A new rumor details that some Disney executives are lobbying for Johnny Depp to reprise his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
The rumor comes from We Got This Covered, who report that “the recent turn of events in Depp’s legal battle and the overwhelming support from the public in his favor has some of the Mouse House executives now lobbying for his return behind the scenes.”
This rumor comes after Depp filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard. The lawsuit claims Heard damaged Depp’s career after she wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post in 2018 just before the release of Aquaman, claiming to be a victim of domestic abuse.
Four days after the op-ed was published, the lawsuit claims that Depp was dropped from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
Disney’s Film Production Chief Sean Bailey confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that they would be creating Pirates films without Depp in an interview in December 2018.
Bailey stated, “We want to bring in a new energy and vitality. I love the [Pirates] movies, but part of the reason Paul and Rhett are so interesting is that we want to give it a kick in the pants. And that’s what I’ve tasked them with.”
While Disney dropped Depp, Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling stood behind him as he starred as Gellert Grindelwald in the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
“Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.”
Recent audio footage was leaked from 2015 when Heard and Depp were still married. In that footage, Heard admits to physically attacking Depp, hitting him, as well as throwing pots and pans at him.
She says, “I can’t promise you that I’ll be perfect. I can’t promise you that I won’t get physical again. God I f***ing sometimes get so made I lose it.”
She also admitted to throwing pots and pans at him, “That’s different. That’s different. One does not negate the other. That’s irrelevant. That’s a complete non sequitur. Just because I’ve thrown pots and pans does not mean you cannot come and knock on my door.”
A separate audio leak also sees Heard tell Depp, “You can please tell people that it was a fair fight, and see what the jury and judge thinks. Tell the world Johnny, tell them Johnny Depp, I Johnny Depp, a man, I’m a victim of domestic violence.”
She added, “And I, you know, it’s a fair fight. And see how many people believe or side with you.”
Not only is Depp suing Heard for defamation, but he’s also in a legal battle with the British publisher The Sun. The Daily Mail reports, “Johnny is currently in the midst of a libel case against British tabloid The Sun over a story published in 2018 that alleged the actor abused Heard.”
They detail that Depp was in London with his legal team last week. A hearing for the case against The Sun is expected to begin on March 23rd. Heard is expected to testify.
It’s unclear what the status of a new Pirates of the Caribbean film is. Deadline reported back in February 2019 that Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick exited the project.
According to The-Numbers, the film franchise has grossed $4.5 billion worldwide over five films with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest both grossing over $1 billion each.
All of those films have featured Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.
What do you make of this new rumor? Do you think Disney might be rethinking bringing Depp back on board for Pirates?