The saga between Johnny Depp and The Walt Disney Company has taken many interesting turns.
For the last several months, people across the country have been tuned into the ongoing Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard saga. The trial ended four months ago with Mr. Depp being awarded $10.35 million in compensatory damages, but there have been plenty of developments since the defamation trial ended.
Amber Heard was reportedly offered a deal for a “revenge tell all” book worth millions, but the biggest question surrounding Depp has been a potential return to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
While a representative for Johnny Depp recently responded to rumors that the actor could return to Disney with a resounding “no,” it does seem with the latest reports that attitudes have begun to change in both camps.
Johnny Depp and his history with Disney
In total, there have been five movies made in the POTC franchise, all of which Captain Jack Sparrow (played by Depp) was the lead protagonist: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017).
In addition to his work in Pirates of the Caribbean, Depp has also starred in several more Disney films, including Ed Wood (1994), Finding Neverland (2004), Alice in Wonderland (2010), The Lone Ranger (2011), Into the Woods (2014), and Alice Through The Looking Glass (2016).
Depp was named a Disney Legend in 2015, and he is the only actor to have three of his characters appear in the Disney Infinity series. He was mentioned in the Hannah Montana episode “That’s What Friends Are For?“. He is mentioned in Jessie as being Zuri Ross‘s godfather, according to Disney Fandom.
However, the father of Lily-Rose Depp and John Christopher “Jack” Depp III reportedly had an incident occur during the filming of the last Pirates of the Caribbean film.
“Mr. Depp appeared on TV drunk and stoned, to the point that Disney studio executives called [his former agent Tracey] Jacobs asking ‘What the hell was wrong with your client.’ These same issues appeared during the filming of Pirates 5 and Disney told Ms. Jacobs the conduct was not ‘going to be tolerated,’ Disney was ‘not going to put up with this’ and that ‘there was no love between Johnny and Disney, given the Pirates Five situation,”unsealed court documents read.
The incident caused Disney to begin souring on the actor and when the allegations from Amber Heard came forth, Disney reportedly turned its back on the actor.
During the court trial, Depp said he wouldn’t return to Disney even if the company offered him $300 million.
Is Johnny Depp returning to Disney as Captain Jack Sparrow?
Despite Depp’s comments in the court trial, there have been many fans and insiders who have remained steadfast that they believe we’ll see the actor return to his role as Captain Jack Sparrow, as well.
A report from Poptopic indicates that Depp has changed his mind slightly from what we heard during the court trial and that he at least would entertain an offer from Disney.
“Disney is thinking about offering $300 million for Johnny Depp’s return but nothing has been agreed yet. As of right now, Johnny is still considering any offer that comes his way. If he returns to the franchise, this would arguably become one of Depp’s biggest wins after getting dropped from Disney without having any proof of what Amber Heard accused him.”
In addition, it was noted in the report that Disney might be interested in Depp not only returning to play Captain Jack Sparrow in the film franchise, but also for a spin-off Disney+ series.
“A source close to Depp spoke to the folks from Poptopic about Depp’s possible return to play Jack Sparrow. This is what they said: “They reached out to the actor prior to his defamation trial against Amber Heard and asked whether he would be interested in returning for another pirate film or two.
“The deal is reportedly for Johnny Depp to return as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean 6 and a spin-off Disney Plus series about the early life of the Captain of The Black Pearl. What I can tell you is that the studio has already penned up a draft for a film about Jack Sparrow so they are very hopeful that Johnny will forgive them and return as his iconic character.”
Pirates of the Caribbean 6: What We Know
Knowing that Disney is interested in bringing Johnny Depp is one thing, but actually being able to agree to a deal following all the fallout between the parties is another thing.
Pirates of the Caribbean Producer Jerry Bruckheimer revealed several months ago that Margot Robbie was slated to take over as the new lead role in the sixth installation of the franchise.
At this point, however, not many details have been given on Pirates of the Caribbean 6 and what we might expect in the film, assuming that Johnny Depp is, indeed, not part of the plans.
Many have speculated that Margot Robbie will likely be cast as the long-lost daughter of Captain Jack Sparrow and the film will follow her with her own adventure. At the very end, there are rumors that Depp could make a cameo if a deal with Disney is able to be finalized.
Margot Robbie– who is known for her work as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad (2016) and Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020) as well as many others, including Focus (2015) alongside Will Smith, I, Tonya (2017), Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2017), The Suicide Squad (2021) alongside Pete Davidson and John Cena, has not shared any public comments on the reported casting.
In addition, there have been reports from several that Disney is considering Dwayne Johnson for a lead-role, as well.
One report from Giant Freakin’ Robot reads:
“It has already been announced by Jerry Bruckheimer that two spinoffs are in the works. One will see Margot Robbie take the lead of the franchise. The other is currently a mystery for now. However, based on our trusted and proven source, we can report that a third spinoff is in the works. This third Pirates spinoff will star Dwayne Johnson.”
It doesn’t seem that Johnson would play the role of Captain Jack Sparrow, but rather would be a different character introduced in the franchise, similar to what will be seen with Margot Robbie’s spinoff film. It’s unclear if both Johnson and Robbie could star together in the film, but it could make for an interesting dynamic. Both Johnson (Black Adam) and Robbie (Harley Quinn) have become stars in DC Comics movie franchises, which rival Disney’s Marvel Studios.
What’s Johnny Depp been up to?
There have been plenty of reports following Johnny Depp since the trial ended.
Depp has reportedly started a relationship with one of his lawyers, Joelle Rich. His famous attorney Camille Vasquez has also been in the news as of late after cutting ties with Kanye West.
Depp has been focusing on his music career and even filmed a movie, La Favorite, which is set to debut in 2023. In addition, Johnny Depp is set to serve as director on Modigliani, a film centered around Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani.
Though Depp hasn’t been affiliated with Disney, he has still been open to pulling out the Captain Jack Sparrow imitation online from time to time.
In addition, Depp’s fans have been showing avid support this Halloween, making Jack Sparrow the most popular costume of the season.
According to reports from TMZ, there has been a “spike” in sales for Captain Jack Sparrow Halloween costumes. The report indicates that Halloweencostumes.com has already cleared out over 85% of its inventory of Captain Jack Sparrow costumes.
The retailer has two different costumes– a basic one for $85.00 to $95.00, and a higher quality one for $245.00 to $299.00– and both have been more popular than many other Halloween favorites this season, including costumes from two recently-released movies in Disney’s Lightyear and Top Gun: Maverick.
Recently, Legendary Director Tim Burton shared comments on Johnny Depp.
“I connected with him when I met him for ‘Edward Scissorhands’,” Burton said. “He was similar to me–kind of suburban white trash. “It was not even a verbal understanding. It was something I could feel. He liked the characters; he was interested in acting for the art of it, not the business of it. It was exciting to see somebody play different things. “The idea of this transformation from film to film always excited me.”
While some celebrities have seemingly pulled their support for Depp in the midst of the legal battles and much more, many others have come to his defense. One of those includes Pirates of the Caribbean co-star Naomie Harris, who said she was happy to see it come to an end.
“It’s hard not to have followed that case because it was so rammed down our throats every day,” Harris said. “It was all over social media, all over the news, everywhere. I think there’s something quite disturbing about that, actually, because there are some serious events happening in the world that deserve much greater airtime than they’re having because this kind of thing is being aired.”