Pirates Of The Caribbean producer Jerry Bruckheimer is less a filmmaker and more of a travel agent. As he so often says, “We’re in the transportation business. We transport you from one place to another. My job is to take you for a couple of hours and make you forget about everything that’s going on at home, going on in the world.” And nothing that helps us escape our problems like the words “Johnny Depp.”
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Bruckheimer, who defined blockbusters from the 1980s through the 2000s, seems ready to dive back into the Depp end. When asked about Depp returning to the franchise and if Disney would allow it, Bruckheimer said: “You’d have to ask them. I can’t answer that question. I really don’t know. 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.” It is unfortunate that he sued his ex-wife for writing an op-ed about her experiences in abusive relationships. Nevertheless, in addition to winning a cool million bucks from her, Bruckheimer thinks he should also get his old job back. That’s cancel culture for you.
Bruckheimer doesn’t have many suitable options for the franchise. Reviving the Pirates movies without Depp has been a chore. “We tried to kill [Jack Sparrow],” Bruckheimer said. “It didn’t work.” For the better part of two years, Margot Robbie was said to be taking over Disney’s most lucrative theme-park-based film series. That was until a few months ago when Robbie said the project wasn’t happening. “We had an idea, and we were developing it for a while, ages ago, to have more of a female-led—not totally female-led, but just a different kind of story—which we thought would’ve been really cool, but I guess they don’t want to do it,” she told Vanity Fair.
Like Depp’s cancelation, the project’s demise has been greatly exaggerated. “It’s alive for me,” he said. “It’s alive for Disney. I’m sure she was disappointed it didn’t go first — or maybe not because she’s very busy, so it might be a blessing to push this a bit. We believe we’ll get it made. It’s a very strong story.”
Bruckheimer also clarified that there are two Pirates movies in development. The Robbie one and the one with a “younger cast” (Pirates Babies?). However, they all take a lot of time to come together. “They’re all hard. I think we’re getting very close on that one, too. We have a very good script. We developed two of them — the one with Margot Robbie and one with a younger cast. The Margot Robbie one needs a little more work. The younger cast one is close. Hopefully we’ll get both of them.”
We don’t know if any of these Pirates adventures could feature a Jeff Beck concert, but if Bruckheimer can figure that out, he can probably get Depp pretty cheap.