The character of willy pirate Captain Jack Sparrow as played by Johnny Depp went from being a sidekick in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie to becoming the lead, and the face of the franchise with each successive installment. But as important as Depp as has been to the success of the series, a report by THR alleges that Disney is no longer interested in having Jack Sparrow appear in Pirates of the Caribbean 6, even for a cameo.
"[Producer Jerry] Bruckheimer, who has been one of Depp's biggest champions and once suggested the finger injury happened because "he got it caught in a car door," was hoping to at least bring the Captain Jack Sparrow character back briefly in the next outing - said to be a female-centric incarnation fronted by Margot Robbie. Disney balked."
It is hard to imagine a Pirates of the Caribbean movie without Jack Sparrow in the mix. Meanwhile, Robbie herself is playing coy regarding reports that she is next in line to headline a Pirates movie, commenting on a podcast regarding news of her casting, "Maybe. It's early days. I shan't say no more...for now," adding that "time will tell."
The big question now is, can the Pirates of the Caribbean series survive without Johnny Depp as Sparrow? In recent times, a section of fans have complained that new movies in the franchise have become too reliant on the character, to the detriment of the other characters and the plot. But the truth is, most audiences would be hard-pressed to name any significant character from the series other than Jack in the latest films.
If the franchise was to move forward without Sparrow, it would need a new character that is just as compelling, but not so similar that they would simply feel like Jack Sparrow 2.0. Interestingly, Margot Robbie could be the one to supply that character. Her hugely popular portrayal of Harley Quinn is just as zany and comedic as Sparrow, while still being a serious badass who can escape any dangerous situation using her cunning.
But while Disney appears ready to move on from the character of Jack Sparrow, fans are not so easily convinced. Multiple petitions have been published online, signed by more than a million fans, demanding that Depp be reinstated to his role as Sparrow. At a time when fan engagement is more important than ever, and Disney relies on brand loyalty to bolster their empire, can they really afford to anger so many fans by bringing in a replacement Sparrow?
The latest news about Disney turning down Jerry Bruckheimer's request for a cameo by Depp in the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie would also mean that Sparrow's absence might not be addressed at all in the film, or even worse, he might be killed off-screen and never mentioned again. That would be a sad end indeed to one of the greatest actor/character pairings that Hollywood has ever given us. This news comes from The Hollywood Reporter.