‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ producer offers a cautiously optimistic update on Johnny Depp’s return

pirates of the caribbean
via Disney

A year or so ago, it seemed Johnny Depp had hung up his pirate hat for good. The actor faced an onslaught of negative press surrounding his legal battle with Amber Heard that made him radioactive to major studios. Warner Bros. recast him in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, his indie movie Minamata was buried, and he was reduced to voicing a CG puffin in a Serbian cartoon.

But now, after his legal victory in Fairfax, Virginia, Depp may be mounting a comeback. A new Pirates of the Caribbean is in development, with Chernobyl and The Last of Us‘s Craig Mazin on script duties. Pirates producer Jerry Bruckheimer has been asked about Depp’s return in the new movie, and says “we’re still working on it.”

The sticking point here may be Depp himself. During the trial, he was quizzed by Heard’s attorney about his future as Captain Jack Sparrow, and was adamant he wasn’t interested:

“The fact is, Mr. Depp, if Disney came to you with $300 million and a million alpacas, nothing on this earth would get you to go back and work with Disney on a Pirates of the Caribbean film? Correct?”

“That is true, Mr. Rottenborn.”

Despite this, we’re sure that if Disney really wanted Depp to return, the studio would be able to make it happen. Though 2017’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales was met with negative reviews, it still grossed almost $800 million against a roughly $300 million budget. Depp continues to be a hugely popular figure, and let’s face it, it just wouldn’t be a Pirates movie without Jack Sparrow.

We guess for now we just have to wait and see, though whatever the case, any new Pirates movie is going to be a few years away at best.