In case this wasn’t incredibly obvious, we now have official confirmation: Johnny Depp has officially gotten the boot from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and won’t appear in the ‘rebooted’ film.
We reported back in October about some whisperings and implications which suggested Jack Sparrow wouldn’t be appearing in the new film, but Disney film production chief Sean Bailey completely confirmed it in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter this week.
When asked whether the franchise could survive without Depp, Bailey was pretty blunt:
We want to bring in a new energy and vitality. I love the [Pirates] movies, but part of the reason Paul and Rhett are so interesting is that we want to give it a kick in the pants. And that’s what I’ve tasked them with.
The Paul and Rhett refered to here are Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the screenwriters behind Deadpool. Probably not a bad pair to tap if you’re looking to inject some fun back into a franchise. There’s really not much out there about what the completely reworked series will look like, or why it even needed a reboot in the first place.
This isn’t shocking news. Apart from the fact that Depp has played Sparrow in five movies over the past fifteen years, which is one thing, there’s also the fact that he’s been mired in controversy for a number of things including allegations of domestic abuse from his former partner Amber Heard. He also faced a lawsuit for allegedly punching a crew member back in July.
Allow me to propose an alternative: cast Werner Herzog as the new lead. Now.