Johnny Depp Turns Down Major Role, Chooses Disney Instead

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Credit: Disney/ Canva

Even now, despite public perception, Johnny Depp remains in high demand if the price is right.


Most of us are familiar with Johnny Depp, a well-known face in Hollywood. He rose to fame among Disney fans as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean and has played several award-winning roles prior to and since his days as the dashing pirate lead. Depp’s onscreen portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow is one of the most remarkable personas ever created, immediately resonating with fans upon the first film’s 2003 debut. As Depp sailed into port, standing upon the mast of a sinking ship, we were all hooked!

Despite being best known for his work as Captain Jack, Depp has also starred in numerous other films. His acting talent and ability to leave a lasting impression on viewers have made him a household name in Hollywood. Depp has a unique ability to make even his most evil characters likable, which was why Jack Sparrow was such a successful character for Disney. Outside of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Depp’s career spans from his debut role as Glenn Lantz in Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) to his most recent appearance in Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald (2018), cementing his status as a legendary actor with unparalleled talent.

Johnny Depp Jack Sparrow

Credit: Disney

Johnny Depp is no stranger to Hollywood hardware, having received numerous accolades for his portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow. He has been nominated for best actor and best actor in a leading role, winning in 2004. Depp has also received similar nominations for his roles in other films such as Finding Neverland (2005), Edward Scissorhands (1991), and Alice in Wonderland (2011). While he has collaborated with various renowned filmmakers, it is his partnership with director Tim Burton that has contributed significantly to his success.

Although Depp had previously won “best actor” for his role in Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl; he would also win “best actor in a musical or comedy” for his portrayal of Sweeney Todd in Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007). In combination with Burton, Johnny Depp would go to win other awards such as “favorite movie actor” for his performance in Dark Shadows (2013) and as Willie Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2006).

Johnny Depp pIrates of the caribbean

Credit: Disney

Johnny Depp has won numerous awards, including a Golden Globe. However, there is a role that he may regret turning down. According to Inside the Magic, a recent report revealed that James Cameron offered Depp the male lead in the 1997 hit movie Titanic, but he declined. The film, famously portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, grossed $1.8 billion, and Depp’s inclusion may have increased its earnings even further. However, the CBR report states that Depp had already committed to Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer to begin filming the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, so he turned down the role. 

It’s interesting to note that even though Leonardo DiCaprio gave a great performance in Titanic, he didn’t receive any recognition for it. Surprisingly, his co-star Kate Winslet ended up winning both “best actress” and “best supporting actress.” However, DiCaprio’s talent eventually earned him an Oscar in 2016 for his role in The Revenant. Before Titanic, DiCaprio had worked with Johnny Depp in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) where he played Depp’s younger brother. It’s worth mentioning that Depp also worked with Winslet a few years later in Finding Neverland (2005).

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Credit: Disney

Naturally, we have to ask ourselves what could have happened if Johnny Depp had accepted the role of Jack Dawson in Titanic many years ago. Considering that he was a big name in Hollywood at the time, it’s likely that the already successful film would have made even more money. However, it’s also possible that Depp wouldn’t have played the role of Jack Sparrow, which would have left us without our beloved captain. Perhaps Leonardo DiCaprio would have taken on the iconic seafarer role instead, but that’s hard to imagine. Regardless, it would have been a treat to see Depp’s portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow on that sinking ship.




About Michael Arnold

Michael is a father, husband, and an Army Veteran. Michael spends his weekends at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando checking out new merchandise and food. Michael is a graduate of the University of Alabama and has an education background in Public Health. You can find Michael riding Pirates of the Caribbean over and over again or binge watching new Marvel and Star Wars content. Han shot first. Thor is the strongest Avenger. Roll Tide and Wash Your Hands!