Under most circumstances, the prospect of Margot Robbie boarding the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise would be a cause for celebration, but there’s an awful lot of fans out there who can’t see past the Johnny Depp-sized elephant in the room.
After all, Robbie is a hugely popular star, a two-time Academy Award and three-time Golden Globe nominee who’s headlined acclaimed independent dramas and effects-driven blockbusters alike, one that’s now moved into producing through her own LuckyChap company, which helped steer Promising Young Woman to a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars, all of which she’s accomplished by the age of 31.
That’s a hell of a resume as it is, but since Jerry Bruckheimer confirmed that a script is being developed for her swashbuckling Disney spinoff, the response across the internet has been decidedly mixed to put it lightly.
In all honesty, without Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow at the helm, there’s really no need for Pirates of the Caribbean to exist at all. The eccentric seafarer was the most popular and recognizable figure in the mythology, the focal point of the first five installments, the brand’s biggest asset, and its most lucrative marketing tool. Without him, we could be looking at the next Cutthroat Island, the infamous disaster that helped bankrupt an entire studio.
We should definitely give Robbie the benefit of the doubt, though, but Depp’s staunch admittance that he’ll never play Captain Jack again has instantly put her Pirates of the Caribbean project in an unfortunate situation, with the knives being sharpened already.