Disney Settles Lawsuit Alleging They Stole ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’

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Jack Sparrow and Will Turner on the Black Pearl

Credit: Disney

Pirates of the Caribbean has become one of the most popular Disney franchises of all time.

The beloved franchise has spun a total of five movies, all of which Jack Sparrow (played by Johnny Depp) was the lead protagonist: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017).

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow
Credit: Disney

However, one lawsuit that was just settled by The Walt Disney Company last week alleges the original idea for a movie based on the attraction at Disneyland Resort and in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort was originally stolen.

Writers Arthur Lee Alfred II and E. Ezequiel Martinez Jr. claimed the Johnny Depp films were copied from their copyrighted original spec script. They filed a lawsuit in 2017 saying that Disney committed “willful infringement of Plaintiff’s original copyrighted expression of themes, settings, dialogue, characters, plot. mood [and] sequence of events contained in an original spec screenplay entitled ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’”

gibbs (left) and captain jack sparrow (right) on the black pearl
Credit: Disney

The two writers said that Laiter presented the screenplay to Disney executive Brigham Taylor in August 2000 and Taylor said that Disney “had no treatment or script” for a movie based on the ride.

“Themes, settings, plot, several characters, and dialogues from The Screenplay, some practically verbatim, have been copied by the Defendants into ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,’ and in every subsequent sequel, including the 2017 release of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” the suit stated.

The terms of the settlement agreement were not disclosed, but this does put an end to the copyright lawsuit.

pirates of the caribbean jack sparrow watching will turner and elizabeth swann
Credit: Disney

In terms of what’s next for the POTC franchise, Disney has reportedly moved on from Johnny Depp. Margot Robbie is set to take the place of the lead role in the next installment of the franchise, which isn’t set to include Jack Sparrow. There have been rumors that Johnny Depp could reprise his role as Captain Jack Sparrow following the results of his court trial with Amber Heard, but this will not be the case, at least for now.

We previously reported that some celebrities had seemingly withdrawn their support for Depp on social media, but no official statements have been given.

There have been rumors that Dwayne Johnson could even serve as a replacement for Depp in another installment of the franchise in the future.

What do you think of this lawsuit against Disney? Let us know in the comments!

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