Disney Cuts Captain Jack Sparrow, Ignores Johnny Depp

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Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) screaming

Credit: Disney

Earlier this month, Disney delighted Pirates of the Caribbean fans when it announced that Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) would temporarily sail back into theaters to celebrate Disney100. Now, the tide has turned as the studio appears to be ignoring its main character: Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp).

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow
Credit: Disney

Related: “No Johnny Depp, No Watching,” ‘Pirates’ Fans Furious at Disney for Firing Johnny Depp

Nobody could have predicted the runaway success of Curse of the Black Pearl. Inspired by a then-36-year-old attraction that has very little storyline beyond pirates being, well, pirates, it proved that – done well – a ride-to-movie adaptation could equal box office gold.

Four sequels and $4.524 billion later, it remains one of the most successful franchises of all time. However, since the onslaught of legal troubles faced by its main star, Johnny Depp (Captain Jack Sparrow), its future has been something of a question mark. Disney suddenly cut the actor from any possible new installments amid allegations that he abused his ex-wife, Amber Heard. Depp has since stated on multiple occasions that Disney’s abrasiveness has put him off ever returning if they asked (although he does seem to be softening to this possibility as of late).

gibbs (left) and jack sparrow (right) in pirates of the caribbean
Credit: Disney

Now, Disney seems to be distancing itself from the actor even further. While promoting the re-release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl on social media, it has decided to focus its imagery on characters such as Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), and Ragetti (Mackenzie Crook) – a decision that’s particularly odd, considering the latter’s very minor role – but no inclusion of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.

Disney's Instagram post promoting the 'Curse of the Black Pearl' re-release without Johnny Depp
Credit: Disney

Unsurprisingly, fans had plenty to say about the decision. “Removing Johnny Depp from these advertisements, the literal main character of the movie series, is the most petty thing I’ve ever seen from Disney,” wrote Instagram user Zee_mackk.

“How the hell are you trying to promote this without the star of the entire franchise?” said TheJDCase. “Without him the movies wouldn’t exist lol.”

Jack Sparrow on the helm of his 'ship'
Credit: Disney

Related: Johnny Depp Isn’t Making a Comeback

Meanwhile, Yuli_cisnn questioned the decision to re-release the film at all – especially if Disney wants nothing to do with its leading man. “Disney is so down bad now,” they wrote. “New movies are flopping, so they have to release old movies. Removing the main character from the poster is so petty.”

Choosing to re-release Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl – a film that revolves around Captain Jack Sparrow – if the studio no longer wants to be associated with Depp is a strange move. While the movies definitely have a passionate fanbase, angering those you hope will purchase tickets by cutting out the star they likely favor doesn’t seem like something that will pay off in the long run.

Will you be watching Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl in theaters in July? Let us know in the comments!

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