Johnny Depp’s been dropped from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and the fans aren’t very happy about it.
After rumors broke out late last year that Disney was moving ahead with a reboot of the hit adventure series and the A-lister wouldn’t be involved, the studio finally confirmed it and according to them, Pirates doesn’t need Johnny Depp in order to continue to be a box office success.
In fact, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Disney’s film production chief Sean Bailey said that they’re looking to give the franchise “a kick in the pants,” with the studio hoping to inject a new sense of energy into it. Which means that unfortunately, Depp had to go.
“We want to bring in a new energy and vitality,” Bailey said. “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.”
So, while the House of Mouse seems sure that they’re heading in the right direction, not everyone’s totally on board with it. Following the news of Depp getting the boot, fans took to Twitter to express their anger and now, a petition has sprung up over on Change.org calling for Disney to rehire the actor. In fact, it hasn’t just sprung up, but it’s actually almost reached its goal of 15,000 signatures and inspired several other similar petitions to be formed, too.
Obviously, none of this means that the Mouse House will listen to the fans and bring Johnny back on board. After all, the actor’s no longer the A-lister he once was, and while this likely has plenty to do with the controversy surrounding his personal life at the moment, audiences are also growing bored with his usual shtick, finding it to be all too predictable by now.
That being said, with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald recently making some serious money despite negative reviews, it’s not like Depp is exactly box office poison these days, but nonetheless, he’s clearly an actor with a fair amount of baggage. And as much as the fans may hate to see him go, it’s perfectly understandable why Disney might feel that the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is now due for some fresh blood.