Following his contentious defamation case against former wife Amber Heard, Johnny Depp has been steadily lining up new projects. He’s set to play King Louis XV in Jeanne Du Barry, and he’s also circling a musical venture with guitarist Jeff Beck. As the star’s career begins to pick up again, some of his fans across social media have wondered whether he’d consider returning to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise to play Jack Sparrow again. During the trial, Depp stated that he has no interest in doing a sixth installment but, this week, a report suggested that he’d signed on for one after getting a massive payday. On the heels of those rumors, a rep for the star shared a very direct response.
It was alleged that Johnny Depp had not only signed on to play the role of madcap pirate Jack Sparrow but that he was also being paid $301 million to do so. Sources for the outlet claimed that Walt Disney Pictures was keen on continuing their relationship with the Oscar nominee now that the defamation case is done. However, Depp's rep has now put those rumors to rest with four words:
I’d say that the statement that was shared with NBC News (via E! News) is pretty clear. That initial report also contracted information that had been previously shared. Not only did the Alice in Wonderland alum previously mention that he was not eager to don his pirate boots again, but franchise producer Jerry Bruckheimer said that the actor was not being considered at this point and that the future of the series was undecided.
During that same conversation, the veteran filmmaker also confirmed that there are two separate screenplays for Pirates movies that are currently in Disney’s possession. One of those would supposedly feature a character played by Margot Robbie and would allegedly consist of a mostly female cast. Robbie herself hasn’t straight-up confirmed her involvement, but the response she did give suggested that she’s at least met with the studio about the proposed production.
Pirates of the Caribbean fans have had mixed thoughts on the notion of Margot Robbie stepping in as the new lead. They’d prefer to see Johnny Depp continue as the main star, as evidenced by the petition to get him into a sixth installment. The viral campaign found new life amid Depp’s defamation case and as of this writing, has over 700,00 signatures.
The actor himself, while in court, revealed that he had his own ideas for how the story should end for his Pirates character. He also suggested that the film that he had planned was reportedly in development at Disney before being put in “dangle mode.” Needless to say, it doesn’t sound like he has plans on diving back into the multi-billion dollar franchise, even if they paid him over $300 million (which isn’t feasible for a single film) or “a million alpacas.”
Pirates of the Caribbean is still one of Disney’s most valuable IPs, so it’s likely that it’ll find some kind of way to keep the nautical series of films going. But whether it would still find success without Johnny Depp is anyone’s guess at this point.
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