Austin Butler Breaks Silence on Replacing Johnny Depp in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’

in Disney, Entertainment

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: Inside the Magic

One of Hollywood’s most talked about actors shared their thoughts on Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean. 

Pirates of the Caribbean 6
Credit: Gaby Garza

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Austin Butler, star of Elvis (2022), Dune: Part 2 (2024), and Jeff Nichol’s upcoming film, The Bikeriders (2024), shared his thoughts about joining Disney’s legendary Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

Despite Disney’s Pirates franchise grossing billions at the box office, the series has been sailing on shaky waters for quite some time. The last official entry in the franchise was 2017’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, a film that saw Johnny Depp return once again to the role of Captain Jack Sparrow.

While offering audiences another fun pirate adventure, the film received lackluster ratings from critics.

Fast-forward seven years, and Disney is still struggling to set sail with its Pirates franchise, facing boatloads of problems with series star Johnny Depp.

Depp’s highly publicized trial against partner Amber Heard caused significant damage to both individuals’ reputations and careers, prompting Disney to cut ties with Depp as a result.

With Disney and Depp parting ways, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise found itself in troubled waters, with no definitive or concrete plans for the brand’s future.

Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean
Credit: Disney

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However, longtime producer Jerry Bruckheimer confirmed two new Pirates films are currently in production, one that acts as a reboot and one starring Margot Robbie.

“It’s two different movies,” Bruckheimer says. The first is the reboot he’s planning to produce with his Young Woman and the Sea scribe Jeff Nathanson writing the script, and the second is the one from Robbie’s camp that was penned by Christina Hodson from Birds of Prey. “We hope to get ’em both made, and I think Disney agrees they really want to make the Margot one, too.”

It’s anyone’s guess who could step in and fill Johnny Depp’s boots, though theories have been running wild about Austin Butler potentially joining the franchise. Recently, the actor was asked if he had heard the rumors.

Per Entertainment Tonight, Butler admits he was a massive fan of the franchise, saying the series was one of his favorites when he was younger.

“Oh really, I haven’t heard about that,” he told ET, adding, “I loved Pirates of the Caribbean.”

“In elementary school, we had to make these posters that had like your favorite music, your favorite actors. And at that time – I don’t know what grade, it must have been fourth grade, third grade or something – but it was — Pirates of the Caribbean was on there.”

When asked if he would like to take over the iconic franchise, Butler admitted it would be hard to top Depp’s performance.

“It’s a hard one to touch because they did it so well. I loved what Johnny [Depp] did with that.

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

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Not much else is known about Disney’s two upcoming Pirates films, with release dates potentially being years away at this point. However, The Walt Disney Company has made it abundantly clear it wants to continue its successful high-seas adventures and sees a narrow path ahead for the franchise.

The success of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise cannot be understated, with the first film setting sail in 2003. Since then, Disney’s Pirates films have grossed over $4 billion at the box office combined. The franchise is incredibly popular in the Disney theme parks as well, with rides and attractions, as well as merchandise being offered to guests in droves.

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