Johnny Depp Breaks Internet After Recent Announcement Shatters the ‘Pirates’ Franchise

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Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow with Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) in the background

Credit: Disney

More news has sailed in regarding the future of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise as the hotly tipped takeover of Johnny Depp’s beloved movie series is no longer attached, according to reports.

What in the Seven Seas is going on?

Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) shouting from the ship sails in 'Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End'
Credit: Disney

It’s hard to believe that the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise began almost 20 years ago. When Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) debuted in movie theaters it launched actor Johnny Depp into the commercial stratosphere. Already popular due to his hefty catalog of films, as well as those with the fan-favorite director Tim Burton, Depp’s turn as the rogueish but charming Jack Sparrow would become one of the most universally celebrated performances in recent times.

And speaking of celebrated actors, in another move from Disney, the studio has uncensored the nudity in one famous Tom Hanks movie on Disney+. But, anyway, back to Depp.

Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow
Credit: Disney

Going on to star in the following five sequels, Depp was a mainstay for the billion-dollar franchise until his rocky relationship with Amber Heard derailed his opportunity to see out the series. Depp and Heard’s strained marriage and subsequent libel and defamation trials became one of the most publicized domestic events in Hollywood history. Ultimately, both were charged with damages at the Fairfax County courts in Virginia this past summer.

However, while Depp came off largely better than his ex-wife after the jury found that Heard’s Op-Ed in The Washington Post in 2018 did, in fact, defame Depp, the previous 2020 libel trial at the London High Court left the actor shut out of both Pirates of the Caribbean and the Harry Potter spinoff series, Fantastic Beasts. Justice Andrew Nicol granted a win for The Sun and executive editor Dan Wootton after Depp sued the publication and its parent, News Group Newspapers, for libel. Following this loss, and his failure to appeal, both Disney and Warner Bros. shut Depp out of their respective franchises meaning the story would end, at least for Depp, for Captain Jack Sparrow and dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald.

Mads Mikkelsen as Grindelwald
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: Tom Hiddleston Once Had a Terrible ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Audition

And while Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen took over the role in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, there has been no real word on how The Walt Disney Company and producer Jerry Bruckheimer would deal with the loss of their leading man.

Cue Margot Robbie.

The two-time Academy Award nominee has long been tapped to step into Depp’s pirate boots and lead the new phase of swashbuckling stories for the House of Mouse. This semi-female-led outing for the franchise was expected to give Pirates of the Caribbean a much-needed reboot following Depp’s firing, but a recent announcement has left all that at the bottom of the ocean.

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

According to Variety, Robbie claims that Disney does not want to produce this female-centric Pirates story. Robbie said:

“We had an idea and we were developing it for a while, ages ago, to have more of a female-led — not totally female-led, but just a different kind of story — which we thought would’ve been really cool,” Robbie told Vanity Fair about her intended “Pirates” movie with Disney. “But I guess they don’t want to do it.”

Upon this news landing online, multiple fans have spoken out about the decision and how it could pave the way for Depp to return. If $301 million won’t do it, Disney not picking up Robbie’s movie might be the move to coax him back into the franchise. Let’s not forget that Depp said he has no desire to return due to his now strained relationship with The Walt Disney Company.

Johnny Depp waving to fans
Credit: ABC 7 Chicago

@vandamme_95 wrote:

Good. A Pirates of the Caribbean without Johnny Depp is no Pirates of the Caribbean at all.

Another tweet from Joey S. (SchmoJosey)  echoed the above sentiments:

Pirates already had strong female led characters. Are we acting like Kira Knightly [sic: Keira Knightley] didn’t exist? This was scrapped because Disney sees the outcry and fans simply don’t want them removing Johnny Depp/Captain Jack Sparrow from the series #NoJohnnyNoPirates

One tweet from @mightbearia encapsulated the excitement coming from the news, and that it could mean a revival for Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow. They wrote:

Johnny DEPP!


Margot Robbie says her Pirates of the Caribbean movie CANCELLED!

However, on the other hand, some have acknowledged the arguably decreasing quality of the Depp-led movies. @axdew wrote:

But like we can all agree that those Johnny Depp Pirates movies got progressively worse right?

Jack Sparrow has absolutely ran his course

Related: Jack Sparrow Was Inappropriately Harassed at Disney World, Report Claims

While Disney did remove Depp from the Pirates of the Caribbean series, the character hasn’t been missing from the rest of their brands. In fact, Depp’s Jack Sparrow still appears at some of the Disney Parks locations worldwide, while clips of him in the Pirates films have made their way into nighttime spectaculars shared at the Resorts.

As for right now, Depp has not spoken about a future Pirates film nor his iconic character since his time in the courtroom during the defamation trial this past summer but did, in fact, make a surprise appearance with musician Jeff Beck on his European tour. The actor is next slated to appear in Maïwenn’s Jeanne du Barry (2023), where he stars as the controversial French monarch, King Louis XV.

What do you think this news means for Johnny Depp? Let us know in the comments down below!

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