There’s been some buzz that Johnny Depp’s participation in the upcoming sixth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is in jeopardy. The thrilling series has been a worldwide hit since its inception in 2003, drawing in over $4.5 billion at the box office. The popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has been in large part due to Johnny Depp’s portrayal of the eccentric Captain Jack Sparrow, but it appears like Depp’s role may be in peril for the upcoming Pirates film.
The production of Pirates of the Caribbean 6 has been in the works for a long time, but little has been accomplished. The most current installment, released in 2017, did very well at the box office, earning about $800 million worldwide. Given the franchise’s enduring appeal, it’s odd that Disney has been so mum about any developments. The studio’s reluctance to cast Depp in the next edition could be attributable to a number of factors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the controversies surrounding Depp’s personal life, which has included his widely publicized legal struggle with Amber Heard.
Disney’s President of Motion Pictures, Sean Bailey, has expressed some reluctance about Johnny Depp’s return for Pirates of the Caribbean 6. While leaving the door open for Depp to return, Bailey made it clear that he and no other Disney executive saw Depp as a crucial piece of the brand going forward. For his part, Bailey said, “We think we have a really good, exciting story that honors the films that have come before but also has something new to say. [We’re] Noncommittal at this point [on Depp’s return].”
Disney isn’t completely against Depp returning as Captain Jack Sparrow, but the studio is reportedly considering a new approach for the property due to a lack of genuine enthusiasm for his comeback. Fifteen years and five movies later, it’s hard to imagine a genuine Pirates picture without Depp’s wacky performance and legendary presence as Captain Jack Sparrow.
Disney may be able to update the classic Pirates of the Caribbean franchise by making a film without Johnny Depp. The production company might create a story with cultural significance to serve as the basis for a new trilogy with younger performers, more engaging character arcs, and a larger world. Another option is to rework the property for a Disney+ television series, which might give Pirates of the Caribbean 6 a second shot and make it as successful as the original movies. If Depp isn’t cast as the lead in the next film, the franchise can explore new territory outside of Johnny Depp’s persona.
Whether or not Depp appears in the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean film is a matter for Disney to decide. Fans, no matter what happens, look forward to updates on the franchise because they believe the same sense of wonder and adventure that made them fans in the first place will be present in future installments.