A teaser trailer for Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean 6 has been released, and the inclusion of Captain Jack Sparrow has some fans’ hearts skipping a beat.
When Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales hit the box office in 2017, it was one of the most highly-anticipated films on earth. The four Pirates films before it earned more than $3.7 billion worldwide as the fan following of the swashbuckling franchise that began in 2003 continued to grow exponentially. Pirates 5 was sure to deliver financially–and wow fans yet again. Shortly after the release, it was clear that fans had still not grown weary of the adventures and misadventures of Captain Jack Sparrow and his scurvy band of freebooters.
“Pirates 5” Was Never the End of the Saga
Two months before the release of Dead Men Tell No Tales, director Joachim Rønning told fans that the upcoming fifth Pirates installment was just the beginning of the final adventure for Captain Jack Sparrow and his misfit crew–not the end of the line in any way.
Six months later, producer Jerry Bruckheimer confirmed that yet another Pirates film was in development–the sixth installment in the franchise. Following Bruckheimer’s announcement, Disney confirmed that Craig Mazin and Ted Elliott would write the screenplay for the sixth Pirates of the Caribbean film, and in May 2020, Bruckheimer gave another update, saying that the first draft of the screenplay for the sixth film was nearly finished.
Though filming had yet to begin, Pirates 6 had a green light and it was all systems go toward yet another installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise . . . until it wasn’t.
Disney Jumps the Gun
On April 11, 2022, Johnny Depp began the first of many days inside a Fairfax County, Virginia, courtroom as the defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard began. For six weeks, the very public trial played out in front of millions of viewers–complete with graphic details and images. When all was said and done, the jury rendered its verdict in favor of Johnny Depp, stating that Depp had proven each of the three allegations he brought against Ms. Heard on June 1, 2022.
But long before the trial ever began, Disney rendered its verdict against Johnny Depp, choosing to sever ties with the long-time Disney actor solely based on lies, manipulation, and allegations from Amber Heard. It was an embarrassing misstep on Disney’s part–especially for a company that claims to employ the hallmarks of inclusion and fairness in its operations. Disney’s small-minded and egregious judgment of Depp left the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise up in the air.
“Pirates 6”: No or Go?
In the weeks and months following the verdict in the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard defamation trial, fans became bolder in their demands that Disney move forward with Pirates 6, but not without Johnny Depp on tap to play the franchise’s main character–one that Depp created himself–Captain Jack Sparrow.
Speaking with The New York Times, Disney Studios Motion Picture Production president Sean Bailey teased the continued development of Pirates of the Caribbean 6 in June, saying, “We think we have a really good, exciting story that honors the films that have come before but also has something new to say.” When asked whether Johnny Depp would be part of the newest installment, Bailey simply said that the studio was “noncommittal at this point,” leaving fans to wonder whether the lack of commitment was on Disney’s side or Johnny Depp’s side.
Depp’s One Condition and a Teaser Trailer
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Johnny Depp may be the one who’s been on the side of noncommittal, understandably. An online news article revealed that Depp has just one condition on which he will return to the franchise, and it has nothing to do with financial compensation.
But a new teaser trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean 6 has given some fans a renewed hope that the sixth film is truly in the works–and that Johnny Depp will be in it, reprising his role as the quick-witted, often-inebriated Captain Jack Sparrow.
The trailer is a piece of fan fiction that imagines what the franchise might look like if Pirates 4 and Pirates 5 were reset. What would the sixth installment in the franchise look like if the fourth and fifth films had been different? The trailer revisits moments from every film in the franchise and is chock-full of clips of Johnny Depp embracing the character of Captain Jack Sparrow.
For fans of the franchise, the trailer only reinforces that which is already known: a Pirates film without Johnny Depp as Captain Jack is worthless–and the worst possible decision Disney could make.