As the tides of public opinion continue to turn back in favor of Johnny Depp following his legal victory against ex-wife Amber Heard, Pirates of the Caribbean franchise producer Jerry Bruckheimer has once again publicly confirmed his interest in having the Captain Jack Sparrow actor reprise to his iconic role.
Bruckheimer revealed his updated opinion on Depp’s possible return to the high seas during a recent interview given to Deadline’s Pete Hammond for the outlet’s Behind the Lens web series.
Directly asked by the host, “Would you bring Johnny Depp back in Pirates? You’ve intimated that they’re talking about that possibility, the storied producer likewise bluntly confirmed, “Yeah.”
“I think Johnny is another friend and amazing artist, and again [referring to their discussion earlier in the show regarding Will Smith’s now-infamous slapping of Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards], you go through things in life that you wish you hadn’t,” he added. “But he’s still a talented artist.”
Notably, this is not the first time the producer has voiced interest in working with Depp on the currently-dormant franchise.
Pressed by The Hollywood Reporter in December 2022 as to whether or not Depp’s aforementioned winning ruling in his defamation case against Heard had caused Disney to reverse course on the actor’s involvement with the series, Bruckheimer asserted, “You’d have to ask them. I can’t answer that question. I really don’t know. [But] I would love to have him in the movie.”
“He’s a friend, a terrific actor and it’s unfortunate that personal lives creep into everything we do,” he further noted.
Bruckheimer also revealed at the time that should Depp return, it would not be to simply kill off Captain Jack.
“You can’t [kill Jack],” Bruckheimer laughed. “We tried to kill him. It didn’t work.”
Unfortunately for Bruckheimer, Depp declared during his defamation trial that thanks to Disney being quick to fire him in light of Heard’s allegations, he would never appear in another piece of Pirates media ever again.
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 replied, “That is true, Mr. Rottenborn.”
As for the franchise’s overall future, Bruckheimer confirmed during his above interview with THR that both the all-female series reboot and the ‘soft reboot’ of the mainline series were moving forward with production.
“I think we’re getting very close on that one, too,” he said of the potential sixth Pirates entry. “We have a very good script. We developed two of them — the one with Margot Robbie and one with a younger cast. The Margot Robbie one needs a little more work. The younger cast one is close. Hopefully we’ll get both of them.”
Met with confusion over the fact that Robbie previously told the media that the all-female film was dead in the water, Bruckheimer refuted, “It’s alive for me. It’s alive for Disney.”
“I’m sure she was disappointed it didn’t go first — or maybe not because she’s very busy, so it might be a blessing to push this a bit,” he said. “We believe we’ll get it made. It’s a very strong story.