How do you solve a problem like Jack Sparrow? Well, if you’re Disney, you simply move forward on the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise without him.
Plenty of major properties have survived and even thrived after switching up the cast, but setting sail on a new swashbuckling blockbuster with no Captain Jack would be akin to a new Indiana Jones or Iron Man movie without Harrison Ford or Robert Downey Jr., such has been the importance of Johnny Depp to the brand since the very beginning.
A sixth installment in the main timeline and a spinoff set to star Margot Robbie are both in development, but depending on where you read it, there’s anywhere between another one and seven Pirates of the Caribbean projects tentatively on the cards. It doesn’t look as though Depp is coming back, though, but we’ve heard from our sources – the same ones who told us Ben Kingsley would be back for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings before it was confirmed – that the Mousse House may have found a way to move forward, but still turn the clock back if they have to.
As per our information, the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie will establish that Jack Sparrow has died. However, several characters will reportedly discuss whispers that he’s faked his own demise in order to escape the latest bounty on his head, thus leaving the door ever so slightly ajar for a return down the line. Of course, fans will reject anything on the grounds that Depp isn’t part of it, but that could be as far as the studio is willing to compromise.