Pirates of the Caribbean's producer and movie mastermind, Jerry Bruckheimer, has stated that he can't envisage continuing the franchise without its main star, Johnny Depp. The fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie - Dead Men Tell No Tales - is nearly upon us and will mark Depp's fifth outing as the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow. Despite receiving increasingly lukewarm reviews, the POTC franchise has remained a financial juggernaut, and early screenings suggest that the most recent installment is a stark improvement upon predecessor, On Stranger Tides.
Of course, at the center of the franchise's success has been its leading man, Johnny Depp. Despite not being directed by Tim Burton or featuring Helena Bonham Carter, Depp has remained loyal to the POTC movies and has embraced Jack Sparrow's iconic status. He's even been known to make heart-warming impromptu visits to schools and hospitals in full costume. Despite their actor's career dwindling somewhat in recent years and recent issues in his personal life, Depp and Pirates of the Caribbean have remained firm bedfellows.
And it seems as if that is unlikely to change. According to DigitalSpy, producer Jerry Bruckheimer has claimed that the franchise would not continue without Depp's involvement. Bruckheimer claims:
"I just don't see it [working on Pirates without Depp]. The secret to any successful franchise is picking talented people, and Johnny is absolutely key to the success of Pirates. He's such a unique character, such an endearing character, and such an irreverent character all in one."
The producer also hinted that fans would not be seeing the franchise transition over the the smaller screen, stating:
"You have a kitchen in your house, right? But you still go out to eat. If something drags you out of the house it's usually good food. We have to make really, really good movies to make people stay away from their televisions. And that's exactly what we do."
Strange metaphor aside, the comments pour cold water on any notions of a spinoff or reboot using the younger cast additions introduced in Dead Men Tell No Tales, Brenton Thwaites as Henry Turner and Kaya Scodelairo as Carina Smyth. However, it's interesting to ponder whether or not Bruckheimer's sentiments are shared by Disney, the studio behind the movies. After all, Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the most lucrative franchises of all time and Johnny Depp won't be able to swing from galleons and battle undead pirates forever.
For some fans, Bruckheimer's comments will come as a huge relief. Jack Sparrow is the beating heart of the Pirates franchise and it's likely no other actor would be able to deliver such an iconic and defining performance in the role. Once Depp does eventually step away from the franchise, perhaps the best thing to do would be to condemn Pirates of the Caribbean to Davy Jones' Locker.
With that said, Depp's film output has certainly been struggling of late and his reputation has taken a bit of a battering both on and off screen. For this reason, some might argue that Pirates of the Caribbean would be better off starting anew with fresh faces and could absolutely survive losing its current star.
Source: Digital Spy
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) release date: May 26, 2017