Hollywood blockbuster producer Jerry Bruckheimer has broken his silence on speculations that Johnny Depp would return to play Captain Jack Sparrow again.
“Not at this point,” Bruckheimer said when asked about Depp. “The future is yet to be decided.”
The 78-year-old filmmaker, in a wide-ranging interview with The Sunday Times, said he’s trying to rebuild the nearly two-decades-old “Pirates” franchise around a new protagonist, ideally played by Margot Robbie. “We’re developing two ‘Pirates’ scripts. One with her, one without,” he said.
Bruckheimer’s comments come a few weeks after Depp was asked on the stand during his highly-publicized court case against ex-girlfriend Amber Heard whether it was correct that “nothing on this Earth would get you to go back and work with Disney on a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ film.”
The versatile actor said yes, revealing publicly that he was done playing his most commercially successful role. Depp’s talent manager testified that the actor lost a $22.5 million deal for a sixth “Pirates” film after Heard’s op-ed accusing him of domestic abuse was published.
Depp’s run as Captain Jack came during a time when American movie franchises were still driven by top actors as opposed to the IP-driven market fueled by the dominance of superhero films over the past decade. But Bruckheimer says that even in this new normal, “Marvel and DC still want a really strong actor.”
“I still get the same list of ten men the studios want in a movie. You still get Tom [Cruise], Leonardo [DiCaprio]. Get one of these big names and you’ve got a good shot at getting a movie made,” Bruckheimer said, adding Brad Pitt and Chris Hemsworth as other actors he sees as bankable stars, though when it comes to women, he says that it is “just not that strong a list yet,” Robbie notwithstanding.