When the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie hit cinemas in 2003, audiences and critics alike embraced the film as a fun fantasy swashbuckler, with Johnny Depp’s eccentric turn as Jack Sparrow being frequently singled out as a scene-stealing highlight. Sadly, while the series has continued to fare respectably at the box office over the years, it’s clear that this is not shaping up to be the cherished franchise that it once looked like it could be. Moreover, Depp’s once celebrated presence in these flicks has quickly descended into repetitive schtick, raising the question of whether the swaggering captain really has anything new to contribute to the property.
It’s therefore probably a step in the right direction that the series is getting the reboot treatment, with Deadpool scribes Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese reportedly in talks to pen a script for the fresh start. What remains to be seen, however, is how hard of a reboot this will be, and specifically, whether Depp will still be on board.
On that note, some answers may or may not have come our way from Stuart Beattie, a writer who worked on the first and most likely best entry of the series. In an interview with DailyMailTV, Beattie seemed to strongly hint that Depp’s days in the franchise are now behind him, saying:
“I think he’s had a great run [in the role]. Obviously, he’s made that character his own and it’s become the character he’s most famous for now. And kids all over the world love him as that character so I think it’s been great for him, it’s been great for us, so I’m just very, very happy about it.”
What makes us a little hesitant to call this a full on confirmation is that it’s unclear just how involved in this next film Beattie is. While the scribe could be drawing on inside info here, it’s also possible that he’s simply assuming that the old Jack Sparrow is out of the series as part of the rebooting process – which, as the recent Halloween will attest, isn’t always the case.
All the same, after six Pirates of the Caribbean movies, it certainly feels like it’s about time for a little shakeup in the saga, and given the controversy that’s recently been surrounding Depp, you have to wonder if Disney would really be willing to risk the backlash.