Johnny Depp says he has no desire to work on Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise. He added that no amount of money would change his mind. The revelation was made during the ongoing defamation trial between the controversial actor and his ex-wife Amber Heard. The Minamata star filed the $50 million lawsuit after Heard wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post, stating she was a survivor of domestic abuse. Although she never named Johnny Depp in the article, the backlash was rather significant and he alleges his career was ruined as a direct result of her comments. The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was brought up during cross-examination, with Heard’s lawyer questioning the timing of the op-ed against what was already happening at Disney.
According to Variety, Ben Rottenborn asked Johnny Depp about a 2018 Daily Mail article that suggested Disney was going to drop him from the sixth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series. In Johnny Depp’s testimony, the 58-year-old said he wasn’t aware of that, but he wasn’t surprised either, since there had been two years of constant worldwide gossip about him being a “wife beater” after articles used those words in headlines. He said Disney was probably trying to cut ties with him just to be safe.
In an attempt to distinguish whether Amber Heard’s article affected Johnny Depp’s career once it was published, Rottenborn asked the actor if $300 million and a million alpacas would change his mind. “There would still be nothing on this earth that would get you to go back and work with Disney on a Pirates of the Caribbean film? Correct?” the lawyer asked. Depp kept his reply short, simply stating that it was true.
While the timeline of Disney dropping him from the Pirates franchise doesn’t line up with Heard’s Washington Post op-ed, Johnny Depp insists that her words still negatively impacted his career. “I would be a real simpleton to not think that there was an effect on my career based on Ms. Heard’s words, whether they mentioned my name or not,” he told the court.
However, he did admit that his image and reputation were damaged shortly after the couple filed for divorce in 2016. That’s when his ex-wife first accused him of physical abuse. According to Johnny Depp, that was the moment he lost everything. He says this is because no matter the result of the trial, he will carry these accusations for the rest of his life. “I’m suing her over defamation and the various falsities that she used to bring my life to an end,” the actor said via Variety.
Before Rottenborn’s line of questioning was over, Johnny Deep said even though the Daily Mail article suggested he might be pulled from Pirates of the Caribbean 6, Disney still wanted to make money from his character. “They didn’t remove my character from the rides,” he explained. “They didn’t stop selling dolls of Captain Jack Sparrow. They didn’t stop selling anything. They just didn’t want there to be something trailing behind me that they’d find.”
Interestingly, Johnny Depp also revealed that he has never seen the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, despite being the star. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Pirates of the Caribbean is a series of fantasy swashbuckler films based on Walt Disney’s theme park attraction of the same name. The first film in the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, was released in 2003. Directed by Gore Verbinski, the story follows pirate Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) who venture out to sea to save Elizabeth Swann from the cursed crew of the Black Pearl. Meanwhile, Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against Amber Heard is being presented to 11 jurors and is expected to conclude in May.