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It's been a rough few days for actor Johnny Depp who, following a judge's decision against him in a libel lawsuit he had brought, was removed from his role as Grindelwald in the next Fantastic Beasts movie. While it appears the loss of the role won't be much of a financial hit to Depp, fans are still doing their part to get the actor brought back into another successful franchise. A petition has nearly 300,000 signatures, asking the Walt Disney Company to bring back Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
A fan petition on change.org asks Disney to bring back Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow and is continuing to receive new signatures consistently even following the recent events in the actor's life. Or possibly because of them. The petition argues that either recasting the Jack Sparrow role or simply replacing him with new characters ultimately will prove an unsuccessful move for Disney when it comes to the box office, at least in part because the petition also claims that the signers will not watch any Pirates of the Caribbean movie that doesn't include him.
It's been a couple of years since it was first reported that while Disney certainly had plans for the future of the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, that those plans did not include Johnny Depp. Since then, we've seen little in the way of specifics, beyond a report that one currently in development Pirates project could star Margot Robbie. This one is separate from the originally reported reboot, which is, as far as we know, also in development.
At this point, it's anybody's guess what the odds of Johnny Depp's return to the franchise actually are. Depp himself doesn't seem to think it's very likely. His defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard is predicated on the belief that Heard's 2018 Washington Post op-ed was responsible for him losing the role of Jack Sparrow.
Having said that, even if the new movies being planned don't include Jack Sparrow as a main character, the possibility that he could appear is still there. If one or both movies being written do take place within the same world as the previous ones, a cameo is always possible. At the same time, while there are certainly many people who are fighting for Johnny Depp to be brought back, there would likely be a lot of people who take Disney to task if Depp was brought back.
Until there's an actual plan for a new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, a finished script getting ready to go into production, we won't really know what the plan is for the franchise in general or Captain Jack Sparrow specifically. What is clear is that there are a lot of passionate fans who care about what that outcome will be.