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Pirates of the Caribbean producer makes revelation about future of the franchise

Pirates of the Caribbean producer Jerry Bruckheimer has confirmed that the franchise will return for a sixth outing.

News of a reboot was first announced in 2019. At the time, it was unclear whether Captain Jack Sparrow star Johnny Depp would be attached to the project; however, he was ruled out of the sequel following his legal battles in 2020 and 2022.

While promoting his new film, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare with its director Guy Ritchie, Bruckheimer was asked about potential reboots for Top Gun (which he also produces) and Pirates of the Caribbean.

“It’s hard to tell. You don’t know, you really don’t know,” he told ComicBook.com.

“Because with Top Gun, you have an actor who is iconic and brilliant [Tom Cruise]. And how many movies he does before he does Top Gun, I can’t tell you. But we’re gonna reboot Pirates, so that is easier to put together because you don’t have to wait for certain actors.”

In 2020, Depp became embroiled in a defamation case against The Sun over a 2018 article that called him a “wife beater”, which he ultimately lost.

Johnny Depp in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ (Disney/Kobal/Shutterstock)
Johnny Depp in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ (Disney/Kobal/Shutterstock)

In 2022, Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard in Virginia court for defamation, claiming that she had falsely implied he was abusive towards her in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed titled “I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change”.

The jury ultimately ruled in favour of Depp, though also found in favour of Heard’s countersuit, in which she claimed that Depp’s lawyer had defamed her by describing her abuse allegations as a “hoax”.

The possibility of Depp returning to the Pirates franchise was the subject of testimony during the trial.

Depp was asked by Heard’s lawyer: “If Disney came to you with $300m dollars 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?”

“That is true,” Depp answered.

While the legal battle was ongoing, Bruckheimer told The Times that Disney had no plans of bringing Depp back as Captain Jack Sparrow. However, he added, “the future is yet to be decided”.

Disney executive Tina Newman – in a pre-recorded deposition presented to the court on 19 May – stated that she didn’t “know one way or another” if Depp was still being considered for a role in Pirates 6.

Months after the trial’s conclusion, Bruckheimer added in a separate interview that he would “love” Depp to return to the franchise.

“I would love to have him in the movie. He’s a friend, a terrific actor, and it’s unfortunate that personal lives creep into everything we do,” he said.

Margot Robbie was at one point attached to lead a Pirates movie, but the actress told Vanity Fair in November 2022 that the project was no longer in development.

Weeks later, Bruckheimer explained: “We developed two scripts at once and the Margot Robbie script was a little further away, but we’ll get that made down the line too and focus on more of an ensemble Pirates movie at this point.”