Fans of the immensely popular “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise were shocked recently to learn that the series plans to move on with another new installment, but this time without its principal star, Johnny Depp. However, it seems the move could be a multimillion dollar save for the Mouse House.
In addition to a slew of personal issues associated with the 55-year-old star as of late, Forbes reports that the studio could save close to $90 million by not including Depp’s iconic Captain Jack Sparrow character. The outlet notes he received that much for appearing in the fifth installment “Dead Men Tell No Tales” in 2017. That’s a hefty chunk of the film’s estimated $230 million budget, especially considering it only made $172,558,876 domestically, according to Box Office Mojo. While it was technically a successful movie, with its worldwide gross estimated at $794,861,794, it’s still a far cry from what the franchise used to do in its heyday.
As a result, Disney seems to be setting a new course for the films’ sixth installment by putting it in the hands of “Deadpool” writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to breathe new life into the series. In other words, fans can expect the sixth film to be drastically different from the previous five, with the biggest difference being the loss of Jack Sparrow.
The move is bold, but it’s a quick way to potentially save a third of the film’s budget by foregoing the inclusion of Depp in favor of some less expensive new blood. In addition, it’s a good time for Disney to distance itself from the former star of the franchise. As previously reported, Depp is selling off a lot of real estate after a legal battle with his former business managers who he claims mishandled his money. At the same time, he was in the midst of an ongoing public feud with his ex, Amber Heard, after she accused him of domestic violence.
Depp, however, denies those claims. Still, it shines a negative light on the star, which Disney seems to be backing away from during a time when it desperately needs to change the 16-year-old swashbuckling franchise or risk seeing it sink forever.