Pirates of the Caribbean Reboot cast

Disney has confirmed the previously-reported Pirates of the Caribbean reboot cast will not feature Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. This was mostly assumed when the reboot first came to light, but now it appears to be official. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the writing team behind Deadpool, are tackling the reboot script, which will find new ways to adapt Disney’s popular ride-turned-film-franchise.

Back in October, word surfaced that Disney was exploringPirates of the Caribbean reboot. Details were sparse at the time, and all we really knew was that Deadpool and Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick were taking a crack at the script. There was some speculation that Johnny Depp, who has been with the franchise from the beginning, would not be returning – but that’s all it was, speculation. Now, it looks like it’s official.

THR has a lengthy interview with Sean Bailey, President of Production at Walt Disney Studios, in which Bailey spills the beans on several in-development projects (fun fact: Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard Book adaptation is still happening, even though there hasn’t been much word on that since 2013). In the course of the conversation, Bailey confirms that the Pirates reboot will set sail without Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow. When asked, “Can Pirates survive without Johnny Depp?”, Bailey responds:

“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.”

Now, I suppose it’s worth noting that Bailey himself doesn’t flat-out say, “No Johnny Depp!” – the interviewer is the one who makes that statement by asking if the franchise can survive without Depp. But Bailey doesn’t discredit the claim, which all but confirms that Depp’s Pirates days are done.

Stuart Beattie, who wrote Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, said as much back in October. When asked by the the Daily Mail if Depp was out of the franchise, Beattie replied in the affirmative, stating: “‘I think he’s had a great run. Obviously, he’s made that character his own and it’s become the character he’s most famous for now.”

The Pirates franchise has been a huge moneymaker for Disney, so it makes sense that they wouldn’t want to let it go. That said, other than Curse of the Black Pearl, the movies themselves have been disappointing. And while Depp’s work in that first film was admittedly fun, he more or less fell into self-parody for the sequels. Maybe bringing in a whole new cast of characters is exactly what this series needs.

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