Disney is exploring a 'Pirates of the Caribbean' reboot, might drop Johnny Depp

Disney is exploring a 'Pirates of the Caribbean' reboot, might drop Johnny Depp

Pirates of the Caribbean is a billion dollar movie franchise based on a 15-minute theme park ride. Crazy, right? A lot of the credit goes to Johnny Depp, who played selfish, swaggering rogue, Captain Jack Sparrow. The actor channeled Keith Richard's quirky, drugged-out energy, delivering an iconic - and Oscar-nominated - performance. Over the past 15 years, Depp starred in five Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and one of them was good! (Just kidding. I think like two of them were good?)

However, the franchise might continue without Depp, as hard as that is to believe. A couple days ago, Deadline reported that Disney is in "early talks" for a reboot, with the writing team of Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick. Previously the pair  Zombieland, Deadpool and Deadpool 2, which were all pretty awesome. (And they also wrote G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which was definitely a movie.) Since the project is a reboot, it seems unlikely they'd bring back Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow. Does that mean they'd recast the role, or would it star new characters?

Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean

Credit: Walt Disney StudiosWell, it's still too early for answer, but today we appear to have gotten some confirmation. Stuart Beattie, the writer of the first Pirates movie, told The Daily Mail TV that Depp has boarded the Black Pearl for the last time. "I think he’s had a great run," said Beattie. "Obviously he’s made that character his own and it’s become the character he’s most famous for now... I think Jack Sparrow will be his legacy. It’s the only character he’s played five times, it’s the character he dresses up in to visit children in hospitals, it’s what he’ll be remembered for..."

He went on to reflect on how crazy it was to cast Johnny Depp for the role: "Before Jack Sparrow came along, [Depp] was considered this kind of quirky, independent actor that made these really cool little Tim Burton films, but he was by no means a movie star and a lot of people thought we were crazy for casting him at the time... The fact that it worked is a miracle."

Johnny Depp Credit: Getty

Beattie makes it sound like Disney's dropping Depp because the character has ran its course. It's possible the reason is commercial. The last Pirates movie, 2017's Dead Men Tell No Tales, hit a franchise-low at the box office. But you have to wonder if this decision has anything to do with the 55-year-old actor's personal dramas. Depp has faced allegations of illness, punching a crew memberphysically abusing his ex-wife, Amber Heard, etc. Maybe Disney is tired of the constant controversy? Some Harry Potter fans have called for Depp to be fired from the Fantastic Beasts franchise, but J.K. Rowling says that's not happening.

Anyway, if you're upset by the idea Depp getting dropped, remember, nothing's official yet. Hollywood is a fickle beast. Disney's exploring a reboot, but even if Reese & Wernick write a script, that doesn't mean the studio's going to make it. And even if they make it, Depp might crash the set as Jack Sparrow, drunk, and demand his camera time.