Back in 2018 Disney announced they were working on a reboot of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. They even hired Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to script it. Eventually Reese and Wernick walked away from the project and now Craig Mazin and Ted Elliott are writing Pirates of the Caribbean 6.
Johnny Depp And Captain Jack
There are two questions when it comes to Johnny Depp: Does Disney want him back and what will it take to get him back?
When it comes to what it will take to get Johnny Depp back as Captain Jack for Pirates of the Caribbean 6, the answer is: A lot. Multiple sources are reporting that he wants $50 million to return as Jack Sparrow in the next movie. The story goes that he’s burning through cash rapidly in his many legal battles against Amber Heard and in libel cases against various media outlets with deep pockets. So he has a big ask, because he needs a big payday.
Is a $50 million payday possible? Sure. Johnny actually got $55 million for Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides. And he has lowered his asking price by $5 million to do another one. That said, Depp’s star has faded significantly since Stranger Tides, so even that reduction may not be enough to reflect his current market value. But $50 million is not outside the realm of possibility.
When it comes to whether or not Disney wants Depp back, well that’s a lot more complicated. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer recently played it coy on whether they’re going to let Johnny Depp back in the Pirates of the Caribbean world. Bruckheimer tells Collider, “The one we’re developing right now, we’re not sure quite what Johnny’s role is going to be… So, we’re going to have to see.”
Initially Disney was adamant that Depp would not be allowed back for Pirates of the Caribbean 6 at all. Johnny Depp had been accused of domestic abuse by actress Amber Heard and many speculated that the decision not to let him be involved was due, in part at least, to this controversy. Now though, it seems that those accusations may have been unfounded and recent reports allege that Depp was actually the victim in the altercations with his now ex-wife. So Johnny Depp’s fans have gone to work to try and get him his job back.
A petition has been launched asking Disney to hire Johnny Depp for Pirates of the Caribbean 6. As of this writing, the petition is closing in on 200,000 signatures.
Now word is that petition, and the #JusticeForJohnnyDepp campaign, may have actually worked. Certain execs at Disney are reportedly lobbying for Depp to be included as part of their Pirates of the Caribbean action movie reboot. If they succeed and the House of Mouse welcomes him back, he probably won’t be the star this time. Expect a cameo at the least and a supporting role at the most. This is a reboot after all.
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Robert Downey Jr. As Pirates Of The Caribbean 6’s New Captain
With Johnny Depp’s future involvement in the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie in doubt, Disney is looking for another big name to put on the Pirates of the Caribbean 6 posters. Word is they are working on getting Robert Downey Jr.
The plan is to offer RDJ a smaller part in Pirates of the Caribbean 6, probably as the captain of another pirate ship. He’d probably be comic relief, more than a cameo, but definitely not the movie’s star. Given Downey’s existing close relationship with Disney, it’s safe to assume that if they want him, they’ll get him.
Previous Cast Returning
With Mazin and Elliott in charge Pirates of the Caribbean 6 is starting to sound like less of a total reboot and more of a soft reboot, because word is that Orlando Bloom may return in the new movie. Bloom’s Will Turner character had a cameo in the last movie, Dead Men Tell No Tales. Outside of that though, Will Turner hasn’t really been a part of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise since 2007’s At World’s End.
Reportedly Disney wants at least one of the original characters in Pirates of the Caribbean 6, and since they aren’t sure if they want Johnny Depp to be in it, rumor suggests they’re lining him up to show the pirate flag.
Pirates Of The Caribbean 6’s New Star
What’s clear is that Johnny Depp will not be the star of Pirates of the Caribbean 6. Instead all signs point to them looking for a female lead to take over the franchise. In particular The Disinsider says one of their top candidates to lead the new franchise is Karen Gillan.
After starting out as one of The Doctor’s companions on Doctor Who, Gillan has gradually made a name for herself as an action star. She’s kicked ass as Nebula in the Marvel universe and she’s beat up bad guys as Ruby Roundhouse in two Jumanji movies. She would seem to be the ideal candidate to lead Pirates of the Caribbean 6. But…
One of the things holding Disney back from hiring Gillan is reportedly their desire to cast a woman of color. They haven’t found that woman yet and if they don’t, then they may be ready to go with Karen Gillan as the star of Pirates of the Caribbean 6.
As for who Gillan or whoever they cast might play Pirates of the Caribbean 6’s lead, apparently they want to mold the new female main character after a meet and greet character from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride named Redd.
The Other Pirates Of The Caribbean Movie
In addition to the already announced Pirates of the Caribbean 6, Disney is working on a completely separate Pirates project and this one will star Margot Robbie, according to the trades. For the film Robbie is re-teaming with Christina Hodson, who wrote the feminist superhero overture Birds of Prey. Jerry Bruckheimer will produce this other movie as well as Pirates of the Caribbean 6.
Birds of Prey was loved by critics but received negative scores from moviegoers and absolutely failed at the box office. So bringing the two people most responsible for that financial failure together probably says a lot about where Disney’s priorities are at here, with this other Pirates of the Caribbean movie.