While it has been a few years since reports surfaced that Disney had removed Johnny Depp from future installments of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, due to legal matters regarding actress Amber Heard, the actor has since confirmed he has no desire to return at this point.
Amber Heard wrote an op-ed alluding to her abuse claims in December 2018. Depp in return is suing her for $50 million, alleging that her claims were fabricated and that she is the one who abused him, it’s messy stuff. Depp said that Disney dropped him from the sixth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean days after the piece was published.
While fans do want Depp to return as the now-iconic Jack Sparrow, the Disney Legend confirmed to Heard’s attorney, Ben Rottenborn, that he has no desire to return and that includes a massive paycheck. “The fact is, Mr. Depp, if Disney came to you with $300 million and a million alpacas, nothing on this earth would get you to go back and work with Disney on a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ film? Correct?” Depp answered: “That is true, Mr. Rottenborn.”
The franchise originated with the Pirates of the Caribbean theme ride attraction, which opened at Disneyland in 1967, the last Disney theme park attraction overseen by Walt Disney. The attraction can be found at four Disney theme parks. Since then, it has become a moneymaker not only for film but in video games, merchandise, and more.
Further details on the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial are quite messy and are not appropriate for this site, so I suggest reading Yahoo!entertainment‘s in-depth analysis of the court proceedings.
What’s next for Pirates of the Caribbean?
Disney is still laying the groundwork for the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise moving forward. The five films have grossed a combined total of over $4 billion at the worldwide box office. The figures make Pirates one of the most thriving franchises to date, and Disney knows this with multiple projects in various stages of development.
In 2018, Deadpool and Zombieland 2: Double Tap writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, were originally brought on to write the sixth installment but dropped out months later. Then, Chornobyl creator, Craig Mazin was brought on to write the script alongside Ted Elliot, who wrote the previous Pirates films. While details on the project remain under wraps, we do hear this project remains on the table.
Fast forward to 2020, reports surfaced that Bumblebee writer Christina Hodson was tasked with penning the script to a new Pirates project with Margot Robbie set to lead, which would be separate from the Pirates of the Caribbean reboot from Mazin and Elliot. That said, both films are expected to be in the same universe ala the MCU.
While both film projects remain in development, a fun piece of information I shared on The DisInsider Show during our “Rumor of the Week” segment, is that Disney has put a Pirates of the Caribbean Disney+ on the drawing board and are in very early development stages. At this time, I don’t have any further information on this project as it is still in the early stages. I would definitely expect further updates on the franchise this September at Disney’s D23 Expo.