Johnny Depp reveals that no amount of money could get him to return to Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
The information came out during the ongoing trial between Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard and was first reported by Variety. While under cross-examination, Heard's lawyer Ben Rottenborn asked 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?" Depp responded, "That is true."
Depp has been a part of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise since the first installment, The Curse of the Black Pearl, released in 2003. His portrayal of the eccentric pirate Captain Jack Sparrow earned him praise from critics and audiences and even an Academy Award nomination. Depp reprised the role for each one of the film's sequels, including Dead Man's Chest, At World's End, On Stranger Tides and Dead Men Tell No Tales, making him one of the few actors to have returned for every film in the franchise.
The news of Depp rejecting any offer that might come his way will likely upset several fans, including the 500,000 who signed a 2021 petition asking for the actor's return for the sixth film. The petition stated, "Without Johnny Depp or Jack Sparrow [the franchise] will sink, [the franchise] will never be able to reach that horizon."
A sixth Pirates film was reportedly in development all the way back 2011. While Depp's involvement seemed a certainty, the actor was officially dropped from the swashbuckling franchise in 2018, a decision that would reportedly allow Disney to shave Depp's salary of $90 million off the next film's budget.
In June 2020, reports indicated a female-led spinoff film was being developed alongside the sixth film with Margot Robbie rumored to have been cast. Robbie confirmed the rumors were true but stated the project was in its "early days" and that "I shan't say no more for now."
Pirates of the Caribbean remains one of Disney's most successful film franchises with all installments grossing over $650 million worldwide. It was also the first franchise to have two films, Dead Man's Chest and On Stranger Tides, make over $1 billion at the box office. The franchise crossed over with the open world video game Sea of Thieves in 2021 with a free expansion that included a new original story featuring Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones. The original 1967 theme park from which the films are derived continues to operate at Disneyland.