‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Producer Would Bring Johnny Depp Back in New Reboot ‘If It Were Up to Me,’ Thinks Disney Still ‘Really Wants to Make’ Margot Robbie’s ‘Pirates’ Movie

“Pirates of the Caribbean” producer Jerry Bruckheimer has provided more clarity on the current state of the Disney adventure franchise. He already teased in March that a total reboot was going to be the first “Pirates” movie out of the gate in the future because “it’s easier to put together because you don’t have to wait for certain actors.” This reboot is now confirmed to have writer Jeff Nathanson attached. Bruckheimer announced the news in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

Nathanson also wrote the screenplay for the last “Pirates” movie, 2017’s “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” which was directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg. Rønning and Nathanson, as well as Bruckheimer, have reunited on the new Disney biographical drama “Young Woman and the Sea.”

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“He’s cracked it,” Bruckheimer said of Nathanson’s script for the “Pirates” reboot. “He’s got an amazing third act. We just gotta clean up the first and second and then we’ll get there. But he wrote a great, great third act.”

Bruckheimer again confirmed the plan is to reboot “Pirates,” which means the next movie wouldn’t follow familiar characters from the franchise. That would seemingly rule out an appearance by Johnny Depp, whose leading role as Jack Sparrow powered the first five “Pirates” movies to $4.5 billion at the global box office. Depp’s future as Jack Sparrow has remained a question mark as he remains largely absent from Hollywood following legal troubles and his 2022 libel trial against Amber Heard. However, Bruckheimer personally wants him back.

“It’s a reboot, but if it was up to me, he would be in it,” Bruckheimer said. “I love him. He’s a good friend. He’s an amazing artist and he’s a unique look. He created Captain Jack. That was not on the page, that was him doing a little Pepé Le Pew and Keith Richards. That was his interpretation of Jack Sparrow.”

Variety reported in summer 2020 that Disney was in early development on two “Pirates” movies: A reboot led by Margot Robbie and a sixth film in the original franchise written by Craig Mazin and Ted Elliott, the latter of whom co-wrote the first four “Pirates” movies.

Mazin told the Los Angeles Times last year the script for “Pirates of the Caribbean 6″ is so weird he is surprised Disney signed off on it, adding: “We pitched it and thought there’s no way they’re buying it, it’s too weird. And they did! And then we wrote a fantastic script and the strike happened and everyone’s waiting around.”

Whether or not Nathanson’s reboot script is a new draft of Mazin’s or an entirely new screenplay remains to be seen. Margot Robbie told Vanity Fair in November 2022 that Disney was not interested in her “more of a female-led” movie, but Bruckheimer told Entertainment Weekly that he thinks there is still a future for both “Pirates” movies to exist.

“It’s two different movies,” Bruckheimer said about the future. “We hope to get ’em both made, and I think Disney agrees they really want to make the Margot one, too.”

Each of the five “Pirates” films grossed more than $650 million worldwide, with 2006’s “Dead Man’s Chest” and 2011’s “On Stranger Tides” both topping the $1 billion mark.

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