After five movies in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, interest in the story seems to be dropping significantly. This, coupled with the waning popularity of lead actor Johnny Depp, who has played pirate Captain Jack Sparrow in all five films, has led Disney to make a surprising decision.
Instead of discontinuing the series, the company has decided they’re going to keeping making movies in the franchise, but without Depp. As reported by Comic Book, this move has been rumored for months now, but there has been no announcement from Disney confirming it.
That is, until now. Disney’s film production chief, Sean Bailey, spoke up this week to confirm that the entire series will be getting a reboot, with “a new face and new direction.” Bailey is involved in all of Disney’s upcoming live-action film remakes, and is definitely going to be part of the new Pirates of the Caribbean remake.
While he was confirming the upcoming reboot of the franchise, he also confirmed two of the writers who are on board with the project as well: Deadpool scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Bailey is also confident that Pirates of the Caribbean can thrive, even without Depp at the helm.
“We want to bring in a new energy and vitality,” Bailey said. “I love the [Pirates] movies, but part of the reason Paul and Rhett are so interesting is that we want to give it a kick in the pants. And that’s what I’ve tasked them with.”
Although Bailey is giving away no secrets about the plot of the new film, early rumors suggested that the movie would center around a female lead this time around. Many believe this lead could be Redd, a new pirate in the Disney Parks rides.
In October this year, Stuart Beattie, who wrote the previous films in the franchise, confirmed that it was unlikely Depp would be returning for any more movies.
“I think he’s had a great run. Obviously, he’s made that character his own and it’s become the character he’s most famous for now,” Beattie said. “And kids all over the world love him as that character so I think it’s been great for him, it’s been great for us, so I’m just very, very happy about it.”
He also added that whatever projects Depp takes on next, he will always carry the legend of Jack Sparrow with him, having brought the character to life across the original films.
“I think Jack Sparrow will be his legacy. It’s the only character he’s played five times, it’s the character he dresses up in to visit children in hospitals, it’s what he’ll be remembered for.”