A petition to bring Johnny Depp back as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise has now hit 500,000 signatures.
Depp’s future with the film series has been up in the air for some time, and he was reportedly dropped from the role following allegations made against him by his ex-wife Amber Heard.
After five films spanning a 15-year period, Depp was allegedly let go from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise just four days after The Washington Post published an op-ed penned by Heard in December 2018.
Depp and Heard married in a private ceremony in 2015. By 2016, Heard had filed for divorce while also obtaining a temporary restraining order against Depp, who she accused of physically abusing her during their marriage.
In the op-ed, which did not mention Depp by name, Heard wrote about the treatment of women involved in domestic abuse cases, remarking on how she herself has been treated:
I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.
Following the op-ed, as per Cinemablend, Depp’s lawyers filed a $50 million defamation suit against Heard, claiming her abuse allegations had been ‘part of an elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity for Ms. Heard and advance her career’.
The lawsuit also went on to blame Heard for Depp losing his long-time role as Jack Sparrow, a claim that some have taken issue with.
Disney has not made a public statement about Depp’s alleged firing, and the company has never said Depp wouldn’t appear in a potential Pirates of the Caribbean 6, despite discussions of various spinoffs and reboots that appear to be branching away from the original story.
The fifth film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, was notably marketed as the ‘Final Adventure’ prior to its 2017 release, suggesting there were already plans in place to shelve the character and indeed the original franchise.
In June 2020, The Hollywood Reporter reported that a new female fronted Pirates project – separate from the already announced franchise reboot – was in development, with Margot Robbie as the main character.
However, many fans have struggled to envision a Pirates movie that didn’t include Sparrow in some way, and the Change.org petition quickly gained thousands of signatures.
This petition, which has now surpassed 500,000 signatures, reads:
But can you imagine no Jack Sparrow at all? No epic entry scores, no humorous dialogues and the guy with the most good and bad luck at the same time?
Don’t they know that without Johnny Depp or Jack Sparrow they will sink, they will never be able to reach that horizon.
Even if it means nothing to you but please, sign this petition for the ones who REALLY want Johnny Depp as their Captain of the Black Pearl!
They have to bring him back to rule the seas again, UNLESS it is actor’s own choice to withdraw from the role.
It has also been claimed that the petition has already had some notable effect. Indeed, as reported by The Daily Express in January, a report states that ‘Disney is re-considering the actor’s revival in their franchise’ following the online petition.
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