Disney is working on two different reboots of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise: (1) A Margot Robbie-starring girl-power verison; (2) A Craig Mazin-penned full-on refresh with details yet unknown. Despite all of that (and Disney probably nowhere near interested in touching anything do do with Johnny Depp, after he lost his “wife beater” libel trial against a tabloid in the U.K.), there appears to be a focused fan effort on… getting Depp back into the Pirates universe?
Yeah, it’s a thing (currently a 308K+-signature strong thing) even though it doesn’t sound like a fantastic idea for any studio to cast Depp in a blockbuster. Warner Bros. forced him to exit the Fantastic Beasts franchise following his legal debacle (being described repeatedly as a “monster” in court documents doesn’t bode well). Depp will still receive his full, eight-figure salary for the next film, but apparently, some people still want him to set sail again as Jack Sparrow. Here’s how the Change.org petition presents its case:
Johnny Depp has been out recently as Captain Jack Sparrow. One of the reasons is his personal issues as well.
He has been playing this role since 2003 when we first saw him arriving at the Port Royal in his boat with that epic background music playing. But can you imagine someone else portraying this instead of him? Or no Jack Sparrow at all?
Disney is rebooting Dead Men Tell No Tales because of its box office but don’t they know that without Johnny Depp or Jack Sparrow they will sink, they will never be able to reach that horizon they are looking for.
The campaign further urges followers to boycott the Pirates reboots, and… is this real? The petition certainly exists, but there’s literally no way to verify if all the signatures represent real people, whether they actually exist or are otherwise part of some behind-the-scenes shenanigans.
Meanwhile, Depp appears to be devoted to appealing the U.K. court decision, and he may still push forward with the U.S. defamation case he filed against Heard. Since the U.S. standard for defamation is even tougher to meet than the U.K. one — and based on how Heard never even named Depp in the op-ed that led to his U.S. lawsuit — that seems like an effort that might do Depp even more reputation harm than good.