In October, news broke that Disney would be rebooting its Pirates of the Carribean film franchise with Deadpool/Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. While details were sort of hazy at the time, we now know that Johnny Depp will officially no longer be appearing as his bumbling pirate character, Captain Jack Sparrow.
During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sean Bailey, head of production for Walt Disney Studios, talked about the new direction in which the company wants to steer the swashbuckling franchise set on the high seas of the 18th century.
"We want to bring in a new energy and vitality," he said. "I love the [Pirates] movies, but part of the reason Paul and Rhett are so interesting is that we want to give it a kick in the pants. And that's what I've tasked them with."
A Pirates of the Carribean movie without Jack Sparrow is hard to imagine, especially after he became the most famous and popular character of the five films. It's ironic when you consider that the top Disney brass initially hated his performance in Curse of the Black Pearl, which Depp based on Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. The actor's reasoning was that pirates were the rock star renegades of the Seven Seas, and sure enough, his gamble paid off. Richards even appeared as Sparrow's father in At World's End.
Basing a big-budget blockbuster on a theme park attraction was also a big risk, particularly because the pirate genre was thought to be extinct. By infusing a supernatural element into the mix, director Gore Verbinski brought it back from the dead, turning a humble 30-year-old boat ride into an Indiana Jones-esque world of mystical objects, exciting sword fights, and eye-popping visual effects.
That said, the quality of the movies began to decline once Verbinski left and Sparrow was placed at the forefront of the subsequent sequels. Pirates really is in need of a good reboot, but we wouldn't say no to a nice little cameo from Depp.
Where would you like to see the franchise go from here? Let us know in the comments!