The rumors surrounding Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise continue to pile up. With Johnny Depp’s future in the franchise, not to mention movies in general, bleak, there is a new rumor out as to how Disney wishes to handle Captain Jack and fans may not appreciate their tact.
According to rumor meister Daniel Richtman on his Patreon page, “Disney wants new Pirates movie to make fun of Jack Sparrow.” Now, as per usual, Richtman doesn’t offer any more than that, so what that “make fun of” will look like is anyone’s guess.
The direction of the Pirates franchise has been a hotly debated topic since Johnny Depp’s personal life, especially with his ex-wife Amber Heard, was turned into public fodder. While the accusations on both sides are most definitely serious material, the fallout has been especially brutal for Depp.
Already having been “fired” (he actually agreed to walk away with his full $16 million salary) from the third Fantastic Beasts movie, Disney decided to part ways with the actor who made Pirates of the Caribbean a household franchise. So popular was Johnny Depp as Captain Jack that the Disney Park Pirates rides transformed themselves into a Captain Jack Sparrow haven.
Disney, it appears, is moving on from Depp’s Sparrow, having announced that yes, a sixth film in the franchise will happen, no, Johnny Depp will not be involved, and yes, their new direction will be introducing Margot Robbie (and supposedly a cast of female pirates) as the new lead in the franchise.
So, is this how Disney plans to “make fun of” Captain Jack, by replacing him with female pirates? Will the new script offer playful puns directed at the memory and exploits of one Captain Jack? Just how does Disney plan to make up for the lack of the one person who made the franchise float?
Granted, as the series went on, Disney was seeing less and less return from their big-budgeted sequels. By the time Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales completed its box office run, it brought in the least amount at the turnstiles. Whether that’s Captain Jack Sparrow fatigue or simply bad storytelling is anyone’s guess. Perhaps a bit of both. One thing for certain though, since that last Pirates movie in 2017, and since the fallout between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, as well as Depp’s court battles with The Sun (which he lost), Depp fans have remained in his corner, clamoring for Disney to bring Depp back in his most iconic role.
This brings us back to Margot Robbie. The Suicide Squad actress confirmed back in July 2020 that she indeed will be making a Pirates of the Caribbean movie and it will be written by Birds of Prey scribe Christina Hodson, who has become quite a popular catch these days. Hodson lays claim to Unforgettable, the Transformers spin-off Bumblebee, the upcoming The Flash movie, and the recently announced Batgirl film. The big question surrounding this new take on Pirates is if fans are ready for Pirates without Johnny Depp.
Another big question surrounding a Margot Robbie-led Pirates is that the actress has come out saying she wants her Pirates character to be LGBT, so will Disney have that happen in one of their biggest franchises and if so, what sort of reaction will come from that?
What do you make of Richtman’s rumor? Should Disney be taking shots at the one character who has brought in close to $5 billion at the box office? The answers here aren’t easy ones, especially considering the fact that there is plenty more legal action to take place for Johnny Depp. Where would Disney stand if Depp were exonerated in his actions concerning Heard? Would they consider bringing him back, even as a bridge to a new Pirates direction? As more news (hopefully) develops from Richtman’s rumor, we’ll be here to pass it along.