Though the project is confirmed to have run aground, Pirates of the Caribbean producer Jerry Bruckheimer believes that the franchise’s previously-planned, female-led reboot will still set sail at some point in the future.
First announced as in production in June 2020, the now-dead film would have seen Birds of Prey scribe Christina Hodson tell a brand new story completely unrelated to either the original series or its iconic protagonist, Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow.
Details regarding the project’s development were kept tight-lipped, but among what little is known is that, as previously detailed by its once-attached star Margot Robbie, the film would have featured “a lot of girl power”.
“We’re really, really excited at the prospect of kind of adding a very key female element to that world,” the star told Collider in a since-deleted interview with the outlet given in November 2020.
But two years later to the month, the twice-over Suicide Squad actress reluctantly confirmed to Vanity Fair that the reboot had ultimately been scuttled.
“We had an idea and we were developing it for a while, ages ago, to have more of a female-led—not totally female-led, but just a different kind of story—which we thought would’ve been really cool,” said Robbie to the outlet’s Senior Awards Correspondent, Rebecca Ford, “but I guess they don’t want to do it.”
However, despite this sinking of Robbie and Hodson’s flagship Pirates vessel, Bruckheimer is not ready to rule out a deep sea recovery effort for the project.
Speaking with Collider in December 2022 ahead of the premiere of Disney Plus’ National Treasure series, the producer behind every franchise entry thus far opined, “I think that that script will come forward at a certain point.”
“We developed two different stories for Pirates and the other one’s going forward first,” he added. “So that’s what we’re working on, to try to get that one made.”
Ostensibly the sixth proper entry in the series, little is currently known about this “other” Pirates film outside of the fact that it is currently set to be penned by Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin and longtime franchise writer Ted Elliot.
And while his absence has yet to be outright confirmed, it’s highly likely that the film will not feature the return of Johnny Depp to the role of Captain Jack Sparrow.
After being let go by Disney over the allegations of abuse leveled against him by his ex-wife Amber Heard, Depp declared during the proceedings of the subsequent defamation lawsuit he filed and won against her that he would never debase himself by voluntarily appearing in any future Pirates media.
Asked by Amber Heard’s lawyer Ben Rottenborn, “if Disney came to you with $300 million and a million alpacas nothing on this earth would get you to go back and work with Disney on a Pirates of the Caribbean film?”, Depp explicitly affirmed, “That is true, Mr. Rottenborn.”