Pirates of the Caribbean To Make a Comeback...But Not in the Way Fans Had Hoped.
A Pirates of the Caribbean movie without Jack Sparrow, is like a rum and coke without the rum.
If you were online this past weekend, you might've read the news that there will be a new Pirates of the Caribbean film in the works very soon. Now, on any other day and under completely different circumstances, this news would leave fans excited and thanking the Disney gods for delivering some good news in this year of hell fire. Alas, that isn't the case for a lot of POTC fans and with valid reason.
If you've been following the ongoing legal battle between Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard, then you will already know that Amber's 2016 allegations that Johnny had been physically violent toward her throughout their marriage, eventually caused him to lose his beloved role of Captain Jack Sparrow. A role in-which the actor helped form and bring to life with his quirky drunk ramblings, Keith Richards-esque looks and unsteady walk. It was THE role that helped bring the franchise the success it garnered. A role in which, still to this day, Johnny dresses up as when visiting sick children in hospitals around the globe.
Of course, many things have changed since Heard first made her accusations. Most notably that it's looking more and more that she in fact fabricated entire stories to hide the fact that she had actually been the abusive party in their marriage. Along with evidence of her infidelities while Depp was off filming. A theory that has been heavily corroborated by taped audio confessions of Amber admitting to hitting Depp multiple times, throwing pots and vases, cutting off the tip of his finger, verbally mocking him after he calls her out on her behaviour and photos of herself with Elon Musk
All evidence that would lead someone to think Disney would eventually apologise to the actor and possibly bring his character back, granted if Johnny wanted to (he would). So when news was released this past weekend that they would be working on a new instalment with Birds of Prey screenwriter Christina Hodson and actress, Margot Robbie, it left fans wondering: "What about Jack?"
Now don't get the wrong idea here, fans have no issue with the pair taking it on. In fact, there's no denying that Margot would be brilliant and Christina would deliver an amazing film. It's just... It's Jack Sparrow, y'know...?
There's no denying that Jack Sparrow IS the face of this franchise but this is about more than that. This is about a man who was wrongfully accused (and who was actually the abuse victim) then fired for it, without any evidence to support the decision. Of course, Disney has a reputation to uphold and most likely made a decision in the moment that would best save them and for that, I don't entirely blame them (however still bitter) but definitely do blame other parties*cough*.
What I do blame them for is how they are going about the issue now. Given everything everyone now knows, surely an apology is in order (?) Along with a chance for Johnny to reprise his beloved Jack even if it is for just one more movie.
Give us Margot Robbie in a starring role. Bring out all the bad ass female pirates, but can't we have Captain Jack too? Is there not room on the Black Pearl for two incredibly talented actors who would completely kick ass on screen together?
The fact remains, as every day passes and new evidence is brought out, the light only shines brighter and brighter on the facts and what people are now seeing to be the actual truth of what went on during their short-lived marriage. People who now include, Amber's friend and Me Too activist, Amanda de Cadenet and Me Too lawyer Roberta Kaplan. Both have recently dropped their support of Heard with Kaplan no longer representing her and de Cadenet no longer testifying on her behalf; all following the release of the explosive tapes. Tapes that were evidently not damning enough for Warner Brothers and DC to fire Heard from Aquaman and yet, Jack Sparrow misses out on the next adventure.
Surely they can bring a story where Robbie and Depp can share the moment together. Make it Jack's last sail, and he passes the torch to a new, fresh-faced pirate (Margot), to carry on the Black Pearl legacy... I don't know, I'm not a screenwriter. All I know is, it would fantastic and amazing and adventurous.
At the very least, it would cost Disney nothing to issue an apology to Johnny for jumping the gun and taking away a character that not only brought him joy, but also to millions of fans.