If the price is right?
Johnny Depp testified that he’d NEVER return to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise after he was scrubbed from a sixth film when Amber Heard’s defamatory op-ed was published in 2018. But is a return on the horizon?? Well, a new source opened up to Poptopic earlier this month, and it sounds like Disney is really begging on their hands and knees to get the star back!
According to the insider, the 59-year-old is actually in talks with the Mouse House to appear in another Pirates movie and possibly his own spin-off series! Damn! That’s a BIG 180! The only reason Johnny might be entertaining this idea (despite his diehard fans who would LOVE to see him cruising on the Black Pearl again) is that he’s in talks to earn a “$300 million deal.” Uh, yeah, he’d be a fool to turn down that much money!!
It seems Disney is willing to do just about anything they can in order to patch up their relationship with the performer, which is why they are extending him multiple job ops. But get this: the production company apparently reached out to Depp BEFORE his trial even began! They were really willing to offer him his role back before he won?? The confidant explained:
“They reached out to the actor prior to his defamation trial against Amber Heard and asked whether he would be interested in returning for another pirate film or two.”
There’s another project in the works too, the source noted:
“The deal is reportedly for Johnny Depp to return as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean 6 and a spin-off Disney Plus series about the early life of the Captain of The Black Pearl.”
We bet there’s big interest in a series, but it’s hard to wrap our heads around the fact that Disney supposedly fired Johnny for being accused of abuse amid the #MeToo Movement — and then, before anything was settled in the case, just handed him back the role? In court, Johnny said he was treated like he was “guilty until proven innocent,” so why did they change their mind before the verdict was announced? Are they that desperate for more Disney Plus streaming subscribers?
Just as surprisingly, Disney has also supposedly charged full-steam ahead with a new film starring Jack Sparrow — but they don’t even know if their captain will be joining! The insider continued:
“What I can tell you is that the studio has already penned up a draft for a film about Jack Sparrow so they are very hopeful that Johnny will forgive them and return as his iconic character.”
Aside from the very specific “$301 million” that the company is working on presenting, they are also reportedly adding a “sizeable donation” to a charity of the actor’s choice as a gesture of goodwill. Really pulling out ALL the stops! But is it too late to be raising a white flag?
During Johnny’s controversial and highly-publicized defamation trial, he was adamant that he’d never work with Disney again after he felt they ditched him amid the scandal. His last appearance in a swashbuckler film was in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in 2017. His agent Jack Whinham testified that he lost out on a sixth film and a $22.5 million paycheck after the op-ed was published. But perhaps the most interesting detail here is that Amber’s attorney actually asked Johnny if he would consider a “$300 million” deal to work with Disney in Pirates again. Ben Rottenborn wondered:
“The fact is, Mr. Depp, if Disney came to you with $300 million and a million alpacas, nothing on this earth would get you to go back and work with Disney on a Pirates of the Caribbean film? Correct?”
“That is true, Mr. Rottenborn.”
So, what’s happening now then?! Is $301 million and a donation enough to get him to sign on?
If he accepts such an offer, does that mean he essentially lied under oath? And after standing so firmly against rejoining the franchise, if he did succumb to the promise of money and additional acclaim, does that make the rest of his testimony seem questionable or untruthful?
FWIW, it seems like Disney is set on releasing more Pirates flicks with or without their iconic Sparrow character since there’s already been plenty of chatter about what’s to come. So, we’ll just have to wait and see if they’re able to grovel enough to get the rock star back on their side. Thoughts, Perezcious readers? Would you be surprised to see Johnny back on the ship? Or do you think it was only a matter of time and money?