Chairman Dick Cook Departs from Disney... Johnny Depp Off ‘Pirates 4’?

The loss of the enigmatic chairman throws ‘Pirates of the Caribean 4’ into peril.
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Chairman Dick Cook Departs from Disney... Johnny Depp Off ‘Pirates 4’?

Dick Cook Resigns from Disney Enigmatic Walt Disney Studios Chairmen Dick Cook was fired from the company after thirty-eight years of service late Friday evening. The move has shaken things up in Hollywood, and could even see the dissolution of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, Johnny Depp, who credits Cook as being a major supporter of his Jack Sparrow creation on set when other producers weren't happy with what the actor was doing, explained, "(Cook) said, 'We're thinking about doing this Pirates of the Caribbean movie,' I said I was in. This was before there was a script or anything. He's instantly trustworthy. And you generally don't meet people at the studios you trust. When things went a little sideways on the first 'Pirates' movie and others at the studio were less than enthusiastic about my interpretation of the character, Dick was there from the first moment. He trusted me." Now, with Cook gone, Depp said about a Fourth film, "There's a fissure, a crack in my enthusiasm at the moment."

Here is the official statement from both Walt Disney Chairman Richard Cook and Walt Disney President and CEO Robert A. Iger:

STATEMENT FROM RICHARD W. COOK, CHAIRMAN, THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS

I am stepping down from my role as chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, effective immediately.

I have loved every minute of my 38 years that I have worked at Disney...from the beginning as a ride operator on Disneyland's steam train and monorail to my position as chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. To wrap up my Disney experience in a neatly bundled statement is close to impossible. But what I will say is, during my time at the Studio, we have achieved many industry and Company milestones. Our talent roster is simply the best in the business. I believe our slate of upcoming motion pictures is the best in our history. But most of all, I love the people, my colleagues, my teammates, who are the most talented, dedicated and loyal folks in the world. I know that I leave the Studio in their exceptional hands.

I have been contemplating this for some time now and feel it's the right time for me to move on to new adventures...and in the words of one of my baseball heroes, Yogi Berra, "If you come to a fork in the road, take it."


STATEMENT FROM ROBERT A. IGER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY

"Throughout his distinguished 38-year Disney career, Dick Cook's outstanding creative instincts and incomparable showmanship have truly enriched this company and significantly impacted Disney's great legacy," said Disney CEO Bob Iger. "We thank Dick for his tremendous passion for Disney, and his many accomplishments and contributions to The Walt Disney Studios, including a very promising upcoming film slate. On behalf of everyone at Disney, we wish him the best with all the future has to offer."

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was released May 20th, 2011.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, Deadline Hollywood Daily

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32 comments

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  • lankstun • 6 years ago

    No Depp, No Movie

    reply

    • slysnide • 6 years ago

      figures. sellout. f*ck the money, if you get fired i'd scream it to the media, as it'd just make Iger look bad, which he'd need to if he hadn't any faith in JD's performance as JS before POTC1 hit theaters. after all, cook's faith in the portrayal made them over 2 billion, 700 million dollars.

      reply

      • instead8909 • 6 years ago

        He was paid off, since some of the head brass didn't like his ideas.

        reply

        • slysnide • 6 years ago

          Wait a minute! Back up! Getting fired and stepping down are 2 TOTALLY different things, so what the hek's the deal here? It sounds like he was paidoff to sugarcoat his departure.

          reply

          • 21lostboy • 6 years ago

            Without Johnny Depp this movie will suck and it will be the last movie.

            reply

            • penguin-9026 • 6 years ago

              Who wants to bet that they recast or write off Depp's Sparrow and they also release it in 3D?

              reply

              • twilite-sea • 6 years ago

                No Depp, no POTC, and Disney gets no $$$ from me - nice job, Iger, CNN will do stories on you one day on how you SANK Disney, savvy? The market for "superhero" teenage boy films is getting saturated, and you've managed to alienate many in the film business as well.

                reply

                • instead8909 • 6 years ago

                  The fourth outing was to introduce Jack's brother as well.One of the main reasons to continue a franchise without Depp at the wheel, but at the moment we'll have to wait and see.

                  Depp is wounded at the shock at the moment, personally I would do the same thing if I were in his shoes. I'll give him a month or so to calm down, then see what happens next.

                  reply

                  • chad-vital • 6 years ago

                    If he's not on board though, there's literally no point.

                    reply

                    • chad-vital • 6 years ago

                      iatehisliver, that was a bad example lol. The difference being that everyone seems to love Jack Sparrow/Johnny Depp whereas not everyone likes Tobey Mcquire. This is truth.

                      reply

                      • donnie • 6 years ago

                        It won't be worth seeing without Depp !!

                        reply

                        • penguin-9026 • 6 years ago

                          The rumor going around is that he was fired for some reason involving the buying of Marvel.

                          reply

                          • diaigma • 6 years ago

                            icemayer's been spamming for over a week. WHY IS HE STILL HERE? :P

                            reply

                            • instead8909 • 6 years ago

                              Disney is a joke. They may have some good films but that's all. I thought the Lone Ranger wasn't part of Disney.

                              What Johnny should do is finish the fourth outing, and never do a Disney film ever again.

                              reply

                              • drewski37 • 6 years ago

                                another big disney mistake....i wonder if this is gonna effect the marvel entertainment buy out.....

                                reply

                                • indianajones • 6 years ago

                                  BULLSH*T.

                                  reply

                                  • cripple • 6 years ago

                                    Yeah, pirates without depp isn't worth seeing

                                    reply

                                    • diaigma • 6 years ago

                                      Whether he's fired or resigned, a smart man knows when things are about to go down. Good job, Cook. Your insight is deadly. :P

                                      reply

                                      • gaj1992 • 6 years ago

                                        NOOOOOOO.. come on.. i was so excited becuz of it.... D: i hope it will work out.. bacuz without depp.. pirates of the caribbean goes flat.

                                        reply

                                        • penguin-9026 • 6 years ago

                                          Nobody just resigns out of nowhere. The word going around is that Disney fired him. Depp is the only reason pirates was successful. Nobody cares about Bloom or Knightley which is why everyone is happy about the next installment. I respect the opinions about Depp's Sparrow going out with a bang but if Depp wants to get back he shouldnt do this film. Disney, in my opinion, doesnt have the balls to do this character with somebody else in the role. Depp should also drop out of the Lone Ranger. Thats the biggest up yours that Depp can do to get back at Disney.

                                          reply

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