Terry Rossio, the screenwriter who co-wrote the story for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, published a lengthy piece on his personal blog, in which he revealed, among other things, why Johnny Depp rejected an early draft of the upcoming fantasy adventure movie.
Depp, 53, supposedly declined Rossio’s early version of the script for the fifth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, because it featured a female villain. Rossio further claimed that “Johnny Depp was worried that would be redundant to Dark Shadows, which also featured a female villain.”
Dark Shadows was, of course, directed by Tim Burton, who is known to be a frequent collaborator of Johnny Depp. The 2012 horror comedy film received mixed reviews from critics and was far from a financial success at the box office. It also featured Eva Green as Angelique Bouchard, the primary antagonist of the movie.
While Rossio only presented his side of the story, it still seems utterly ridiculous that Depp would reject a script for its inclusion of a female antagonist, especially considering that the previous villains in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise were all male. Rossio, however, acknowledged the possibility that his early draft for Dead Men Tell No Tales, along with all of his other canceled scripts, may have just been bad.
“Of course there is the possibility that all those screenplays simply sucked. But usually when I go back to read a screenplay that wasn’t produced, it holds up, often better than the film that was eventually produced.”
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales hits the big screen on May 26, so it remains to be seen whether a female villain could’ve brought some freshness to the film series. Nonetheless, Rossio seemed less than thrilled about Depp’s rejection of his script.
“Sometimes it just takes a single decision by a single person, often just a whim, to destroy years of story creation and world building.”
The Academy Award-winning actor Javier Bardem plays Armando Salazar, the primary antagonist in Dead Men Tell No Tales. The trailers for the movie revealed that Armando Salazar was a fanatical pirate hunter, who was eventually killed during an encounter with a young Jack Sparrow, played by Depp. Salazar, however, turns into an undead and seeks revenge on the eccentric pirate captain.
Bardem has previously shown that he can play a convincing bad guy. The Spaniard received an Oscar for his portrayal of the psychopathic hitman, Anton Chigurh, in No Country for Old Men and his role as a Bond villain in Skyfall was also well received by critics and moviegoers.
Regardless, the character of Armando Salazar seems pretty similar to previous villains in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. Both Captain Hector Barbossa and Davy Jones, played by Geoffrey Rush and Bill Nighy respectively, were also cursed beings that were strongly linked to the supernatural.
Still, initial reactions for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which was first screened to audiences at CinemaCon in Las Vegas back in March, have been mostly positive, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Perhaps, Depp was right to reject Rossio’s early draft, but that remains to be seen when the film is officially released.
Depp’s reputation, however, will surely not benefit from Rossio’s blog entry. The 53-year-old actor has made himself somewhat of a bad name in recent times, especially after his split from Amber Heard, whom he allegedly assaulted. Both his personal and professional life have been the subject of much scrutiny, and the crew, which worked on Dead Men Tell No Tales, has reportedly criticized Depp’s on-set behavior, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Regardless of Depp’s off-screen antics, fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies will be hoping that the 5th installment in the franchise will offer plenty of action and entertainment.
[Featured Image by Rich Fury/Getty Images]