Johnny Depp has been in every Pirates of the Caribbean movie to date, from 2003’s unexpected smash hit The Curse of the Black Pearl to 2017’s unnecessary Dead Men Tell No Tales, but he won’t appear in the sixth (!) film in the franchise. A series-resetting reboot is coming from Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and as Disney’s chief of film production Sean Bailey recently confirmed, Jack Sparrow will be MIA. “We want to bring in a new energy and vitality,” he said. “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.”
Disney is not only distancing itself from Depp due to allegations of domestic violence by his then-wife Amber Heard, but also to save money. According to Forbes, the actor would have earned $90 million if he cosplayed as Keith Richards one more time. That’s some Bruce Willis-in-The Sixth Sense dough.
The screenwriter for Dead Men was Jeff Nathanson, who delivered a soldierly, if extravagantly cobbled-together product while being saddled with Johnny himself as a writing partner or very heavily-involved reader, take your pick. There are no bylines on the individual chunks of the Dead Men script, but when a producer is paying an enormously talented actor in the many millions, say ninety of them, and said actor has been in the role for a dozen years by that point, we can fairly estimate that the scenes involving his character would be some of the more highly wrought, if not overthought, set pieces ever to see the silver screen. If they weren’t then just filmed at great cost and then cut. (Via)
Dead Men Tell No Tales made $794 million at the worldwide box office, which is good for most movies, but not a Pirates move: it’s the second lowest-grossing film in the series, after the original, and a steep drop from the billion-plus that Dead Man’s Chest and On Stranger Tides pulled in. Every one of these films, with the exception of Black Pearl, cost at least $225 million, and as Bumblebee proved, it’s possible to revitalize a known property at a fraction of the cost. Hopefully the next Pirates movie is just as good as the Transformers spin-off.