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Former Disney exec says Johnny Depp WILL RETURN to “Pirates” franchise after victory verdict

A former Disney executive has spoken out following the Johnny Depp trial verdict, saying that he predicts Depp will return to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

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According to People, a former executive with Walt Disney Studios has come forward following Wednesday’s verdict reveal in the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard defamation trial, saying that he sees a return of Depp to one of his most iconic roles: that of Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

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Johnny Depp arrives at Pirates 4 set by Helicopter | Cultjer

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“There is just too much potential box-office treasure for a beloved character deeply embedded in the Disney culture,” said the former Walt Disney Studios executive in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, speaking about Johnny Depp‘s reprisal of his legendary role in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, following his victory against his ex-wife Amber Heard in his defamation suit.

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On Wednesday afternoon, the foreman for the jury in the Depp-Heard trial read aloud the verdict in what some have called “the trial of the century.”

Depp effectively won his defamation suit against Heard after six long weeks of testimony in a Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Virginia, proving to the jury that not only did Amber Heard defame Depp and damage his career and potential earnings, but also that she did so intentionally, “with malice.”

amber heard sad in courtroom

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The jury awarded Johnny Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Heard won a single claim in her countersuit, though it was based on statements made by Depp’s former attorney Adam Waldman. Heard was awarded $2 million in compulsatory damages and no punitive damages.

Though the jury in the Depp-Heard trial has spoken, the jury in the court of Hollywood approval is still out on whether, when, and how Depp’s career might make a comeback following the recent trial. But this former Disney executive firmly believes in a Depp-Captain Jack Sparrow comeback.

Pirates Of The Caribbean To Thrive Without Johnny Depp's Captain Jack  Sparrow - DKODING

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“With [producer] Jerry Bruckheimer riding high on the massive success of Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick, there is a huge appetite for bringing back bankable Hollywood stars in massively popular franchises,” the insider adds.

But another Hollywood insider whose resume includes work on the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise films told People that it is “not very likely” that Depp would be back in the sixth Pirates film. The insider dropped Margot Robbie‘s name, and Robbie has been eyed for a role in the franchise.

Jerry Bruckheimer provides update on Margot Robbie Pirates of the Caribbean  movie

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Jerry Bruckheimer, the producer of the Pirates franchise, recently told The Sunday Times that there are currently two Pirates scripts in development: one starring Margot Robbie and one without Robbie.

The insider also estimates that a sixth installment in the Pirates franchise likely won’t debut until 2025 and says “I would think they make Robbie [Captain Jack Sparrow‘s] daughter and likely have a cameo with him as a test.”

depp in trial

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From the stand, Johnny Depp testified about the parting of ways between himself and Walt Disney Studios. Depp said he had become “guilty until proven innocent.” He further testified that he wouldn’t work with Disney again, even if the Studios offered him a contract that included “$300 million and one million alpacas.” (Hence the constant talk about alpacas.)

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Yet another Hollywood insider is sure Depp “will work again,” saying that he feels that “someone will give him a chance.” The insider expounded on that, saying that Depp “is very likable and very talented; a studio will just have to gauge and see it worth the risk and value, but he also won public opinion. He gained a whole new fan base through this and, yes, he will be back.”

New Smurfs Spanish One Sheet Poster and Johnny Depp is Jack Sparrow In the  new Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Banner! | Mike The Fanboy

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In addition to losing his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Depp also lost his role in the Warner Bros. Fantastic Beasts franchise. For his role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Depp was replaced by Mads Mikkelsen.

The film premiered in April 2022 with the lowest box office numbers of any part of the Harry Potter franchise.

About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!