While it’s certainly wise to detach the character from the actor and separate the artist from the art, there are certain actors that embody their character after the camera has stopped rolling. Robert Downey Jr. is Tony “Iron Man” Stark, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia Organa, and Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. As time marches on, these recastings of timeless characters are inevitable as Hollywood recycles old works into new ones, but the Pirates of the Caribbean star refuses to let go of the quirky, oddly charming Captain that he’s adopted into a public persona.
During his time at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain, Johnny Depp used the event as an opportunity to speak out on the affinity he holds for Captain Jack Sparrow, and through his address, implies that the character is a part of who he is.
“I suppose this is the positive side of having, in a strange way, given life to those characters like Captain Jack or whatever character that I was lucky enough to locate and bring to life the beauty of Captain Jack Sparrow… I’ll go to somebody’s house, man, I’ll perform at your kid’s birthday party at this point,” Johnny Depp said during a press conference at the event before alluding to Disney in a secondary comment. At the moment, two Pirates of the Caribbean projects are at two different points of development, both shy of confirming whether Johnny Depp or Captain Jack Sparrow will return.
“I don’t need a company to do that. I can just do that myself and nobody can take that away,” the actor said in defense keeping Captain Jack Sparrow alive. Johnny Depp was celebrated at the Spanish film festival and was presented the Donostia Award – an award that symbolizes being “part of cinema history forever.” While engaging with fans who had attended the festival, the performer expounded on the importance of holding Captain Jack Sparrow close to him and keeping the character relevant throughout culture through his own means.
Johnny Depp was excused from Disney after allegations around abusing his ex-wife Amber Heard had caused unrest. He was additionally dismissed from Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them saga, the prequel series that proceeded the events of the eight Harry Potter movies, and sought its inspiration with a book within the books of the same name. It was later admitted by Heard that she had taken physical and verbally abusive action towards Johnny Depp, and though her confessions were recorded, neither Disney nor Warner Bros. has reapproached the idea of working with Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, Gellert Grindlewald, or otherwise.
The ongoing public drama of the case won’t slow down anytime soon as Johnny Depp was interrupted by a recording of Heard’s voice detailing her alleged version of the ex-couple’s short-lived marriage. The recording played during a press event was taken from the 2020 legal proceedings that pitted Johnny Depp against The Sun, a British tabloid who had published that he was a “wife-beater.” The entertainer took action with a suit that claimed defamation and libel against him, though ultimately crowned The Sun as the victor, sparking a debacle that even Captain Jack Sparrow couldn’t outwit.
Johnny Depp has declared that there’s no means of taking Captain Jack Sparrow away from him, even amid the unremitted legal war. Fans have since then taken action to defend Johnny Depp in light of Heard’s disclosure of striking her former spouse, rallying that the alleged boycott of the actor through Hollywood is unjust and unfair. There have been petitions and movements to forgo watching James Wan’s Aquaman sequel which still stars Heard as Mera, promising that the movie will not be watched unless Heard is fired and Mera is recast. Warner Bros. has not responded to the online movement, but the support for Johnny Depp wages on, in, and out of character as Captain Jack Sparrow.