A petition to bring back Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean 6 is once again picking up new traction days after the actor was fired from another major movie franchise. Last week, Depp released a statement on social media announcing that he had been asked to resign from his role as Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3. The news came almost immediately after a U.K. court had ruled against Depp in his libel lawsuit against The Sun, a British newspaper, which had referred to Depp as a "wife-beater" in the publication.

The outcome of the legal battle brought about great controversy from Depp's fans, many of whom feel that the evidence suggests Depp was actually abused by Heard and not the other way around. A petition for Warner Bros. to reverse course and bring Johnny Depp back to the Fantastic Beasts series quickly emerged and is steadfastly approaching 170,000 signatures after a week's time. The news also brought a large surge in signatures to another petition calling for Warner Bros. to fire Heard from Aquaman 2, which has since garnered over 1,423,000 names as of this writing.

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In 2018, one of the first of these petitions arrived following the initial reports that Depp had been fired as Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean series. At the time, the legal drama between Depp and Heard had yet to unfold in the way it has since, and the petition description only mentions the actor's "personal issues" as one of the reasons for his dismissal. Now that Depp's fans have seen him lose another major role just last week, the Pirates of the Caribbean petition has reemerged with thousands of new signatures pushing its total count very close to 300,000 names.

Depp's odds of recapturing his Jack Sparrow role seem slightly better than the movement for Warner Bros. to bring him back as Grindelwald. The third Fantastic Beasts movie is already moving forward with production sans Depp with Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen in talks to take over the role. Although Fantastic Beasts 3 was officially delayed to July 2022 to accommodate for the recasting, there appears to be very little chance of the studio heads changing their minds after Depp had made his exit from the project public.

Meanwhile, the future of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is still uncertain, leaving room for Depp to potentially appear in a future movie. Earlier this year, there were reports that Karen Gillan was being eyed by Disney to star in a reboot of the franchise, leaving the status of Jack Sparrow unclear. It was later announced that Disney is developing a female-led spinoff movie with Margot Robbie attached to star. At the time, many Depp fans made it clear on social media that they wouldn't be watching the movie unless it featured an appearance from the famous fictional pirate. The current status of both of these projects is unknown.

If you want to check out the petition for Disney to bring back Depp as Jack Sparrow, you can find it on Change.org.

Jeremy Dick at Movieweb
Jeremy Dick