want to give it a kick in the pants. And that’s what I’ve tasked them with.”

Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick worked on Deadpool together and were hired for the reboot. When the original screenwriter for the film, Stuart Beattie, was asked by DailyMailTV if he could confirm that Depp would not be continuing as Jack Sparrow, he nodded at the camera and gave an answer that was a creative sidestep but it marked the end for the actor in the franchise.

“I think he’s had a great run. Obviously, he’s made that character his own and it’s become the character he’s most famous for now.”

Then, he continued in a consoling tone…

“And the fact that they’re rebooting something that you did, means that you did something that is worth rebooting. So I tend to look at it as the glass half full and it’s an honor to be rebooted.”

That was the official stance in 2018. Now, times have changed and when asked by The New York Times recently if Johnny Depp would return as the famous pirate when plans to continue the franchise restart, the answer seemed to have changed.

“Noncommittal at this point.”

That’s a positive answer in anyone’s book. It’s definitely a complete turnaround from where the company was five years ago when they were distancing themselves from the troubled actor.

So, they’re saying there’s a chance. If anyone were to place a bet on whether or not a certain star would be returning to a certain franchise, Johnny Depp returning to Pirates is a solid one because he’s money and Disney isn’t stupid.

Michael Allen
About the author

Michael Allen

Michael Allen is the author of 'The Deeper Dark' and 'A River in the Ocean,' both available on Amazon. At this time, 'The Deeper Dark' is also available on Apple Books. Currently under contract to write a full-length feature spy drama for producer/director Anton Jokikunnas.