The fan demand for Depp’s return to the franchise has been immense, especially as Disney has reportedly looked to take the series in a different direction.
However, a new report from The Express suggests that the extreme fan response to the petition may well have swayed Disney into considering the actor’s return. Please note, this is currently only a rumor, and Disney hasn’t announced anything.
There have, however, previously been reports that Disney would consider the actor’s return if he were to win an appeal in the libel case he lost earlier this year, so this isn’t the first time reports of this nature have circulated.
What does the rumor say about Disney and Depp’s future with Pirates?
According to The Express, Disney has been considering Depp’s position due to the overwhelming popularity of the Change.org petition. Previously, we’ve reported that the Mouse has looked to move away from the actor and take the Pirates franchise in a new direction, potentially with an LGBTQ spin. This new movie is reportedly set to star Margot Robbie as the lead. Disney executives were reportedly not happy with the poor press around Depp and looked to reboot the franchise with younger characters.
However, the rumor says that we may not have seen the last of Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow;
“Disney is re-considering the actor’s revival in their franchise … Rumors are rife that the Change.org petitions have forced the makers to reconsider.”
Exploring the Johnny Depp petition
The petition to see Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean 6 has currently reached nearly 500,000 signatures. More specifically, it calls to see Depp return to his iconic role as Captain Jack Sparrow.
He played the character in five films; The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man’s Chest, At World’s End, On Stranger Tides, and Dead Men Tell No Tales. During this time, the actor worked with several famous faces. Past co-stars include Keira Knightley, Penélope Cruz, Orlando Bloom, and Geoffrey Rush. Additionally, the final film ended with a cliffhanger that signalled Bill Nighy’s return as Davy Jones.
However, his highly publicized and controversial divorce with Amber Heard revealed significant domestic abuse allegations seemingly signalled the end of his career. Indeed, he even stepped down from his role as Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts series (Mads Mikkelsen replaced him), made by Warner Bros.
The fan response to this even saw the creation of another Change.org petition to reinstate him and one calling for Warner Bros. to remove Johnny Depp’s ex-wife, Amber Heard from her role in DC’s Aquaman series. The latter is fast approaching two million signatures.
Why do fans want Johnny Depp back as Jack Sparrow?
Depp’s fans are desperate to see the actor back in the role for several reasons. The first is that the character is undeniably one of the greatest creations in all of fantasy. He’s undoubtedly the reason for the franchise’s insane success (even giving the Star Wars franchise a run for its money at the box office).
Indeed, Depp’s co-star Kevin McNally, who played Joshamee Gibbs, said that replacing the character would be “criminal”. Equally, Depp’s fans just aren’t as interested in a Pirates of the Caribbean reboot with younger characters. Each Pirates film was truly unique, but the consistency of following Jack Sparrow was a huge reason fans stayed on board, despite the film’s becoming progressively less well-reviewed.
Depp’s fans feel that the character of Captain Jack Sparrow as played by Johnny Depp is essential for the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise to succeed. They have been doing everything they can to get the character back, and they’re not alone. Some news outlets even reported that producer Jerry Bruckheimer was working with Disney to get Depp back on board.
What does Captain Jack Sparrow mean to Pirates fans?
The first Pirates film was an instant hit for a reason. Johnny Depp’s first turn as the character was a milestone that ensured that this adaptation of a Disney ride would stand the test of time. Since then, Captain Jack Sparrow has become a cultural icon and he was even implemented into the ride.
If a Pirates of the Caribbean reboot does happen, it will certainly be strange to imagine the Caribbean seas without Jack at the mast. While there was talk of recasting, Depp’s fans are adamant that the character must be played by Johnny Depp. Indeed, while Jack Sparrow was originally written as a fairly straightforward character, it was Johnny Depp who brought his iconic affectations. The actor cites The Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards as an influence, which gave the pirate an “aging rocker” vibe that fans loved.
In fact, Keith Richards would go on to play Jack’s father Captain Teague, as an acknowledgement of the influence. However, whether the Caribbean franchise returns with or without Johnny Depp, one thing’s for sure; Pirates without Jack Sparrow is like Star Wars without Darth Vader.
It’ll be very interesting to see what happens next and whether Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean 6 will ever be a reality.
Will we see Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean 6, or whatever the next film is titled? Let us know in the comments below.