It’s hard to imagine a Pirates of the Caribbean movie without Johnny Depp — actually, it’s impossible; he’s been in all five films of the franchise, including The Curse of the Black Pearl, which earned him an Oscar nomination, and On Stranger Tides, reportedly the most expensive movie ever made. But following the lackluster response to Dead Men Tell No Tales, one of the most “wait, that came out last year?” blockbusters in recent memory, Disney is going in a different direction for the next Pirates movie, a Johnny Depp-less direction.
Pirates of the Caribbean is getting a reboot from Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and as Disney’s chief of film production Sean Bailey revealed in a recent interview, the film won’t star Depp. “We want to bring in a new energy and vitality,” he explained to The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
Disney’s decision likely came down to two factors: revitalizing a tired franchise, and distancing itself from Depp, who’s been accused of domestic violence by his then-wife Amber Heard. “I write this as a woman who had to change my phone number weekly because I was getting death threats. For months, I rarely left my apartment, and when I did, I was pursued by camera drones and photographers on foot, on motorcycles and in cars,” the Aquaman actress wrote in an editorial about the backlash she faced after speaking out against domestic abuse. “I felt as though I was on trial in the court of public opinion — and my life and livelihood depended on myriad judgments far beyond my control.”
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)