A fan petition on Change.org calling for Disney to bring back Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow has surpassed its initial goal of 500,000 signatures and a new goal has been set to reach a million. After playing the iconic role across five movies between 2003 and 2017, it was reported in 2018 that Depp had been dropped from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The news followed domestic violence allegations that had been leveled against the actor by his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
Johnny Depp has since filed a lawsuit against Heard directly, arguing that he was in fact the real victim of domestic abuse. He also sued the UK tabloid The Sun for calling him a "wife beater" in an article about the case. To support his claims, Depp's legal team would release audio of Heard allegedly admitting to being violent toward the actor. While Depp's suit against Heard will be heard later this year, a judge ruled against the former Jack Sparrow in the UK case, though Depp is in the process of appealing.
Considering the audio evidence that many fans feel proves Depp's innocence, fans have since launched a #JusticeForJohnnyDepp campaign on social media. Part of the initiative was to create a Change.org petition asking for Disney to reverse their decision by bringing back Depp, similar to what the company had done with James Gunn. After recently shooting past half a million names, the petition reached its initial goal and is still on the fast track to reach the full million.
"He has been playing this role since 2003 when we first saw him arriving at the Port Royal in his boat with that epic background music playing," the petition description reads. "But can you imagine no Jack Sparrow at all? No epic entry scores, no humorous dialogues and the guy with the most good and bad luck at the same time? Don't they know that without Johnny Depp or Jack Sparrow they will sink, they will never be able to reach that horizon."
This is not the only popular petition out there that's been launched as a part of the #JusticeForJohnnyDepp campaign. Another petition on Change.org demands Warner Bros. remove Heard from her lucrative role in Aquaman 2, a move that many are arguing is fair after Depp lost at least two major franchise roles due to his legal troubles with Heard. With over 1,827,000 signatures as of this writing, this petition has now reached nearly two million names with an overall goal of three million.
Along with losing his Captain Jack Sparrow role, Depp announced after losing his court case in the UK that Warner Bros. asked him to step down from playing Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3. Another petition has been launched asking for Warner Bros. to rehire Depp for the sequel, but as Mads Mikkelsen has already signed on to replace him, this endeavor seems much less likely. Even so, nearly 260,000 people have signed it.
There's no indication at this time that Disney will bring back Captain Jack Sparrow in the next Pirates of the Carribean movie because of the petition, but for Depp fans wanting to see it happen, adding your name doesn't hurt. You can check out the petition at Change.org.