Johnny Depp: Pirates of the Caribbean producer says ‘future is yet to be decided’ on actor’s return

In his defamation trial against Amber Heard, Depp said he wished to give Captain Jack Sparrow a ‘proper goodbye’

Tom Murray
Monday 16 May 2022 09:05 BST
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The mega-producer responsible for making stars of actors like Tom Cruise, Will Smith and Johnny Depp has left the door open for Depp’s return to the Pirates of the Caribbean series, which he also produces.

In 2020, it was reported that a new female-fronted Pirates of the Caribbean movie was being written for Disney with Margot Robbie attached to star.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, promoting his latest release, Top Gun: Maverick, told The Sunday Times that two Pirates scripts are currently being written: “one with [Robbie], one without” her.

Asked whether Depp, who has played pirate captain Jack Sparrow since the franchise’s first outing, could return for the sixth instalment, Bruckheimer replied: “Not at this point. The future is yet to be decided.”

Depp is currently embroiled in a $50m (£41m) defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard for implying he abused her in a 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post.

Under cross-examination at Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia, Depp was less ambiguous about his return to the Pirates franchise, after Disney officially dropped him from a planned reboot days after Heard’s op-ed was published.

Johnny Depp plays Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise

Heard’s attorney Ben Rottenborn asked the actor, “The fact is, Mr. Depp, if Disney came to you with $300m [£245m] 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? Correct?”

Depp answered: “That is true, Mr. Rottenborn.”

However, under redirect examination, Depp later told the court that he had wanted to give Jack Sparrow a “proper goodbye” with a sixth film, before he was dropped by the entertainment giant.

“Captain Jack Sparrow was a character that I had built from the ground up, and was something that I put a lot of… you put a lot of yourself into characters,” he said.

Depp said he was approached to contribute to the screenplay of the sixth Pirates movie before his exit, but the project is now in “dangle mode”.

The trial will resume at 9am on 16 May with Judge Penney Azcarate again presiding, as Heard continues her testimony for a third day.

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