‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Producer Says ‘We’re Gonna Reboot’ the Franchise, Which Is ‘Easier to Put Together Because You Don’t Have to Wait for Certain Actors’

“Pirates of the Caribbean” producer Jerry Bruckheimer said in a recent interview with that the current plan is to “reboot” the beloved Disney adventure franchise, which has grossed $4.5 billion across five movies. Bruckheimer was fielding a question about the future of his hit franchises, which also includes the Tom Cruise-starring “Top Gun” series.

“It’s hard to tell,” Bruckheimer said. “You don’t know. You really don’t know. You don’t know how they come together. You just don’t know. Because with ‘Top Gun’ you have an actor who is iconic and brilliant. And how many movies he does before he does ‘Top Gun,’ I can’t tell you. But we’re gonna reboot ‘Pirates,’ so that is easier to put together because you don’t have to wait for certain actors.”

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Bruckheimer’s comment makes it seem as if the next “Pirates” movie will feature an entirely new cast, meaning Johnny Depp would not return as Captain Jack Sparrow. Depp has headlined all five “Pirates” movies so far. Variety reported in summer 2020 that Disney was in early development on two “Pirates” movies: A reboot led by Margot Robbie and a sixth film in the original franchise written by Craig Mazin and Ted Elliott, the latter of whom co-wrote the first four “Pirates” movies.

Mazin told the Los Angeles Times last year the script for “Pirates of the Caribbean 6″ is so weird he is surprised Disney signed off on it, adding: “We pitched it and thought there’s no way they’re buying it, it’s too weird. And they did! And then [we] wrote a fantastic script and the strike happened and everyone’s waiting around.”

The last “Pirates” movie, “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” opened in 2017. Robbie told Vanity Fair in November 2022 that her “Pirates” movie, written by “Birds of Prey” scribe Christina Hodson, had been dropped, adding, “We had an idea and we were developing it for a while, ages ago, to have more of a female-led — not totally female-led, but just a different kind of story — which we thought would’ve been really cool. But I guess they don’t want to do it.”

Bruckheimer then clarified that the script for Robbie’s “Pirates” will “come forward at a certain point.” He said the project wasn’t completely dead, but that Disney was prioritizing Mazin and Elliot’s script instead. The plot for that “Pirates” film remains under wraps. It’s anyone’s guess if it involves the return of Depp’s Jack Sparrow. Hollywood has shut out Depp in recent years amid legal troubles and his 2022 libel trial against Amber Heard.

The producer expressed uncertainty over Depp returning to the “Pirates” franchise when asked about it by The Sunday Times in May 2022. “[Will Johnny Depp be back?] Not at this point,” he said then. “The future is yet to be decided.”

Whatever the future holds for the “Pirates” franchise, Bruckheimer now says it will be a reboot that sails into theaters first. Each of the five “Pirates” films grossed more than $650 million worldwide, with 2006’s “Dead Man’s Chest” and 2011’s “On Stranger Tides” both topping the $1 billion mark.

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