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Johnny Depp axed from Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney confirms



Johnny Depp has been axed from Pirates of the Caribbean after five movies, Disney has confirmed, as the entertainment giant reboots the long-running franchise.

The shock move, exclusively first revealed by DailyMailTV in October, is part of a huge shake-up that also includes enlisting Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to give Pirates a ’kick in the pants’.

The shock move was part of Disney’s plans to shake up the long-running franchise, with the entertainment giant enlisting the help of Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to give it an entire reboot.

Overhaul: Pirates of the Caribbean is set to undergo a huge reboot, with Disney hoping to bring a 'new energy and vitality' to the much-loved franchise

Plans had been in motion for a sixth sequel to the original Pirates of the Caribbean story, but it has since been revealed producers are now planning a reboot of the series.

Seeming to confirm so, Disney’s production chief Sean Bailey told The Hollywood Reporter: ‘We want to bring in a new energy and vitality.

‘I love the movies, but part of the reason Paul and Rhett [Deadpool writers] are so interesting is that we want to give it a kick in the pants – and that’s what I’ve tasked them with.’

It came after DailyMail TV exclusively revealed Depp won’t feature in the Pirates of the Caribbean reboot. He had played Captain Jack Sparrow in the five movies – 2017’s Dead Men Tell No Tales being his last – released over the last 14 years.

Gone: It was revealed in October that leading star Johnny Depp had been axed from the franchise going forward, despite starring in the previous five Pirates of the Caribbean films

Original Pirates script writer Stuart Beattie had publicly confirmed Disney Studios had chosen to ditch Depp as they plan to rework the series. He said: ‘I think he’s had a great run. Obviously, he’s made that character his own and it’s become the character he’s most famous for now.

‘And kids all over the world love him as that character so I think it’s been great for him, it’s been great for us, so I’m just very, very happy about it.’

The star, known for cult hits like Edward Scissorhands, was not expected to be a success with the release of The Curse of the Black Pearl in 2003.

Beattie added: ‘I think Jack Sparrow will be his legacy. It’s the only character he’s played five times, it’s the character he dresses up in to visit children in hospitals, it’s what he’ll be remembered for.

‘Before Jack Sparrow came along, [Depp] was considered this kind of quirky, independent actor that made these really cool little Tim Burton films, but he was by no means a movie star and a lot of people thought we were crazy for casting him at the time.

‘Because he wasn’t a proven commodity; you know, a big movie star. And we were making a big movie and we were putting this quirky, independent actor in the middle of it and people thought we were crazy. The fact that it worked is a miracle.

‘They were certainly nervous watching the rushes everyday but when it all came together, something just clicked and it was magic and connected with audiences. I’m proud to be a part of it.’

Beaming with pride, Beattie added that his first film was nominated both for best film and Depp was leading actor at the Oscars.

He said: ‘For a big, commercial popcorn movie to get a Oscar nomination, for the actor, is incredible. So that was a lot of fun seeing that.’

Speaking of Disney’s decision to work with Deadpool’s writers, Beattie mused: ‘Hopefully they’ll bring a lot of the great comedic subversiveness. I was laughing out of my seat in the opening credits of Deadpool so I am a big fan of those guys and I hope they do something really special.’

Even though Beattie carved the characters for the films, Disney have not yet asked him to return: ‘That would be great. I would love to. I mean, I love that world and love the people that make those films so yeah, I would love to be involved.’

But he will not be upset if the call doesn’t come: ‘There’s that saying, don’t frown because it’s over, smile because it happened.