After the news broke last week that Margot Robbie will produce and star in an upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean project, many longtime fans of the franchise are calling for Johnny Depp to still play Captain Jack Sparrow. Word is that this new movie with Robbie is unrelated to the previously-announced female-led sequel that would officially serve as Pirates of the Caribbean 6, suggesting at least two new installments set in the Pirates universe are now in the works. In any case, some fans are demanding Depp return as Captain Jack in one or both of these projects, feeling he was unfairly fired from the franchise by Disney.
"It's simple...if the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie has no Captain Jack Sparrow, no Johnny Depp, I'm not watching it," one fan tweet writes, garnering thousands of likes and retweets with plenty of similar responses. Another popular post on twitter from character actor Vincent Marcus also sums it up pretty well, praising Robbie's new project while still calling for Depp to be given his old job back. "Very happy for Margot Robbie on landing the Pirates of the Caribbean movie! She's gonna kill it!" Marcus writes. "But can we agree that Johnny Depp should still play Jack Sparrow because his lying ass ex wife fabricated stories about being abused and almost ruined his life? Savvy?"
If you're unfamiliar with the controversy involving Johnny Depp and Pirates of the Caribbean, the story dates back to 2018 when his ex-wife Amber Heard wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post in which she alleges domestic abuse at the hands of an ex. Although Depp isn't named in the article, the actor says he was fired by Disney following its publication, leading to Depp filing a defamation lawsuit against Heard to the tune of $50 million. In addition to allegedly fabricating stories about him, Depp also claims in the lawsuit that Heard was in fact the abuser, alleging Heard had physically attacked him on multiple occasions and had even severed a portion of his finger.
Although the allegations against Depp had many people condemning the actor online, new evidence has since been made public that seems to corroborate Depp's version of events. Audio recordings of conversations between Depp and Heard reveal Heard allegedly admitting to "hitting" Depp, in addition to taunting the veteran actor and allegedly telling him how nobody would ever believe him if he had claimed abuse. The allegations have not been proven in a court of law, but the recordings did lead to petitions for Depp to get his Jack Sparrow role back and for Heard to be fired from the upcoming DC sequel Aquaman 2.
There have been rumors of the sixth Pirates movie eyeing Karen Gillan, Daisy Ridley, and Emma Watson for the female lead role, which is separate from what Margot Robbie is doing. Similarly, there have been unverified reports that Disney was considering bringing Depp back into the franchise after all, but that has not been confirmed. If reports are true, Pirates of the Caribbean 6 would serve as a "soft reboot" of the franchise, meaning it would still be set in the same universe while primarily following new characters. The door is clearly open for Depp to return in some capacity, even if it's limited to just a special appearance as Jack Sparrow, but time will tell if this ends up happening. You can look at some of the tweets calling for Depp to return to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise below.