The world has gone petition mad lately, but the point just seems to be like-minded people gathering to join their voices in one loud chorus: We want THIS. Now thousands of Pirates of the Caribbean fans have joined their voices for the reinstatement of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.
Game of Thrones fans shook the ground with their viral petition, saying they want (but won't get) a new final Season 8. Robert Pattinson critics want (but won't get) a different Batman. Star Wars fans want (but won't get) new filmmakers, but they can't agree on which filmmakers because that fandom is a whole other galaxy of mess.
Will these petitions go anywhere? Probably not. Or if they are successful -- like the one for James Gunn -- it probably wouldn't be due to a Change.org petition. For every petitioner, there's probably someone who disagrees, they just don't need a petition to make the point because they are likely already getting their way.
There are petitions out there for almost anything, and more than one for Johnny Depp to return to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise -- which has stalled out after the fifth movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and whatever is or is not now happening with the reboot.
Bounding Into Comics recently found a couple of Change.org petitions in Johnny Depp's favor, including one that kept things simple with "KEEP JOHNNY DEPP AS JACK SPARROW!!!!" That one has more than 13,400 signatures as of June 1. There's also another petition with a longer message on why Depp should return; that one has under 5,000 signatures at this point.
In terms of the Johnny Depp petitions, there are conflicting reports about what happened in Depp's marriage to Amber Heard. That may not sound like it should be relevant, but it might be. His legal team claims Heard's op-ed piece alleging abuse cost Depp his job as Captain Jack Sparrow. Disney hasn't officially said anything about Pirates of the Caribbean 6, with or without Depp, the whole franchise just seems to be in limbo after the relative disappointment of Dead Men Tell No Tales.
The petitions don't openly take sides in the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard battle that is still playing out through multiple lawsuits, although one of the petitions does note "personal issues" as a reason for Depp appearing to be out as Jack Sparrow. The petitions just note that they can't imagine anyone else leading the franchise, threatening "They have to bring him back to rule the seas again or we will never watch any Pirates of the Caribbean movie without our Captain."
Pirates of the Caribbean is a hugely lucrative franchise for Disney, and it's amazing to think this all started with the theme park ride. (Speaking of theme parks, apparently Jack Sparrow was key to building Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge too.) Johnny Depp was quite rightly given a lot of credit for the franchise's success, but it's very expensive to make the movies and the last one didn't seem to please too many people. It only came out two years ago in 2017, so it's understandable if everyone just wants a break. Besides, Johnny Depp still has the Fantastic Beasts franchise (as far as we know) and smaller films like Minamata.
Where would you like to see the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise go from here, with or without Johnny Depp? A sixth movie? A reboot? Should it die off? Just take a long break?