What’s interesting is Disney clearly knew the allegations would be proven true, given they informally cut ties with Depp before the verdict was handed down. It’s unclear what comes next for Depp after all of this. Disney is forging ahead with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise without him, using a controversy-free actor in the lead, so they’ll be just fine. Whether Depp can ever repair his reputation, or deserves to, is another matter entirely, but it’s unlikely he’ll be cast as the lead in a major franchise again.
Now, a report released by THR reveals Disney blocked Depp’s return. Citing producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s desire to include Depp in the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie, even if just in a cameo role to hand over the reins of the franchise to Robbie, the report says “Disney balked,” refusing to entertain the idea due to the reputation risk it would pose for the family-friendly media giant. The revelation indicates Depp’s time as Jack Sparrow is well and truly over, confirming Robbie’s movie is an attempt to take the franchise in a new direction. You can read the relevant paragraph from the extensive report below:
Disney had already backed away from a Pirates future with Depp well before the U.K. trial, even if it never formally severed ties. Bruckheimer, who has been one of Depp’s biggest champions and once suggested the finger injury happened because “he got it caught in a car door,” was hoping to at least bring the Captain Jack Sparrow character back briefly in the next outing — said to be a female-centric incarnation fronted by Margot Robbie. Disney balked.