Johnny Depp Will Not Be in Pirates Reboot, Series Will Have “New Energy and Vitality”
In the latest round of unnecessary reboot news, it was announced a few months ago that there was going to be a new Pirates of the Carribean series with a female protagonist (which was weird because we had one, but whatever) and naturally, there was a discussion of whether Johnny Depp would return to the series in any way—and it seems the answer is no.
Sean Bailey, Disney’s studio production chief, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the year that Disney is about to have, with more of its “reimaginings” of animated Disney movies in the works. During the interview, Bailey was asked if he believes that Pirates can “survive without Johnny Depp,” and his response was, “We want to bring in a new energy and vitality. 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.”
”Them” being Deadpool writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese.
Bailey’s statements basically confirm that Depp will no longer be a part of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, at least for the moment. As Disney cares more about money than morals 98% of the time, I’m sure that if the reboot falls short in any way, they will find some way to make a Depp cameo as Captain Jack Sparrow part of the sequel series pitch. Until and if that moment comes, they can at least give the appearance of playing the moral high ground in light of the personal controversy sounding Depp and how it has tainted those who have defended him.
While I truly no longer care for Johnny Depp, the reality is that the scorn I have for him is not something that gives me any joy. Like many people, I grew up watching Depp’s movies, and the character of Captain Jack Sparrow was one of my favorites. There was a reason he was nominated for an Oscar; he was that good. It has been said that we at TMS “enjoy” writing anti-Depp and anti-male think pieces, and while I can only speak for myself, when I write about Depp and my dislike of him, it’s because I’m frustrated, not because I enjoy it.
It incenses me, because I know people in real life, not just trolls on the internet, who would say things like “Well you know … she probably did something wrong,” or “Well she probably was a golddigger at some point” about Amber Heard, and that makes me furious. As much as people say that we should believe evidence (which she gave) and that we should have due process (which was done in their divorce, and she was given money) likability is just as important as tangible evidence to many people.
There are people who will always see Amber Heard as some wild party girl who “stole” Depp away from his longtime partner and “used” him, and then made up allegations against him, even though there is no evidence of any of that.
The vilification of them both is not equal, and even if it is more so now, it took a long time to get there because people dismissed Heard for being too sexy, too “boring,” and too young and wild (a.k.a. openly and bisexual) for Depp from the very beginning, and asserted that his bad behavior would not have happened without her.
That’s the problem—that outside of feminist circles that advocate for giving women the benefit of the doubt (and hell even sometimes within those circles), a woman’s likability will always be a part of how her claims will be taken. Amber Heard may be doing well now because of Aquaman, but that has not come easy or without a lot of public scorn. Do not forget: The most popular children’s book author of a generation came out to defend Depp publicly, and it’s because of that defense and connection that he will be a part of one of movies’ biggest franchises for foreseeable future. So, while a part of me is sad that he will no longer be Captain Jack Sparrow, he walked the plank to his own downfall with that, mate.
(via The Independent, image: Disney)
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