Like the vast majority of other big name franchises, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean needs to evolve in order to stay relevant, as most people would surely agree after the first four sequels suffered from steadily declining reviews. Of course, if you asked the fans, then they’d make it perfectly clear that the reinvention most definitely wouldn’t involve dropping Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, but with or without the marquee name and major selling point of the series, it can’t be denied that the swashbuckling blockbusters desperately need a fresh coat of creative paint.
Of course, the ‘no Johnny, no dice’ sentiment has seen longtime supporters of both the actor and the franchise itself balk at two new projects moving forward without Depp’s involvement, something that Pirates stalwart Kevin McNally thinks is criminal. And the very phrase ‘female-driven spinoff’ is enough to spark the fury of a thousand militant trolls, especially with Margot Robbie involved given that she’s already led Birds of Prey to the lowest box office total the DCEU has ever witnessed.
It remains to be seen exactly where the franchise will go next, but insider Daniel Richtman claims that Disney want Pirates of the Caribbean to be more diverse moving forward with women and actors of color leading the series, which is the same thing that he’s already said about Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the last several days. As such, it seems like the Mouse House are making a concerted effort to branch out and embrace a greater sense of representation when it comes to their multi-billion dollar properties.
As viewers will know, Pirates of the Caribbean hasn’t boasted a particularly multicultural ensemble over the last seventeen years, but presumably, that’s all about to change when the sixth installment in the main timeline and Robbie’s spinoff start gathering some real momentum.