Former Disney Executive Predicts Johnny Depp Will Be Back In 'Pirates' Franchise

Zinger Key Points
  • Depp received an Oscar nomination for the original 2003 "Pirates of the Caribbean" entry.
  • Depp's last starring film, "Minamata," only grossed $1.7 million worldwide.

Now that Johnny Depp secured a $15 million legal victory in the defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard, will he be able to resume his iconic Captain Jack Sparrow role in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise? A former executive at the Walt Disney Co. DIS believes the studio will welcome Depp back to the realm of A-list productions following Wednesday’s jury verdict.

What Happened: According to a People magazine interview with an unnamed former Disney executive, it is inconceivable that Depp will not be tapped for the next installment in the “Pirates” series.

"I absolutely believe post-verdict that Pirates is primed for rebooting with Johnny as Capt. Jack back on board," the former executive said. "There is just too much potential box-office treasure for a beloved character deeply embedded in the Disney culture.

"With [producer] Jerry Bruckheimer riding high on the massive success of Tom Cruise in 'Top Gun: Maverick,' there is huge appetite for bringing back bankable Hollywood stars in massively popular franchises," the executive added.

See Also: Gay Days Returns To Disney's Orlando Venues

What Happens Next: Depp earned an Academy Award nomination for playing the charismatic buccaneer in the original 2003 film “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” which spawned sequels that were released in 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2017. The franchise grossed more than $4.5 billion worldwide.

However, Bruckheimer’s relationship with Depp soured over the years, and the producer dropped Depp from a proposed television series on the life of illusionist Harry Houdini. Last month, Bruckheimer revealed a script to reboot the “Pirates” series with a female lead was in the works and he was in talks with Margot Robbie for the main role — a second script with a male lead was also being conceived, but Bruckheimer was non-committal on working again with Depp.

There is also the question of Depp’s bankability beyond the “Pirates” series. Depp’s starring vehicles including “The Lone Ranger” (2013), “Transcendence” (2014) and “Mortdecai” (2015) were commercial disappointments, and Depp was transitioning into flashy supporting roles in ensemble pieces including “Murder on the Orient Express” (2017) and the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise before his legal difficulties resulted in an unofficial blacklist of the actor.

Depp’s last starring role to date was in “Minamata,” which had a limited U.S. release in late 2021 and only grossed $1.7 million in worldwide ticket sales.

Photo: Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, courtesy of Disney

Posted In: Johnny DeppmoviesPirates of the CaribbeanWalt Disney Co.EntertainmentNewsMediaGeneral

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