The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is moving forward without Johnny Depp. Disney has multiple movies set up for the future of the Pirates stories, one of them with Margot Robbie. So far, reports have suggested that Disney may not be mentioning the whereabouts of Jack Sparrow in these projects. While that may be true, they aren’t going to disregard the character completely. One of Giant Freakin Robot’s trusted and proven inside sources have shared that Disney is now developing a Jack Sparrow solo project. This project will not include Johnny Depp.
This is a bold move by Disney. Audiences have grown fond of Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow. We were able to confirm with our source that the new project will be a solo one, so Jack Sparrow will be at the center of this story. It is also clear that Depp is not involved. We were unable to confirm what the story will be about.
Are audiences ready to see Jack Sparrow played by another actor? Is there another actor brave enough to take on the famous role for Disney? Johnny Depp played the character in such a distinct way that anyone else taking on the role is in for a big challenge.
The studio has to be aware that while cancel culture has changed the course of Johnny Depp’s career, and led to Disney no longer working with the actor, audiences may not want to see someone else take on the role. We can think of two possible ways that the Pirates of the Caribbean project may approach this. One example could be to have an origin story focused on a young Jack Sparrow. This may make the presence of a new actor less distracting for the audience. A second possibility is that the new project could be an animated one.
If Disney tackles an origin story for Jack Sparrow, they’ll be able to write the young character in a way where it is believable that he doesn’t have all the exact same behaviors and mannerisms that Johnny Depp’s character is known for. A young Jack Sparrow won’t have developed those characteristics yet. However, part of the fun of the captain has always been that his behavior is so off the wall that there is an air of mystery around him. What happened to make the character we know? Johnny Depp may have developed his own personal background for the character, but for the audience, that mystery was part of what made his actions unpredictable, and therefore fun and funny.
An animated project could mean a movie or series for Disney+ focused on the adventures of Jack Sparrow. Johnny Depp’s voice is pretty recognizable as the captain, but there could still be a lot of room for the writers and voice actors to play with the character in this format. An audience may be more forgiving with animation.
Audiences have loved Jack Sparrow for many years now. It’s a lot to ask audiences to accept Pirates without Johnny Depp. Will they be able to accept a Jack Sparrow played by anyone else? Disney is going to try for it. It’ll be interesting to see which approach they choose.