Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl actor Vince Lozano recently called for Johnny Depp to return to the franchise after he was removed from the franchise after false accusations of abuse from his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Depp was removed from the franchise back in 2018 when then Disney production chief Sean Baily told The Hollywood Reporter they were going in a different direction with the franchise, “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.”
Bailey’s comments in The Hollywood Reporter came days after Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post where she falsely claimed she was a victim of domestic abuse.
In fact, Depp returning to the franchise was seemingly off the table just last year. In May 2022, the film’s producer Jerry Bruckheimer was asked by The Times (UK), “Will Depp be back?”
Bruckheimer answered, “Not at this point.” However, he did leave the door open, “The future is yet to be decided.”
With Depp out Bruckheimer confirmed he was developing two different Pirates scripts with Margot Robbie expected to star in a female-focused film and another film that would seemingly soft reboot the entire series.
However, Bruckheimer would change his tune following Depp’s victory in his defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter in December 2022, he was asked if Disney was reconsidering bringing Depp back. He responded, “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. If indeed he did return it would not be to kill the character, “You can’t [kill Jack]. We tried to kill him. It didn’t work.”
In March 2023, Bruckheimer again shared his interest in having Depp return to the franchise. Deadline asked, “Would you bring Johnny Depp back in Pirates? You’ve intimated that they’re talking about that possibility?
Bruckheimer replied, “Yeah. I think Johnny is another friend and amazing artist, and again you go through things in life that you wish you hadn’t. But he’s still a talented artist.”
Not only does Bruckheimer want him back, but so does Vince Lozano, who played Jacoby in Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.
He told MovieWeb, “I think he deserves another shot as Jack, but I don’t think it’s going to happen, I’m hearing a lot of stories out there. The audience is there though.”
Lozano explained, “I do a lot of pirate conventions and there’s such a big subculture of people that dress up like pirates, and they love Johnny.”
As to why Depp might not return, it could be his decision. Depp was asked during the defamation trial 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 responded, “That is true, Mr. Rottenborn.”
Nevertheless, Lozano and Bruckheimer are not the only ones who want Depp to return to the role. Actor Kevin McNally, who plays Gibbs in the franchise, shared his thoughts back in November 2021.
“I’ve never seen a hint of any dark side to Johnny. I see a great humanitarian and a beautiful human being,” he said. “I don’t see any impediment for him coming back and playing Jack Sparrow.”
McNally previously expressed his interest in seeing Depp return to the role during an apperance on The Respondent podcast.
When asked if he believes Depp should return to the role, McNally answered, “Yes is the simple answer to that.”
He then elaborated, “My feelings about this are very complex because in a sense there was a slight feeling that the franchise itself had played out a little bit, so a reboot is a reasonable idea. I don’t think a reboot, if you concentrate on younger characters, should still exclude Jack Sparrow.”
What do you make of Lozano’s assertion that the audience for Depp to return in a new Pirates of the Caribbean is there? And do you want Depp to return to the role?