Fans Choose Johnny Depp’s Replacement Timothée Chalamet Over Disney History

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Timothée Chalamet with Bob Iger and Johnny Depp

Credit: Inside the Magic

As rumors swirl surrounding the current development of Disney’s sixth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Timothée Chalamet–Depp’s recent replacement–has become a fan-favorite choice over all other historic Disney options.

(left to right) Zendaya as Chani, Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides in Dune
Credit: Warner Bros.

The state of The Walt Disney Company’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is in flux. While producer Jerry Bruckheimer is confident in its development, the House of Mouse has not officially confirmed any casting or story updates.

Actor Johnny Depp, who has been involved in various lawsuits over the last six years related to his marriage to fellow Hollywood actress Amber Heard, had a long-lasting relationship with Disney, thanks to his 14-year period playing Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow
Credit: Disney

It wasn’t just Disney that distanced itself from Depp following the outcome of his 2020 libel trial at London’s High Court. Warner Bros. formally asked Depp to resign from his role as the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the Wizarding World franchise.

Depp, who starred in 21 Jump Street from 1987 through 1990, appeared in a cameo capacity in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), which he then followed with a starring turn as the main antagonist in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018).

He was no stranger to the Warner Bros. studio. Back in 2005, Depp resurrected a famous chocolatier made famous in the pages of a Roald Dahl novel and Gene Wilder’s charismatic portrayal.

Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka in 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' (2005)
Credit: Warner Bros.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) was a reboot of the 1971 movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, both based on Dahl’s 1964 children’s novel.

Depp’s take on the eccentric chocolate maker proved divisive, even with director Tim Burton–Depp’s long-time collaborator–behind the camera. 18 years later, Warner Bros. would once again reignite the Willy Wonka narrative in a prequel movie from Paul King.

Timothée Chalamet as Willy Wonka in 'Wonka'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Wonka (2023) saw celebrated actor Timothée Chalamet (Little Women, Dune) replace both Depp and Wilder as Willy Wonka as he embarked on his journey to becoming the chocolate master. Wonka was a surprise hit for Warner Bros., netting $632 million on a $125 million budget.

The film’s Christmastime release, the inclusion of a trending rising star like Chalamet, and its musical nature proved to be the secret sauce in making King’s movie a success.

So much a success, in fact, that Chalamet’s movie has beaten out all other Disney musicals as the most popular movie musical in the United States, per new data.

Timothée Chalamet as Willy Wonka tipping his hat in 'Wonka'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: New: Disney’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 6: Judgement Day’ Starring Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Goes Viral

In a report compiled by SeatPlan and distributed by Journo Research, Wonka topped the list of most search musical movies nationwide with 1.29 million monthly searches. The Chalamet vehicle was the most searched-for musical across 28 states in the United States, with Illinois having the highest volume of searches.

Wonka surpassed every other musical movie, including all of the Disney animated classics and live-action adaptations.

Ariel gasping in The Little Mermaid
Credit: Disney

At number two and three were Disney’s 1989 movie The Little Mermaid, and the recent adaptation of The Color Purple (2023). Also included in the top ten were Trolls (2016), The Grinch (2018), Moana (2016), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Cinderella (1950), Winnie the Pooh (2011), and The Little Mermaid (2023).

Rounding out the top 20 were Pitch Perfect (2012), La La Land (2016), Encanto (2021), Frozen (2013), Alice In Wonderland (1976), Coco (2017), Hamilton (2020), Wish (2023), Corpse Bride (2005), and Pocahontas (1995).

Evil Queen as an Old Crone giving Snow White the poisoned apple
Credit: Disney

On the results, the CEO of SeatPlan, Ben Jackson, said:

“It is interesting to note the popularity of animated musicals in comparison to the number of live action films. Disney has been adapting their classic animated films into live-action ones frequently in the last decade, no doubt looking for more success and earnings like the original movies did. Of the top 20 here, 13 are animated classics with just one being a live action re-make, perhaps speaking to the preference many have for the nostalgia of the originals.

A close-up of a lion cub in The Lion King: Mufasa
Credit: Disney

With Chalamet beating out the likes of Prince Eric, Maui, the Frozen sisters, and the Prince from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, could this be a signal that Chalamet’s name carries such immense weight that his involvement in any Disney property would make it a success?

As for the future of the Disney animated and live-action canon. Following the lukewarm performance of its centennial celebration movie, Wish (2023), Disney is looking ahead with the release of this year’s Pixar sequel, Inside Out 2 (2024). Following that, audiences will return to the ocean in Moana 2 (2024).

Moana holding an oar, standing in a ready position on a ship
Credit: Disney

Related: Timothée Chalamet Trapped in Johnny Depp’s “Plague”, Attempts to Escape

Also arriving this year will be Barry Jenkins’ already divisive prequel movie, Mufasa: The Lion King (2024). 2025 will then see the controversial Snow White finally hit movie theaters.

The Rachel Zegler-starring Marc Webb-directed Disney’s Snow White has been intensively put under the microscope ever since it was announced, and it feels like the movie will face a continued uphill battle as its March 2025 release inches closer.

What do you think of his ranking of movie musicals? Do you agree that Wonka is the most popular? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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