Warner Bros. don’t care if over 1.5 million individuals have signed a petition to have Amber Heard fired from Aquaman 2, and they definitely don’t care that people are threatening to boycott Fantastic Beasts 3 after Mads Mikkelsen boarded the Wizarding World prequel as the new Grindelwald, because as far as the studio are concerned, Johnny Depp’s reputation is the one lying in tatters, not theirs.
The fallen star came out on the losing end of his libel battle against a British tabloid, giving WB the impetus to kick him out of the franchise two years after Disney had dropped him from Pirates of the Caribbean following a constant stream of negative publicity. Similar to their rivals across town, the Mouse House aren’t going to be swayed by fan campaigns demanding his reinstatement, and they’re already moving forward on several new swashbuckling blockbusters without him.
One of Depp’s few remaining supporters in the industry is producer Jerry Bruckheimer, but recent reports indicated that Disney shot down his idea of recruiting Jack Sparrow for a passing of the torch cameo in one of the upcoming Pirates movies, with the hierarchy keen to distance themselves from any sort of controversy now attached to his name.
However, insider Daniel Richtman claims that Bruckheimer still hasn’t given up, and will continue to lobby for Depp to make an appearance no matter how small it may be, even if his pleas look set to fall on deaf ears. Of course, the 77 year-old is nowhere near as powerful in Hollywood as he was during his heyday, and the success of Bad Boys For Life earlier this year gave him his first non-Pirates of the Caribbean box office hit in well over a decade. As such, his influence and sway has greatly diminished, but according to Richtman, he’s not throwing in the towel just yet.