After Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales finished its theatrical run with the lowest domestic box office haul of the series, it was clear that Disney needed to take action or risk letting the franchise sink completely. The less than impressive numbers for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald also seem to indicate that Johnny Depp has lost his appeal (although to be fair, it is also possible that moviegoers simply do not like really really long movie titles). Now it appears that the obvious next steps are being taken as Disney is said to be exploring a reboot of the POTC series without Depp’s involvement. The project was recently confirmed by Disney Chief of Film Production Sean Bailey in an interview with THR:
“THR: You’ve hired Deadpool scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to work on a possible Pirates of the Caribbean reboot. Can Pirates survive without Johnny Depp?
SB: We want to bring in a new energy and vitality. 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.”
Forbes has since speculated that cutting Depp out of the movie will allow them to save something like $90 million. Clearly this is a win / win situation, but the biggest remaining question is whether the series really has any other memorable characters aside from Jack Sparrow. Unless they are contemplating a prequel with a young Jack Sparrow instead (then again, they already attempted that using CG in the last film). Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick may have their work cut out for them if they want to get people invested in this series again. Do you think the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise can still be salvaged?