Jack Sparrow gone? Disney casts female-led Pirates of the Caribbean 6

The fate of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has been uncertain ever since Johnny Depp, who played the iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow, lost his libel case against a British tabloid in 2020. 

The actor, who was accused of domestic violence by his ex-wife Amber Heard, was dropped by Disney from the upcoming sixth installment of the blockbuster series. Fans have been wondering if the studio would ever revive the swashbuckling adventure, and if so, who would replace Depp as the lead character.

According to recent reports, Disney is still interested in continuing the Pirates of the Caribbean saga, but with a major twist. The studio is allegedly developing a female-led spinoff, starring Ayo Edebiri, the Emmy-winning actress and comedian who voiced Missy on the Netflix animated series Big Mouth. Edebiri would play Anne, a new pirate heroine who would lead a young crew in search of hidden treasure. The project is said to be separate from the previously announced reboot, which was supposed to feature Margot Robbie as the protagonist. However, that film was apparently shelved due to creative differences between Robbie and producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

Bruckheimer, who has been the driving force behind the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise since its inception in 2003, has expressed his desire to work with Depp again in the future. He told The Hollywood Reporter in December 2022 that he was still in touch with the actor and that he hoped to collaborate with him on another project. However, he also confirmed that he was working on two different scripts for the sixth Pirates of the Caribbean film, one with a female lead and one with a younger cast. He did not reveal any details about the plot or the cast of either film, but he said that both were “alive” and “in development.”

The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, which is based on the Disney theme park attraction of the same name, has been one of the most successful and profitable in Hollywood history. The five films, which spanned from 2003 to 2017, have grossed over $4.5 billion worldwide and have earned critical acclaim for their action, humor, and visual effects. Depp’s performance as Jack Sparrow, the eccentric and charismatic pirate captain, has been widely praised and has earned him several award nominations, including an Oscar. His character has become a cultural phenomenon and a fan favorite, making him the face of the franchise.

However, Depp’s career and reputation have suffered a major blow after his legal battle with Heard, who accused him of physically and verbally abusing her during their marriage. Depp denied the allegations and sued The Sun, a British tabloid, for calling him a “wife beater” in an article. He lost the case in November 2020, when the judge ruled that the newspaper’s claim was “substantially true.” Depp appealed the verdict, but it was rejected by the Court of Appeal in March 2021. As a result of the scandal, Depp was asked to resign from his role as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, another property owned by Warner Bros. He was also dropped by Disney from the Pirates of the Caribbean series, despite having a contract for the sixth film.

Depp’s fans have been vocal in their support for the actor and their outrage at Disney’s decision. They have launched several online petitions, demanding that the studio rehire Depp and boycott the Pirates of the Caribbean films without him. They have also expressed their skepticism and displeasure at the idea of a female-led spinoff, arguing that it would be a betrayal of Depp’s legacy and a failure at the box office. Some have even suggested that Depp should reprise his role as Jack Sparrow in a Netflix series or a fan-made film.

Depp, meanwhile, has not given up on his acting career. He has won his defamation case against Heard in the US in 2022, clearing his name and restoring his public image. He has also returned to the big screen with two new films, Jeanne du Barry, a biopic of the French courtesan and revolutionary, and Modi, a political drama about the Indian prime minister, which he also directed. He has also hinted at his interest in returning to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, saying that he would do it for $300 million and a million alpacas.

Disney, on the other hand, has not made any official announcement about the future of the Pirates of the Caribbean series. It is unclear if the studio will proceed with the female-led spinoff, the younger cast reboot, or both. It is also unknown if the studio will ever reconsider bringing back Depp as Jack Sparrow, or if the actor would be willing to do so. What is certain, however, is that the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is facing a crossroads, and that the fans are eagerly waiting for the next chapter of the epic adventure. Whether it will be a success or a flop, only time will tell. But one thing is for sure: there is something stirring in the deep, and it is not the kraken.

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