After first being dropped from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, something fans are clearly never going to let slide if the constant campaigning and petitioning is any indication, Johnny Depp then suffered the double blow of being axed from another major gig when Warner Bros. forced him to resign as Fantastic Beasts villain Grindelwald.
The actor’s supporters have already threatened to boycott the latest chapter in the Wizarding World saga when it arrives in theaters next summer, and you can guarantee that it’ll happen at least twice more when the sixth mainline Pirates of the Caribbean outing and Margot Robbie’s spinoff set sail into theaters around the world.
It’s not just the fans who have Depp’s back, but his friends and former colleagues as well, with Greg Ellis the latest member of the swashbuckling series’ ensemble to deride the decision made by Disney and Warner Bros. to boot him out of their respective properties.
“I’m mindful he’s still navigating his way through the legal system on many fronts, so the details of that I don’t talk about much. But I have been and will continue to be vocal. Many people have mis-characterised him. Part of it is the fear of media. Whether it be broadcast, whether it be movie studios, whether it be publishing, there is a fear that the perception of someone is negative, so they don’t want to be associated with that.
I do find it ironic that a man who is revered and loved and respected by so many people in the entertainment industry, and have nothing but great things to say about him, should be forcibly removed from a movie. Do I think he’s going to come back? Yes. To what degree, I’m not sure. There’s this reputation savaging that’s going on, this victimhood culture where victimhood is the new social currency and its economy is booming, and it’s been inflated.”
Ellis played the smarmy Lieutenant Theodore Groves in three of the first five blockbusters, and he clearly struck up a friendship with the leading man given that Depp has penned the introduction for his new book The Respondent: Exposing the Cartel of Family Law, based on his own experiences dealing with the legal system.
Most people would probably agree that the erstwhile Jack Sparrow has been harshly done by, but unless the Mouse House change their minds and backtrack on a decision that was initially made almost three years ago, then it’s full steam ahead for Pirates of the Caribbean without the brand’s main draw and selling point, which is definitely a risky strategy that could yet end up backfiring spectacularly.