The credit of making the Pirates of the Caribbean films a franchise worth billions of dollars undoubtedly goes to Johnny Depp, whose pirate Jack Sparrow is the life and soul of the five films released to date. Even though thanks to Depp, the collective box office earnings of the films have crossed $4.5 billion and it is counted amongst the highest-grossing franchises, Disney has canceled out all plans of bringing back the actor to reprise his iconic role because of his ongoing legal feuds with his ex-wife, Amber Heard. But while the studio is currently showing no interest in allowing Depp’s return, the actor is reportedly hoping for his comeback to the franchise.
We Got This Covered has reported that even though Disney has made it clear that Johnny Depp will no longer be a part of the franchise and isn’t invested in wrapping up the storyline of its lead character, the actor is hoping that there is still a possibility of him being called back either for a cameo or a bigger role in the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean films. While the actor has played many memorable characters throughout his illustrious career, his stint as Jack Sparrow remains his most prominent role to date, thus him wanting to return to the franchise one last time is plausible.
It was in 2018, soon after the domestic violence allegations against Johnny Depp became regular news headlines, when Disney’s production chief, Sean Bailey, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that his journey as Jack Sparrow has come to an abrupt end. He is not set to appear in either the sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales or the spin-off set to star Margot Robbie. But others attached to the franchise have expressed hope that the franchise will at least wrap up Sparrow’s story. Recently, in a chat with Express, Greg Ellis, who played Lt. Groves in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, stressed that the next Pirates of the Caribbean film needs to bring back the eccentric pirate as Depp not appearing as Jack Sparrow in the final film is like “not having Captain Kirk in [the original] Star Trek”
The idea of Johnny Depp at least making a cameo in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was also pitched by producer Jerry Bruckheimer but Disney shut him down. Fans of the actor even started a petition back in November 2020 to bring him back to the franchise. After surpassing its original goal of 500,000 signatures, the benchmark was shifted to one million signatures and currently, the petition is well on its way to achieving its new goal. But it remains to be seen whether it will actually make Disney change its mind.
But again, it is also possible that by the time another Pirates of the Caribbean film is made, Johnny Depp’s reputation will have redeemed enough for Disney to bring him back just like they did with James Gunn whom they first fired for his past controversial tweets in 2018 and then reinstated after a year as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.