Arguably, the world’s most notable actor, Johnny Depp, and his return to film as Louis XV in 2023’s Jeanne Du Barry, as well as his recent appearance at the Cannes Film Festival, has placed one of Disney’s greatest faces back into the limelight.
Mr. Depp’s career rounds out nicely with multiple Academy-Award Winning performances; however, the most notable is that of the nautical captain of the Black Pearl, Jack Sparrow. The Pirates of the Caribbean actor is gaining momentum again in Hollywood following his explosion as Jack Sparrow in the 2003 blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, which saw Depp return to Disney for four sequels to the franchise.
Of late, despite his performance as Louis XV and a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival, Depp has also done some work behind the camera, reuniting with fellow Hollywood great Al Pacino in Budapest for his directorial return in the film Modì. Not only will Depp welcome back old Donnie Brosco (1997) co-star Al Pacino, but he will also be working with Pirates of the Caribbean co-star Stephen Graham.
Fans Impatiently Await Word from Johnny Depp on a Return to Disney
The majority of media coverage concerning Johnny Depp of late has to do with his potential return to Disney as Jack Sparrow. The popular character helped elevate Mr. Depp to his current status as a Hollywood Superstar. However, although plans for the sixth Pirates of the Caribbean film were in the works between the 21 Jump Street (1987) actor, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and Disney, talks of a new Pirates film fell through when Amber Heard released a detailed story to the Washington Post alleging severe abuse against Depp.
Without evidence, both Disney and Warner Bros. released Johnny Depp from contracts associated with the Fantastic Beasts and Pirates of the Caribbean series. Of course, Mr. Depp would go on to be proven innocent during a popularized defamation case he filed against Amber Heard; however, little to no word has been given about his potential return to bring Pirates back to theatres.
Fans of Depp issued their support for the What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) actor in full force as he and his defense attorney, Camille Vasquez, battled it out in a courtroom adjacent to Amber Heard. However, it wasn’t only Pirates of the Caribbean fans that sat in Depp’s corner. Friends and fellow professionals like Tim Burton and Jason Momoa were all very vocal regarding their feelings towards the Hollywood Vampires guitarist and the considerable charges brought against him by Amber Heard.
Although Depp would go on to be shown as relatively innocent in relation to abuse allegations by Amber Heard, his relationship with Disney remains strained. Some close to Johnny Depp, such as Tim Burton and Jerry Bruckheimer, feel that he could take up the flag as Jack Sparrow again despite his scorn towards Disney, assuming a suitable script becomes available. However, fans are stuck waiting in hopes that Johnny Depp will return once again.
Music, Festivals, and A Lot of Talking Co-Stars
Since his defamation case, Johnny Depp has been somewhat reclusive. Following a tour with mega-group the Hollywood Vampires, Depp has spent some time tucked away at his Bahamian home and working on low-key projects like Jeanne Du Barry.
As well, Depp’s name has been a topic of conversation by previous co-stars, especially those who spent time with the Sweeney Todd (2007) actor on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean. Although some talk revolved around Depp’s public perception after his defamation trial with Amber Heard and the following Netflix docuseries Depp V Heard, most, like Zoe Saldana and Jerry Bruckheimer, noted interesting points about working with Depp or on the set of the Pirates franchise.
Despite talks of a potential sequel alongside Tim Burton for The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), detailed dental issues caused by Depp’s method acting prowess, and even canceled shows due to rumors of Depp being passed out in hotel rooms, few have given up hope that the Mad Hatter will step away entirely from the Pirates of the Caribbean series. Although America has been fascinated with the victory of Johnny Depp and Camille Vasquez in Depp V Heard, the question on everyone’s mind, including close friends and co-stars, is if the Willy Wonka star will return to the helm of Pirates.
Another Hollywood Star Takes a Shot at Johnny Depp
Depp worked with some big names on Pirates of the Caribbean. Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Ian McShane, Geoffrey Rush, Keith Richards, Bill Nighy, Penélope Cruz, and Javier Bardem all found themselves setting sale in the supernatural seafaring adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow. However, the role of Governor Swan, eventually won by Jonathan Pryce, almost went to someone completely different, and if it weren’t for Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean could look a lot different.
Brian Cox, the Scottish actor known for roles in Braveheart (1995) and Troy (2004), wanted the role of Governor Swann initially. However, in a recent interview with the Guardian, Cox explained that the Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) actor had much to do with his decision to walk away from Pirates of the Caribbean.
Cox, who doesn’t shy away from his boisterous opinions, didn’t hold back when talking about Johnny Depp and Pirates, citing the franchise as a “money spinner” with a “thankless role” due to Johnny Depp’s involvement in the original 2003 project.
“It would have been a moneyspinner but, of all the parts in the film, it was the most thankless. And Depp, personable though I’m sure he is, is so overblown – I mean Edward Scissorhands! Let’s face it, if you come on with hands like that and pale, scarred-face makeup, you don’t have to do anything. And he didn’t.” Cox told the Guardian regarding walking away from Pirates of the Caribbean.
Despite a film career dotted with awards for Best Actor, it seems Brian Cox isn’t as impressed with Johnny Depp as the rest of the world. In fact, it sounds as if he believes most of Depp’s talent comes from standing around and not doing anything on screen, as he claimed was Mr. Depp’s involvement in Edward Scissorhands (1990).
Obviously, Cox’s opinion isn’t a popular one, and as Depp stands as one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood, and most readers here probably will have to Google who Brian Cox is, I’d say Depp won out despite the unpopular thoughts regarding some of his work.
Depp is the Future of “Pirates,” Despite What Cox Thinks
Despite what Brian Cox, or anyone else, thinks, in terms of Pirates of the Caribbean, there is zero chance of life for the franchise moving forward without Johnny Depp. Although there has been plenty of talk regarding reboots of the franchise with names such as Margot Robbie, Depp is the saving grace for Disney’s box office hopes down the line, assuming they can make amends for their brash firing of the actor due to the Amber Heard allegations.
At this point, Depp seems to have moved on from the idea of continuing with Pirates, and time is wearing thin on a chance for him to come back. As Depp’s illustrious career continues to mature, he no longer needs Disney for success. To be honest, even without Jack Sparrow, the Finding Neverland (2004) actor was on a crash course with destiny, one that would end with Depp being one of the many faces we hold in highest esteem from the silver screen.