Jenna Ortega Officially Replaces ‘Pirates’ Star Johnny Depp

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Jenna Ortega from Netflix's 'Wednesday' and Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.

Credit: Netflix (left), Disney (right)

Actress Jenna Ortega has quickly ascended the ranks to become one of the most popular names in Hollywood, and now she’s replacing Johnny Depp.

When we think of Johnny Depp, we undoubtedly recall his iconic portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Depp first played Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), a film that astounded audiences with its unique blend of action, supernatural elements, and Depp’s brilliant rendition of the infamous Captain Jack. This character is a masterclass in character acting, as Depp infused Captain Jack Sparrow with a quirky and unpredictable personality that was both endearing and hilarious.

Johnny Depp looking surprised as Captain Jack Sparrow
Credit: Disney

One of the most remarkable aspects of Depp’s performance is his impeccable comedic timing. Captain Jack Sparrow’s witty one-liners, slurred speech, and offbeat mannerisms added a layer of humor to the character that resonated with audiences of all ages. As the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise continued to make waves at the box office with five films, Disney and Depp found themselves at an impasse following allegations from Depp’s wife, Amber Heard.

Amid the accusations from Heard, Disney reportedly distanced itself from the actor. While the company has recently taken a more neutral stance on Depp, publicly stating that it is “noncommittal” regarding his status, Disney has still forged ahead with other plans that do not involve Johnny Depp making a major return. But the story doesn’t end there.

In addition to Depp’s role in Pirates of the Caribbean, he is also known for his collaboration with the legendary director Tim Burton.

Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Throughout his career, Johnny Depp’s partnership with Tim Burton allowed him to explore a wide range of characters, from sympathetic outsiders to larger-than-life eccentrics. Depp’s commitment to his roles, his willingness to embrace unconventional narratives, and his dedication to bringing depth to his characters have made him a beloved figure in Hollywood.

Depp’s collaboration with Tim Burton began with the 1990 film Edward Scissorhands, where he portrayed the titular character, Edward, a lonely and gentle man with scissors for his hands. This role showcased Depp’s ability to convey complex emotions and depth through unconventional characters, earning him critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base.

Johnny Depp at a press conference
Credit: Wikimedia/Harald Krichel

Over the years, Depp and Burton continued to collaborate on several projects, including Ed Wood (1994), Sleepy Hollow (1999), and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007). Each film demonstrated their unique creative synergy, as Burton’s dark and whimsical directorial style perfectly complemented Depp’s penchant for portraying eccentric and tortured characters.

While their professional partnership has achieved immense success, Johnny Depp and Tim Burton also share a personal friendship that transcends their work together. Their mutual respect and understanding of each other’s creative visions have undoubtedly contributed to the magic they’ve created on screen. As a matter of fact, many insiders would note that it was Depp’s collaborations with Tim Burton that jumpstarted his career and put him in a position to have success throughout the 1990s and even into the present day.

Credit: Netflix

Now, more than 30 years later, the legendary Tim Burton is still doing the same thing, this time with Jenna Ortega.

Ortega has essentially assumed the same kind of tie to Burton that Johnny Depp had, except she has done it in a much shorter amount of time. Ortega may have gotten her start on the Disney Channel and, subsequently, in the Scream franchise where she portrayed the character Tara Carpenter in Scream (2022) and Scream VI (2023), but her most iconic role is none other than Wednesday Addams in Netflix’s hit television series Wednesday.

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams with Thing
Credit: Netflix

Ortega’s collaboration with Burton on the Addams Family show, which has been a viral hit and already renewed for a second season, was just the beginning. This coming year, she is set to star in Beetlejuice 2 as Lydia’s daughter. There are many rumors swirling surrounding the movie, some of which have pointed to Ortega taking over as the new lead in the Warner Bros. franchise moving forward. Pretty crazy, right?

No matter what happens with Wednesday and Beetlejuice 2, it’s clear that the collaboration between Burton and Ortega has put the young actress on the map. Though she’ll continue to do other projects that don’t involve Burton– just as Depp did– we suspect that she’ll be continuing to work with Burton in the future, essentially becoming the next Johnny Depp.

What do you think of Jenna Ortega replacing Johnny Depp? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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