Johnny Depp’s Uncertain Return: Inside the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 6’ Mystery

Craig Mazin recently shared with the Los Angeles Times that the script for “Pirates of the Caribbean 6” took an unexpected turn towards the bizarre, leaving him astonished that Disney greenlit it. Back in the summer of 2020, Variety had reported that Disney was embarking on two “Pirates” projects: a reboot starring Margot Robbie and a sixth installment in the original series, co-written by Mazin and Ted Elliott, who also co-penned the first four “Pirates” films.

Johnny Depp’s Return

Johnny Depp's Uncertain Return Inside the 'Pirates of the Caribbean 6' Mystery
Johnny Depp’s Uncertain Return Inside the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 6’ Mystery

“When we pitched it, we thought there’s no way they’re going to bite. It’s just too outlandish,” Mazin confessed. “But to our amazement, they did! Then, he [Elliott] penned a remarkable script, and just as things were getting exciting, the writer’s strike hit, and everyone was left hanging.”

The preceding “Pirates” installment, “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” set sail in 2017. Robbie, in an interview with Vanity Fair in November, revealed that her “Pirates” project, scripted by “Birds of Prey” writer Christina Hodson, had been temporarily shelved. We had an original idea in the works for quite some time, with an emphasis on a female-led narrative – not exclusively female-centric, but a novel plot nonetheless. We thought it would be incredibly fascinating. They appear to have changed their minds, though.

Franchise producer Jerry Bruckheimer later clarified the situation, mentioning that Robbie’s “Pirates” script would eventually resurface. He indicated that the project wasn’t entirely dead but was temporarily overshadowed by Disney’s interest in Mazin and Elliott’s script. The specifics of the plot for this upcoming “Pirates” film are being kept tightly under wraps, leaving fans in suspense about the possible return of Johnny Depp’s iconic character, Jack Sparrow. In recent years, Depp has faced legal troubles and a high-profile libel trial against Amber Heard in 2022, which has led to him being sidelined in Hollywood.

Johnny Depp's Uncertain Return Inside the 'Pirates of the Caribbean 6' Mystery
Johnny Depp’s Uncertain Return Inside the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 6’ Mystery

Bruckheimer expressed uncertainty about Depp’s future in the “Pirates” franchise during an interview with The Sunday Times in May 2022. He remarked, “[Will Johnny Depp be back?] Not at this point. The future remains undecided.”

At the moment, Mazin is most known for her work on HBO’s critically praised The Last of Us. He does, however, have a tonne of experience writing Hollywood sequels, including The Hangover II and The Huntsman: Winter’s War.

The previous entries in the “Pirates” series, all featuring Johnny Depp as the beloved Captain Jack Sparrow, amassed a staggering $1.5 billion domestically and an impressive $3.07 billion internationally. “Dead Men Tell No Tales” from 2017 raked in $172 million domestically, while foreign markets contributed a hefty $622 million. Altogether, the five “Pirates” films have collectively crossed the $650 million mark worldwide, with “Dead Man’s Chest” and “On Stranger Tides” each surpassing the coveted $1 billion milestone.

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