In most cases, fans of any franchise would be thrilled at the news that there are two new installments in the works, but it isn’t quite that simple when it comes to Pirates of the Caribbean. We might be getting a sixth entry in the main series and a spinoff headlined by Margot Robbie, but the news has been rejected in many quarters due to the absence of Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow.
Fans were furious when it was first announced that Disney were moving forward without the franchise’s leading man, which led to the inevitable launch of petitions in an effort to try and get him reinstated, but so far the studio are refusing to outright confirm or deny if Depp will be involved in any sort of capacity despite various rumors indicating that a passing of the torch cameo could be on the cards.
The staunchly family-friendly Disney didn’t want themselves attached to any of the negative publicity surrounding his high-profile and very messy divorce battle with Amber Heard, but despite public opinion generally turning in Depp’s favor, the actor nonetheless finds himself in the courthouse once again after launching legal action against British tabloid The Sun for libel.
Depp and Heard’s latest trial is set to go on for weeks, and a new report indicates that the Mouse House are waiting on the outcome before making a definitive decision on the 57 year-old’s potential return as Captain Jack. As per the report, producer Jerry Bruckheimer is said to be keen to reference the franchise’s marquee attraction in some form in one or both of the in-development Pirates movies, but his corporate overlords remain hesitant until the spotlight comes off his private life again.
If things end up going in Depp’s favor, there’s every chance he could be welcomed back into the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, similar to how Disney did a U-turn after initially firing James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but it looks like we’ll have to wait until the current round of legal proceedings come to an end before we get a definitive answer.