Austin Butler Offered Disney’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 6’ Amid Permanent Johnny Depp Set Suspension

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A man dressed as a pirate with a red bandana and dreadlocks stands in front of a background featuring palm trees and a sunset. Overlaid behind him is another man with blonde hair wearing a dark blazer and an open white shirt. The beach and sea are visible.

Credit: Edited by Inside the Magic

It seems that Disney has found their next leading man for the Pirates of the Caribbean, Austin Butler.

Pirates of the Caribbean 6
Credit: Gaby Garza

Since 2003, Johnny Depp has embodied the role of Captain Jack Sparrow, captivating audiences with his portrayal of the beloved character. Over the years, Disney has produced five films in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise: 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).

However, the studio has expressed its intention to continue expanding the franchise.

In recent years, Disney has hinted at the development of Pirates of the Caribbean 6 on multiple occasions. Following the fallout with Johnny Depp amidst legal allegations, the company announced the development of two separate scripts, neither of which featured Captain Jack Sparrow. One of these scripts involved Margot Robbie taking on a leading role in the franchise’s sixth installment, as confirmed by producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

While this project remains a possibility, Bruckheimer suggested it would follow another storyline in terms of release timing, offering limited details on its content.

Jack Sparrow on the helm of the ship in 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl'
Credit: Disney

In March 2024, Bruckheimer disclosed that the sixth film would be a reboot, making it easier to assemble without waiting for specific actors. Despite Depp’s previous stance during the 2022 defamation trial, where he stated he wouldn’t return to Disney for $300 million, he has since expressed openness to future collaborations with the company. Reports have hinted at Depp’s potential return as Jack Sparrow in a supporting capacity.

Recently, rumors have linked Emmy winner Ayo Edebiri from FX’s The Bear to a role in the Pirates franchise, although official confirmation from Bruckheimer, Disney, or Edebiri is pending.

Additionally, various fan-made versions of Pirates of the Caribbean 6 have emerged online, showcasing different storylines and casting choices, further fueling anticipation for the next installment from fanmade posters of films called Pirates of the Caribbean: Demons of the Corsair and Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack’s Revenge to trailers like Pirates of the Caribbean: New Horizon and Pirates of the Caribbean: Beyond the Horizon—which portrayed Wednesday star Jenna Ortega as Jack Sparrow’s daughter–there have been many takes on the Pirates of the Caribbean 6 story.

The relationship between Johnny Depp and Disney became strained following allegations of abuse levied by his ex-wife Amber Heard. In 2018, Heard wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post discussing her experiences as a domestic violence survivor, though she never mentioned Depp by name.

Shortly thereafter, Depp was dropped from the lucrative Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. While the exact reason for his dismissal remains unclear, it happened close enough to Heard’s op-ed to raise suspicion of a connection.

Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) speaking in Pirates of the Caribbean
Credit: Disney

Depp vehemently denied all allegations of abuse and instead accused Heard of being the aggressor in the relationship. In 2019, he filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard, claiming her op-ed damaged his career. Heard countersued for $100 million, alleging Depp’s denials were defamatory.

The subsequent trial in 2020, held in the UK, focused on a separate libel case Depp brought against a British tabloid that called him a “wife-beater.” The judge ultimately ruled in favor of the tabloid, finding that the label was “substantially true.” This decision was a major blow to Depp’s reputation.

In 2022, the highly publicized defamation trial between Depp and Heard took place in Virginia. Both actors took the stand, detailing their experiences in the tumultuous relationship. Gruesome testimonies and graphic evidence were presented, exposing a toxic dynamic filled with allegations of mutual abuse. The jury ultimately found in favor of Depp on most counts, awarding him $10.35 million in damages. Heard was awarded $2 million on one of her countersuits.

Johnny Depp looking distressed as Captain Jack Sparrow in 'Pirates of the Caribbean'
Credit: Disney

The trial and its verdict were met with a mixed public response. Supporters of Depp felt the verdict vindicated him, while others argued the evidence pointed towards mutually toxic behavior. The case also reignited debates about domestic violence, the #MeToo movement, and the challenges of believing victims, particularly male victims.

Overall, the drama was too much for Disney, which is why they cut ties with their beloved Jack Sparrow.

Austin Butler Cast in Pirates of the Caribbean?

Now, Austin Butler is being considered for Pirates of the Caribbean 6. One Take shared that Disney is interested in the Elvis star to join their reboot cast, via The DisInsider.

Disney is interested in Austin Butler joining their ‘PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN’ reboot.

He was previously eyed for ‘HERCULES’.

(via
@TheDisInsider
| https://thedisinsider.com/2024/05/13/the-disinsider-mailbag-high-school-musical-mufasa-and-austin-butler/)

This is not the first time Butler has reportedly been courted by the House of Mouse.

The potential participation of the Golden Globe-winning actor in the new Hercules project was revealed by The DisInsider as well. However, the report did not specify whether the studio has officially made an offer to Butler or if discussions have solely taken place among studio executives.

Austin Butler has emerged as a prominent figure in Hollywood, steadily building a career marked by versatility and dedication. His journey began in television, with appearances on popular Disney shows like Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide and Life with Derek during his early teens. Butler transitioned into film roles in the late 2000s, taking on parts in movies like The Sharpeshooter (2008) and The Life of Riley (2010).

Austin Butler as Elvis Presley
Credit: Warner Bros.

A turning point came in 2011 when he landed a starring role alongside Miley Cyrus in the teen comedy Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure. This role brought him wider recognition and opened doors to further film opportunities. He continued to hone his craft throughout the next decade, appearing in projects like The Carrie Diaries (TV series, 2013-2014) and Jim Jarmusch’s independent drama Only Lovers Left Alive (2013). Butler also showcased his comedic timing in Adam McKay’s biographical dramedy Vice (2018).

In recent years, Butler has gravitated towards more challenging roles. He garnered critical acclaim for his portrayal of Tex Watson in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019). This success propelled him to even greater heights, leading to award-winning role as Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s highly anticipated biopic Elvis (2023).

Butler’s dedication to the role is well-documented, with reports of him undergoing extensive singing and movement training to embody the King of Rock and Roll. He also recently starred in Dune 2 alongside Timothée Chalamet.

Austin Butler’s personal life has also garnered some media attention. His most public relationship was with Disney actress Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical), which lasted from 2011 to 2020. Following their split, Butler was briefly linked to actress Lily-Rose Depp, which makes this news an odd twist of fate.

Timothee Chalamet and Austin Butler dueling in Dune: Part Two
Credit: Warner Bros.

In late 2021, he began dating model Kaia Gerber, daughter of supermodel Cindy Crawford.

With his talent, dedication, and willingness to take on diverse roles, Austin Butler is poised for continued success in the film industry. His upcoming portrayal of Elvis is sure to solidify his status as a rising star, and his career trajectory promises exciting things to come.

For now, we do not have official confirmation from Disney on Butler’s role in Pirates of the Caribbean 6, however the YSL ambassador’s popularity would make him a shoe-in to lead the film.

Would you like to see Austin Butler join Pirates of the Caribbean 6?  

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