Disney Executive Reveals Johnny Depp’s Involvement in Latest Project

in Disney, Movies

Johnny Depp and Disney CEO Bob Iger during the 2015 Disney Legends Awards at D23 symbolizing Depp's involvement in a new Disney project

Credit: Disney / D23

A Disney executive recently revealed Johnny Depp’s involvement in the company’s latest project and how the actor helped it come to life.

Beloved actor Johnny Depp continues to be on everyone’s lips, including some of the top-tier executives within The Walt Disney Company, revealing his involvement in the development of a recent project.

Depp recently had millions of fans worldwide at the edge of their seats after a medical scare. While directors have pushed him out of multi-million-dollar franchises following his heated legal battle against Amber Heard, it would appear that Johnny Depp still has much to give to The Walt Disney Company.

Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow leaning on a ship steering wheel
Credit: Disney

Related: Johnny Depp Quietly Makes Move for ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Return

Many of us would love to see Johnny Depp return to The Walt Disney Company in a new installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, sailing on a new adventure with Captain Jack Sparrow. However, while the actor won’t be picking up the mantle of the legendary pirate anytime soon, Johnny Depp’s historic career and some of his most iconic performances played a crucial role in bringing a recent Disney project to life.

During a recent interview, Disney executive and Haunted Mansion (2023) director Justin Simien revealed how Johnny Depp helped bring the long-awaited reimagining of this story to life with his performances as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and Edward Scissorhands in, well, Edward Scissorhands (1990).

Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) screaming
Credit: Disney

The filmmaker commented that the casting process for the movie inspired by Disneyland’s iconic ride, the Haunted Mansion, was tricky, adding that accurate representation was essential for him during the making of the film. “If it’s me, and we’re doing this in New Orleans, my lead’s going to be a black person — it’s got to be a black person. There’s no way I’m making a New Orleans film, and it’s not about a black person in an 85% black city,” Simien commented, adding, “Anybody who’s tried to cast black leads at a big studio, it’s a journey, it’s a process.”

Simien continued to recount how he convinced Disney to cast LaKeith Stanfield in the leading role, saying, “My pitch for him was like, ‘Hey, remember how Johnny Depp was one thing, and then he was in Pirates, and all of a sudden, he was another thing.’ This guy has that same sort of star quality, and he pulls you into characters that you don’t expect to affect you quite as hard.” “Johnny Depp can not say any words in a movie, going back to Edward Scissorhands, and you care for him so deeply. LaKeith has that same magical quality,” added the filmmaker.

Disney's 'Haunted Mansion' (2023)
Credit: Disney

Justin Simien added that he and casting director Carmen Cuba worked hard to “balance [LaKeith’s] energy and keep the ensemble exciting” “It’s a combination of who the studio thinks would be great, financially speaking, in terms of promoting the movie, which is very ironic,” commented the filmmaker.

LaKeith Stanfield stars in Haunted Mansion along with Rosario Dawson — who will reprise her role as Ahsoka Tano in Disney+ original series Ahsoka  — Chase Dillon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tiffany Haddish, Danny DeVito, Owen Wilson, Jared Leto, and Dan Levy. The movie’s synopsis reads: “Inspired by the classic theme park attraction, “Haunted Mansion” is about a woman and her son who enlist a motley crew of so-called spiritual experts to help rid their home of supernatural squatters.” Disney’s Haunted Mansion is now playing in theaters everywhere.

If you’ve watched Disney’s Haunted Mansion, don’t forget to let Inside the Magic know what you thought of the movie in the comments below!

Would you like to see Johnny Depp reprise his iconic role as Captain Jack Sparrow? Or would the beloved actor better fit a different role? Share your thoughts with Inside the Magic in the comments below!

in Disney, Movies

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