Jerry Bruckheimer Admits They Tried To Kill Off Johnny Depp In Pirates Of The Caribbean: ‘It Didn’t Work’

Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe took over the world, one of Disney’s marquee franchises was the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Even now it’s one of the better performing series for Disney, although it’s been five years since the last entry. There have been multiple attempts to resuscitate the franchise without Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow, but producer Jerry Bruckheimer is still hoping Depp might return, saying that killing off Jack Sparrow is just not an option.  

The future of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is a big question. Multiple projects have been in development for the best few years but nothing seems any closer to getting the green light. At this point the plan seems to still be to move forward without Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow, but Jerry Bruckheimer tells THR that Sparrow is a character thast seemingly can’t be killed. He said…

You can’t [kill Captain Jack Sparrow]. We tried to kill him. It didn’t work.

Bruckheimer is likely speaking somewhat metaphorically, that in trying to make a Pirates of the Caribbean movie without Johnny Depp, they were effectively killing off the character. Thus far it certainly hasn't worked, as there are a lot of fans signing petitions and otherwise trying to lobby for the return of Johnny Depp, and Captain Jack, to the franchise.

Although, it’s also possible that the producer is speaking more literally. It could be that one of the Pirates of the Caribbean projects that has been in development would have killed off Jack Sparrow. If they’ve tried to make a movie where that happened, but have not been able to come up with a satisfactory story, it could be seen that killing off Jack Sparrow isn’t working.

At last we heard the idea of even having Johnny Depp cameo in a future Pirates of the Caribbean movie was off the table. However, that was before the recent defamation case between himself and ex-wife Amber Heard was ruled in his favor. Some have wondered if that might open the door to the return of Jack Sparrow after all. Jerry Bruckheimer says that’s Disney’s call, but the producer clearly would be in favor of it. Bruckheimer said…

You’d have to ask them. I can’t answer that question. I really don’t know. I would love to have him in the movie. He’s a friend, a terrific actor and it’s unfortunate that personal lives creep into everything we do.

We’ve seen some conflicting information regarding whether or not a Pirates of the Caribbean movie starring Margot Robbie is still a possibility or not. Even if that project is dead, there is at least one other POTC idea that is still being developed. Of course, if Jack Sparrow does return, that could completely change everything about the future of this franchise.  

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.