Johnny Depp looks to have fallen on even harder times after the outcome of his latest court case opposite ex-wife Amber Heard, and there’s been widespread speculation that none of the major studios are too keen to work with the actor due to the swathes of negative publicity that have been following him everywhere he goes over the last couple of years.
The 57 year-old’s fans are staunchly backing him even if Hollywood won’t, and his supporters aren’t happy that Disney are moving forward on two Pirates of the Caribbean movies without the franchise’s star. After all, it was the role of Jack Sparrow that transformed the actor from the eccentric darling of independent cinema to a genuine A-lister, with the character becoming a cultural icon from the very second he showed up onscreen.
Not only did the series make Depp one of the highest-paid talents in the industry after launching a multi-billion dollar franchise, but Curse of the Black Pearl also brought him the first Academy Award nomination of his career. Of course, there are plenty of stories about how the Mouse House thought he was ruining the movie with his off-kilter approach to the part, but it turned out pretty well for all parties in the end.
However, writer Stuart Beattie has now admitted in a recent interview that he had someone else in mind when developing the script alongside Jay Wolpert and credited screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio.
“I initially wrote that character with Hugh Jackman in mind. Hence the name, Captain Jack. I had seen Jackman in all these musicals growing up, so I knew this guy was a phenomenal talent and so that’s what I thought of, ‘Jack. Yeah, Jack Sparrow!’.”
Depp is so intrinsically linked to Jack Sparrow that you can’t imagine anyone else heading up a Pirates of the Caribbean movie, and while Jackman would have given it his all, the results were pretty terrible when he did eventually get to play a seafaring swashbuckler in Joe Wright’s critical and commercial disaster Pan in 2015. As such, it’s probably safe to say that everything worked out for the best.