The future of Pirates of the Caribbean 6 is entirely up in the air, but the recent success of one of Disney’s newest stars could help the billion-dollar franchise cast off once more.
There’s much to do regarding Johnny Depp reprising his keystone role of Captain Jack Sparrow for one of Disney’s most profitable film franchises. In 2003, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl set sail in theatres, garnering massive support from fans almost immediately. Men and women alike fell deeply in love with Depp’s perfect portrayal of Sparrow, who, despite seeing too many days in direct sunlight, always had a master plan to get himself out of trouble.
The cast additions of Orlando Bloom (Will Turner), Keira Knightley (Elizabeth Swann), and Geoffrey Rush (Captain Barbossa) were A-plus hires that aided Depp in creating a fantastic sea-worthy adventure that would equate to several successful sequels.
Immediate Success Leads to Four Sequels for ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’
Fans couldn’t get enough of Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow. He almost instantly became synonymous with how we see pirates, ultimately forcing Disney to include the role in its ever-popular Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
What Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer were able to do with the original Pirates film would demand sequel after sequel, ultimately earning the franchise $4.5 billion at box offices globally. Somehow, Johnny Depp’s quirky portrayal remained fresh despite its similarities to other roles like the Mad Hatter, even as the franchise would see a fifth installment in 2017 entitled Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Will There Ever Be a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 6?’
There are some mild spoilers ahead, so be warned before reading on. However, Disney fans have been clamoring for a sixth Pirates film since the 2017 release of Captain Jack Sparrow’s last adventure. Despite the last two additions to the franchise telling completely different stories surrounding Edward Teach (Ian McShane) and Captain Armando Salazar (Javier Bardem), fans still want a sixth. However, recent issues surrounding Johnny Depp have destroyed the certainty of a new film.
The well-documented legal issues surrounding Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard ultimately led to the firing of Depp by Disney as Captain Jack Sparrow. As Disney is currently in the middle of a creative crisis, facing backlash from fans for the casting of Rachel Zegler in their new live-action remake of Snow White and Seven Dwarfs, many have given up hope that they’ll move forward with a project that fans actually want to see, meaning Pirates 6 is dead in the water.
Still, within uncertainty lays the opportunity for gossip, and Pirates 6 has seen its fair share. As Pirates 5 left the door wide open for the returns of Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, and Bill Nighy as Davy Jones, much has been speculated about how Disney will approach its subsequent sequel.
The most popular of these rumors suggest Margot Robbie taking over the lead for Pirates of the Caribbean 6. Although writers Craig Mazin and Ted Elliot have suggested that the potential script for Pirates 6 is “too weird,” if you’ve seen Barbie, Margot Robbie would fit right in.
What’s the Approach for Pirates of the Caribbean 6?
Although rumors surrounding Dwayne Johnson, the return of Johnny Depp, Margot Robbie, and many more have circled the internet as Captain Jack Sparrow fans desperately wait for any shred of information that may mean the inevitable return of their beloved franchise, others have considered that Disney may take a different approach to Pirates 6.
Despite suggestions by those close to Depp suggesting his relationship with Disney has been somewhat mended, it isn’t likely that the famed actor will return to the franchise. Even if Disney wanted him back, given a string of negative news stories surrounding Depp, his return is unlikely. This leaves the franchise in jeopardy of a reboot without Jack Sparrow, at least without the Jack Sparrow we all know.
If you remember the last film, you’ll recall that Disney used face-mapping technology to display a young Jack prior to becoming captain of the Black Pearl. This could be an approach Disney chooses to take down the road, or they could tell a different Pirates of the Caribbean story without Jack Sparrow included. This is where the idea of Margot Robbie playing Redd the Pirate comes into play.
Disney may also choose not to make a sixth film at all, leaving fans with the hope that, like many of their successful Marvel and Star Wars properties, Disney will create a series of programming suitable for their Disney+ streaming service. If Walt Disney Pictures were to pass on a sixth Pirates movie, writers and producers could expand the universe of swashbuckling, supernatural adventure on the high seas.
A New Captain Could Emerge
Before we get into this, let’s be clear: this is highly speculative. There is zero evidence to suggest that this will happen; it’s solely one writer’s opinion. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, one character within the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise doesn’t get enough love or appreciation.
Akin to Davy Jones in both Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End, Tom Hollander gave a brilliant performance as Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company. Many will recall a deleted scene from the second film, which included Depp and Hollander’s characters discussing their dark history, suggesting Beckett had been somewhat involved in the slave trade.
Disney has hinted at this aspect of the story but has not gone into much detail as the topic matters are incredibly sensitive. However, as the company now stands on the podium of human rights and acts as a leading voice in various movements worldwide, why not revisit that storyline? Sure, it would be a tough pill to swallow for many, but regrettably, it’s a part of that time’s history and a story that shouldn’t be buried away in bonus materials.
If matters change surrounding the return of Johnny Depp to Jack Sparrow, Disney could easily incorporate the famous character back into the story as Beckett and Captain Jack have a long history. However, as with the last two Pirates films, for this to work, there would need to be a secondary hero of the film. Someone much like Sparrow, but also different in their own way, and we know just the person!
LaKeith Stanfield Would Work Well in Future ‘Pirate’ Movies
You probably weren’t expecting that name, as up until Disney released their new take on Haunted Mansion, Stanfield has been relatively unknown. Still, the 32-year-old actor boasts an impressive resume, including a stint on the comedy-drama series Atlanta with Donald Glover (Community), Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2), and Brain Tyree Henry (The Eternals).
However, Lakeith Stanfield’s performance in Haunted Mansion, along with Rosario Dawson, Jared Letto, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, and Tiffany Haddish, was excellent, despite what some have suggested about the film. Also, the Straight Out of Compton actor’s style is very reminiscent of the famous Jack Sparrow character that we all know and love, meaning Stanfield could be considered a character replacement for Captain Jack Sparrow.
Now, let’s be clear: we aren’t suggesting that Stanfield take over as Jack Sparrow. Replacing Johnny Depp is a feat that should never be attempted, as it would ultimately fail. Fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise would undoubtedly lose their minds if Disney attempted to replace Depp. However, LaKeith Stanfield’s similar mannerisms and unique look, especially in Haunted Mansion, would fit well within the Pirates universe, but as a complimentary character or new lead if Depp were not to return in the future.
A backstory on Cutler Beckett’s involvement with the East India Trading Company would work very well as a Disney+ series, sufficing the Pirates of the Caribbean fanbase as we wait to hear an official word of Depp’s return as Captain Jack Sparrow. A new story featuring old favorites like Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, or even Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) and Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites), would work as well with the inclusion of the similar talent of LaKeith Stanfield as the lead.
The truth is that Disney, if they want to continue Pirates of the Caribbean 6, will have to find a perfect fit without Johnny Depp for any new project to work. Despite the story or approach to streaming versus film production, Stanfield could be the variable that allows them to set sail once again.