Johnny Depp Responds To Reports Of Pirates Return

Rumors have been flying of Johnny Depp returning to the Pirates of the Caribbean and the actor just said his piece about it.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

johnny depp pirates

We recently reported on rumors of Johnny Depp’s return to the long-running Pirates of the Caribbean series here, and it appears word has gotten back to the actor himself. According to E! News, a representative for Johnny Depp said that the circulating report is not true and that he has no plans to return to the franchise. For now, it appears we will not be seeing Captain Jack Sparrow back in action any time soon. However, stranger things (and tides) have happened before, not least of which have been in Johnny Depp’s increasingly tangled and controversial career. 

Johnny Depp first joined the Disney series with 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, in which he starred with Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, and Geoffrey Rush. The series had low expectations at the time (in part due to its then-novel status as a feature film adaptation of a theme park ride), but it unexpectedly took in a mammoth $645 million worldwide and launched a franchise. More unexpectedly, Johnny Depp himself was universally praised for his idiosyncratic portrayal of the rogue Captain Jack Sparrow; after decades of largely being known for starring in indie films and the occasional Tim Burton hit, Depp became an enormous film star. Simultaneously, the emerging Pirates of the Caribbean series became a huge money-maker for Disney, largely anchored around Johnny Depp; it is really only a matter of time before the film company starts testing the waters to get the 14th-highest-grossing film series of all time back afloat. 

That only raises the question of whether Johnny Depp has completely abandoned the franchise (and Disney). The last Pirates of the Caribbean film was in 2017 (the tepidly received Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) and since then, Depp’s public image has changed wildly. The recent Amber Heard-Johnny Depp defamation case ended with the former being found mostly liable and ordered to pay damages to the actor, but it also created a very toxic atmosphere around both actors. During the course of the very eventful case, there was this very notable exchange between Johnny Depp and one of Amber Heard’s lawyers:

Regardless of that, the rumors that Disney, at least, is still interested in getting back in the Johnny Depp game persist. On the other hand, there has also been consistent word that Disney is looking to develop Pirates of the Caribbean spin-off projects that would not require the participation of Johnny Depp. Perennial franchise-joiner Dwayne Johnson has been repeatedly mentioned as a possibility for a new lead, as has Margot Robbie. It would be fair to surmise that Pirates of the Caribbean is simply too well-known and lucrative of a brand for Disney to let lay fallow for too much longer, whether or not Johnny Depp can be tempted by enormous amounts of money and alpacas. Johnny Depp already has a few other non-franchise film projects lined up, so he may have decided to get back to his roots as an arthouse star. Only time will tell if Captain Jack Sparrow ever suits up in the eyeliner again.