Latest Pirates of the Caribbean originally had a female villain, but Johnny Depp axed it

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May 22, 2017

The latest Pirates of the Caribbean sequel opens this weekend, but the project almost turned out very differently. Mostly because Johnny Depp (reportedly) didn’t want to fight a female baddie.

In a blog post discussing the industry at large, Pirates of the Caribbean screenwriter Terry Rossio noted the original script featured a female villain — and Depp apparently didn’t like that, since he already made a film with a female villain in Dark Shadows. So he axed the script. The reworked version of the film stars Javier Bardem as a new baddie, which is cool and all, but it’s still interesting to wonder how this one could’ve turned out differently. And, as Rossio notes, an insight into the sometimes frustrating Hollywood process.

Here’s an excerpt from Rossio’s post on the subject:

“My version of Dead Men Tell No Tales was set aside because it featured a female villain, and Johnny Depp was worried that would be redundant to Dark Shadows, which also featured a female villain. Sometimes it just takes a single decision by a single person, often just a whim, to destroy years of story creation and world-building.”

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opens this weekend, and the early reviews haven’t been great. Though, at this point, this franchise is critic-proof, right?

(Via io9)