Pirates of the Caribbean producer would ‘love’ Johnny Depp to return to franchise: ‘He’s a terrific actor’

Pirates of the Caribbean producer Jerry Bruckheimer said he would “love” Johnny Depp to return to the franchise.

Depp starred as Captain Jack Sparrow in five films in the Pirates series, beginning with 2003’s The Curse of the Black Pearl and ending with 2017’s Dead Men Tell No Tales.

However, while a sixth entry is reportedly in development, Depp is no longer involved with the franchise, having left amid the high-profile legal battle between himself and ex-wife Amber Heard.

Asked by The Hollywood Reporter whether Depp could lead a future Pirates instalment, Bruckheimer responded: “You’d have to ask [Disney]. I can’t answer that question. I really don’t know.”

He then added: “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.”

Depp sued The Sun for defamation in 2018 after it published an article describing him as a “wife beater”. A UK court ruled that the claim was “substantially true”.

Earlier this year, Depp sued 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”.

Johnny Depp in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ (Disney)
Johnny Depp in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ (Disney)

On Monday 19 December, Heard announced that she had settled the defamation case with Depp.

“After a great deal of deliberation I have made a very difficult decision to settle the defamation case brought against me by my ex-husband in Virginia,” she wrote on Instagram.

“It’s important for me to say that I never chose this. I defended my truth and in doing so my life as I knew it was destroyed. The vilification I have faced on social media is an amplified version of the ways in which women are re-victimised when they come forward.

“I have made no admission,” she continued. “This is not an act of concession. There are no restrictions or gags with respect to my voice moving forward.”