Disney puts focus on Johnny Depp and Captain Jack Sparrow after cancelling Pirates of the Caribbean film starring Margot Robbie.
Disney has been fueling speculation of Johnny Depp’s return to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise with a series of hints and teases. Recently, the company cancelled plans for a female-centric soft-reboot of the franchise starring Margot Robbie, leaving many fans hopeful that Depp will reprise his iconic role as Jack Sparrow.
The rumour that Depp was offered a $301 million contract to return to the franchise has not been confirmed, but Disney has been keeping fans guessing with a number of clues. The studio recently re-opened the Disneyland ride featuring Jack Sparrow and has announced a limited edition 4K UHD Steelbook edition of Pirates of the Caribbean 1 to 5, set to release in March 2023.
The 20th Anniversary edition Steelbook boxset will include both the theatrical and the uncut versions of The Curse of The Black Pearl, Dead Man’s Chest, At World’s End, On Stranger Tides, and Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Disney has also announced the cancellation of plans for a female-centric soft-reboot of Pirates 6, which was set to star Australian A-list actress Margot Robbie. Robbie recently confirmed to Vanity Fair that the project is dead in the water at Disney.
The project had been in development for some time, with an idea to have more of a female-led story, which Robbie and the development team thought would have been interesting. Pirates long-time producer Jerry Bruckheimer was set to produce the film, with Bruckheimer stating in May 2022 that the script was still in development along with “Chernobyl” creator Craig Mazin’s upcoming franchise installment. The future of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is yet to be decided and whether Johnny Depp will return to reprise his role as Captain Jack Sparrow is also unclear.
While some fans believe that the actor should not return as the character after the way Disney treated him, the vast majority of people would love to see Depp’s return as the charming captain one last time for his final hurrah.
Johnny Depp alleged that he lost his role as Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise due to false allegations of domestic abuse made by his ex-wife, Amber Heard. He filed a defamation lawsuit against her in response to an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in which she referred to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse” without naming him directly. The legal case was resolved with a jury in Virginia finding Heard liable for defamation, awarding Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.
The total damage award was $10.35 million, as the punitive damages were capped at $350,000 according to the Virginia law. Additionally, In a counter-suit filed by Amber Heard against Depp, the jury found him not liable on two counts of defamation regarding statements made by Depp’s then lawyer Adam Waldman, but liable on one count.
Amber Heard allegedly fled to Spain to avoid paying the $10 million in damages she was ordered to pay her ex-husband Johnny Depp in a defamation case. This is also to avoid further legal issues back home with her insurance company that had been paying her legal bills, they also sued her as they don’t want to pay the amount due to Depp after she lost the trial. Her lawyers have filed motion to halt the depositions on the insurance company case as it prejudicial to her defence and move the hearing of November 3rd to December 1st. To avoid potential lawsuits and to preserve her appeal in the Depp defamation case, which was recently denied.
It remains to be seen whether the hints and teases from Disney will lead to an official announcement of Depp’s return, but fans are certainly excited at the possibility. The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has been a huge success for the studio and many believe that Depp’s return as Jack Sparrow could bring the franchise back to its former glory.